2015 New England DN Champs Report
Photo credit Doug Raymond
OK, Back to the action- Sunday dawned clear and calm, for awhile we wondered if there would be breeze enough to sail on ice that would surely soften in the sun later in the day…. Would we get the New England champs in on the heels of a good Easterns?
The Shelburne Days Inn staff saw several sore people limping into the breakfast area to down waffles, cereal, hard-boiled eggs and various combinations of meds to get through the day. Better livin’ through chemistry! The big breeze Saturday left pretty much everyone with at least some sore muscles but plenty of grins nonetheless.
Dressed and out the door and back to the launch site. Just about everyone who still had a functioning boat was there- only one or two people elected to end the season on a high note and hit the road early. Jim Hadley was one of them- normally we’d give him no end of grief for a stunt like this but he gets a pass for two reasons: First, he has a six month old baby at home (congrats, you big stud!) and second, he gave me the chicken salad sandwich he was saving for lunch later that day. He sailed great on Saturday and we look forward to seeing him and the rest of the NJ mafia next season! Chris Miller also hit the road after somehow ripping off two chocks and eviscerating a runner. A three-for-one breakage! A bummer as he made a heck of a big-course racing debut the previous day- watch out for him next season….
After a quick awards presentation for the Easterns we jumped right into the skippers meeting for the New England champs. Time was critical as the sun was getting higher in the sky and we wanted to get this one in the books ASAP-
There has been a bit of discussion over the years about how starting positions are picked- one wonders if it’s fair to start according to finish position, how to pick spots for the first race, etc. Think about it- fast guy wins first race, right side of the course happens to be really favored, fast guy starts heading that way every race and the boats that start heading to the left are pretty well screwed for the day- a full rich-get-richer scenario that even the most fervent right wing Republican Fox News viewer would have an issue with.
In order to have a more fair distribution of wealth (in terms of starting positions) the fleet elected to pick starting spots from the hat for every single race instead. We also had a long discussion about universal health care, fair practices, and whether or not evolution should be taught in public schools.
OK, maybe not but we did like the random starts for every race- It was an interesting experiment and I think a successful one- as (I think) Kent Baker said “A good sailor should be able to win a race from anywhere on the line.” So maybe it’s more equitable to arrange starts this way? Any statisticians in the group care to chime in here?
Back on the ice the course was set and boats lined up fast- Maryland’s own Rambin’ Roger volunteered to be starter/scorer and not only did the fleet a huge favor but also sacrificed an awesome sailing day to do it- AND this on a Sunday when we couldn’t even ply him with drinks and dinner to show our appreciation. This is either a rookie mistake on his part or he is just that good of a guy…. Let’s say it’s the latter. Put it on our tab for the fall Roger! We owe you big-time. Many thanks to him and the people that assisted him- Henry Capotosto et al…. Thanks also to Loretta Rehe and Deb Whitehorse who once again tallied up the scores from 3,000 miles away in Las Vegas. They have so far as far as we know avoided jail and the ER out there. For now…. Thanks ladies!
Less breeze (5-10 kts?) and slightly softer ice than Saturday meant some re-tuning and different runner choices were in order. Eric Anderson chose wisely (100 degree T’s if I recall) and took race 1. I scored this one with Roger and was thrilled to see a bunch of close mark roundings all through the fleet!
This turned out to be the order of the day as the fleet enjoyed close racing over the course of another seven races- the breeze was strong enough to bend rigs and maybe lift a runner once in awhile but most importantly the ice didn’t start to soften up until the very end of the day- if you avoided the white patches you could maintain speed-
At the end of the day we had 24 boats complete at least one race- well done to the guys with older boats and/or trying the racing thing for the first time- Nice job gang- Looking forward to seeing y’all on the line next year!
-Warren Nethercote made the trek from a mythical land to the north called “Nova Scotia” and showed good speed and smart sailing to take fifth.
-Eric Anderson kept the power on to take a solid fourth. We may see some fresh gear on his boat next year so watch out….
