Midwest District Championship — 2008

Windjammers Sailing Club

Green Bay, Wisconsin

The weekend of June 21-22 was spent sailing in light fluky breezes and dodging thunderstorms. One race was completed Saturday morning before we were chased back to shore by a storm. The fleet didn’t quite beat the rain. Our rigging and centerboard had a pretty good electrical charge our whole crew got a little zap at some point on the way in. We were glad to reach shore and wait out the storm.

The fleet spent 3 or 4 hours watching small storm cells pop up right around us. At 4:00 the RC decided we had a window of opportunity to get some races in. Any longer delay and the fleet would have made the decision to start the party. Bill Faude sailing with Hannah Swett and Jarred Drake had a great afternoon posting a 2,1,2. The other star was Pete Orlebeke scoring two bullets with his wife Kimberly and Dave Bronson. The real excitement came at the end of the last beat in race 4. A squall hit the fleet with winds close to 40 knots. Several boats swamped or capsized. Pete’s crew did the best job handling their boat and won the race.

After a challenging sail in (upwind, in a squall, channel less than two boat lengths wide) we were ready for dinner. The folks in Green Bay prepared a steak dinner that was delicious. To top it off Mari Martin baked a regatta themed cake and cupcakes for dessert. Due to the rain the traditional trip to the go-kart track was cancelled. So teams Faude and Wake decided to make a pilgrimage to the Mecca of pro football, Lambeau Field. If you are a Packer fan you would understand how great it is to sail and go to Lambeau in the same day. After a few Spotted Cow beers at Curly’s Pub we decided that every fall Windjammers should host a one day regatta on a Saturday with the winner’s prize being 3 tickets to Sunday’s Packer game.

Two more races were scheduled for Sunday with a throw out if all six races were completed. Team Faude led team Wake by 4 points. The wind was again light and variable. In race five we got shut out at the boat at the start. It looked like Pete Orlebeke would run away with the race. Fortunately for us we caught a little extra breeze and a favorable shift on the right side allowing us to round the windward mark first. As the wind died Lynelle Reak did a great job of trimming the chute and we took off down the run with the last remaining wind as the rest of the fleet was becalmed. As we neared the leeward mark we kept being headed by the new wind. We put the jib up for less than a minute then tacked around the leeward mark and reset the chute. We coasted for the rest of the race. It was one of those times when it was better to be lucky than good. Pete was second and Bill made a remarkable comeback to take third.

Going into the last race the outcome was still in doubt. On the first beat there were about three different winds battling it out and I think every boat in the fleet had the lead at some point. We rounded third, but having a light weight crew paid some dividends, and we slipped into the lead at the leeward mark. We covered Bill at the start of the last beat but eventually decided to let him go when he tacked away to the right. Kristine’s hunch was correct and we found more pressure and a nice shift on the left.  Bill and David Stix had battle for second and third on the run to the finish with David coming out on top. Then it was a race to the hoist to get the boats put away before another storm rolled through. We always enjoy sailing in Green Bay. The wind is sometimes fickle but we can always count on a good time and friendly people.

Todd Wake