The prestigious team of International Judges has been kept very busy this week, sorting through multiple protests on each day of racing.
Arthur WULLENSCHLEGER of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is serving as Chief Judge, with Mary SAVAGE of Larchmont, New York, Ruth MILLER of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bill CHEEK and Don MACINTYRE of Canada. Arbitrators for the event are Cliff BLACK of Chicago and Bill SIMPSON of Dallas.
Speed Clinic participants at the informal forum took some gentle ribbing when questions were raised about whether Craig WHITE (Warrior) liked his jib trimmed heavy or light and introductions were requested for the pretty crew members of John KOLIUS' (Grrrr) team. John and Caleb BORCHERS are sailing with members of Joanne KOLIUS' high school sailing team in LaPorte, Texas. Borchers described these young ladies as totally professional from gun to gun, highly skilled and each of them a great asset to the boat.
Sunny windy and warm. South breeze 15-25. High temperature 84. Such was the prediction for today's racing and the competitors saw great wind, good lanes and lots of shifts with winds building through the late morning and early afternoon. Knocking at the door of the leaders with impressive finishes yesterday and today were Steve HAMMERMAN (USA77), Dave HAMMETT (USA87), Magnus MOLIN (USA113) and Craig WHITE (USA256). Rick SCHAFFER (USA399) was making a strong showing until the last race of the day found him tangled with the weather mark.
The morning check-in found most competitors smiling and happy to see good breeze settled in from the same direction as yesterday. The first race was started with only a single boat over early. The fleet split evenly about half way up the 1-mile weather leg, but most boats chose the east side of the course on the first downwind and rounded both port and starboard leeward gates. Jay LUTZ (USA 531) took an early lead and extended to finish 10 boat lengths ahead of Kerry KLINGLER (USA352) with Christer FAITH-Ell (243) finishing third. Several protests were noted.
The second race was set at 180 with winds at 15-18 knots. After one general recall and adjustment of the starting line, the second attempt was a good start with a single competitor over the line, clearing quickly and heading up the lake. Warrior was leading on the first downwind leg with Perigee close on her heels and Boomerang and DnA right behind. By the time they crossed the finish line, Boomerang was way ahead of the pack, Sting (Chris BLOCK USA67) had come in like gangbusters for second, Kolius' team finished third, Warrior was fourth and Perigee fifth.
The last race of the day was a bit more challenging as the wind kept clocking to the left requiring a change for each weather leg. Originally set at 185, the second time up the lake the course was set at 170 and shifted again for the finish to 160. The wind continued to build with these shifts and several boats had spinnaker problems on the last downwind leg with one losing the halyard twice and recovering both times and another losing the chute under the boat. The Swedish teams dominated the last race with all four teams finishing in the top 10.
Race Committee rescued one of the mark set anchors on the lake when the boat was forced to leave it to go change the course. It was a tough job to get it off the bottom and it was brought up with a tree limb and fishing line. Unfortunately, there were no fish on the line. The RC boat docked at 1425 hours and the competitors partied on the lawn while the judges heard protests.
One final race is scheduled for Friday at 900 with the awards banquet later in the evening. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.