-Peter Van Rossem sailed a good series to take the tie-breaker from Eric to claim third- Peter is relatively new to the class and his obsessive quest for speed is paying big already-
-Chad Atkins did some hunting and pecking to find the right set-up and was going faster and faster as the day went on to take second.
-Your author was fortunate enough to have a good setup and was able to stay ahead this day-
Every sailor in the fleet enjoyed champagne sailing- sun, not too cold, decent breeze, a stunning backdrop of mountains in the distance, and a great fleet! I hope we can build on this next season- seems like people are getting charged up about sailing in New England and beyond- keep everyone pumped, drag people to the regattas and lets keep the party humming! Wonder if we can get 40 boats for Easterns and New Englands next year?!? Let’s make it a goal!!
Thanks to everyone who made this one happen- as always it was a cast of thousands (more or less) and most of all thanks to everyone who showed up to race- sailing is a bit more of a gamble than usual this time of year and we are all psyched that everyone took the risk!
Results and photos below- thanks to Doug Raymond for being the shutterbug all weekend- There are two shots of the start line, one of a visit from a big helicopter that gave us a close fly-by and fortunately didn’t blow any boats over, two exhausted sailors driving back to RI, and Chad Atkins getting coffee-ed up for the drive home…. Why sip when you can guzzle?
T. Thieler, US 5224
2015 New England Championship - March 29, 2015 Lake Champlain Shelburne, Vermont Gold fleet ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pos Sail# Name Race> 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Points ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 US 5224 THIELER, JAMES (DNS) 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.00 2 US 4487 ATKINS, CHAD 2 2 (DNS) 5 2 2 2 15.00 3 KC 2766 Van Rossem, Peter (S) 3 3 4 ( 6) 3 5 3 21.00 4 US 5193 ANDERSON, ERIC 1 (DNS) 3 2 4 6 5 21.00 5 KC 3786 NETHERCOTE, Warren 6 6 6 ( 19) 7 4 4 33.00 6 US 4775 WHITCOMB III, EBEN (S) 9 ( 11) 5 3 8 3 8 36.00 7 US 4638 LOVEJOY, GUY ( 8) 7 7 7 6 7 6 40.00 8 KC 4360 BABY, ANDRE (GM) 5 5 2 4 5 (DNS) DNS 46.00 9 US 637 Meade, Joe 7 4 11 ( 13) 10 8 12 52.00 10 US 3186 Ericson, Jack 12 10 8 9 ( 17) 14 9 62.00 11 US 5482 Merrill, Doug ( 14) 12 12 10 11 10 7 62.00 12 US 4272 RAYMOND, DOUG 11 13 10 12 ( 13) 9 10 65.00 13 US 5478 Goritski, Jack 10 14 13 ( 14) 14 11 11 73.00 14 US 4626 Gervais, Paul (S) 15 8 9 11 9 (DNS) DNS 77.00 15 US 5023 Stanton, John 17 ( 17) 15 16 15 13 13 89.00 16 US 4596 Mayer, Chris 16 15 19 ( 20) 16 12 15 93.00 17 US 5512 Steinbaum, Fred 18 16 17 17 (DNS) 15 14 97.00 18 US 4110 MILBANK, JOHN (S) 13 9 14 15 (DNF) DNS DNS 101.00 19 US 1085 Discenzo, Art 19 21 16 18 12 16 (DNS) 102.00 20 US 4032 Bouchard, Ron 22 18 DNS 8 (DNS) DNS DNS 123.00 21 US 4009 BRUSH, DON (M) 4 20 DNS (DNS) DNS DNS DNS 124.00 22 US 480 Capotosto, Henry 20 19 18 DNS (DNS) DNS DNS 132.00 23 US 3758 Tropea, Paul 21 22 DNS (DNS) DNS DNS DNS 143.00 24 US 4138 Doe, John 23 DNS DNS (DNS) DNS DNS DNS 148.00 Scoring system: IDNIYRA Worlds The long ride home for a couple tired sailors