Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club, Great Lakes 4th District Blue Star Championship
Coloma, MI September 9, 2018
This regatta was old school - the good old school. Saturday evening's party at Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club was a blue blazer event, mingling with yacht club members. Dinner was BBQ ribs and chicken, with all trimmings
Entertainment was the skippers answering those same questions the crews answered the evening before - Who is the highest public official you've met; Who is the most popular person you met and what is your greatest race/event you've had?
Answers were Governors, Senators, etc. until Jack Rickards answers were 3 Kings, 1 Queen and 5 U.S. Presidents. Skippers met Colonel Sanders, Phyllis Diller and others with notoriety. The races the enjoyed ranged from Star regattas to Offshore big boat events.
A special presentation done by 4th District Secretary Terry Gibney, Jack Rickard and Gill Cole, honoring Gene McCarthy's 70+ years racing Star boats. Gill Cole water painted, in color, one of Gene's early boats 'October' 3130 from a black and white photo from Yachting Magazine. October with Gene at the helm has a rooster tail shooting out the back end while passing a powerboat that was doing 27 knots.
Saturday awoke with strong breeze (strong white caps on 5" high wavelets) and light hazy clouds that disappeared after a while with full sunshine. The 6th race started right on time (3rd day in a row) with the longest races possible from shore to shore the full length of the lake. Great job on the Race Committee Boat by Blan and Julie Page. Greg Smith and TC Belco continued to dominate with great speed, only not to get a gun when they crossed the finish line ahead of everyone else. They scored OCS. While Marquard/Marquard, McCarthy/McCarthy and Adams/Adams all overlapped with Marquard getting the gun (having won the Green Star earlier this year) and now getting his first Blue Chevron (Note to Wilbur brothers - get him his Chevrons!).
Coming into the final race, the breeze tempered a bit, again with Greg Smith and TC Belco crossing the line ahead of everyone, again though - no gun! OCS twice for the day. The Adams' were 1st, McCarthy's 2nd and Marquard's 3rd.
The Champions did display their talent in light air, medium air and heavy air dominating in all conditions, our hats off to Greg Smith and TC Belco who won the overall 2018 Blue Star trophy with 18 points, Ross Adams and his Daughter Dorothy Adams in 2nd overall with 20 points, and Gene McCarthy and Glenn McCarthy with 21 points in 3rd. For those of you guessing, Gene is now 90 years old and finished all 7 races in this series.
The Swag Smith and Belco received was as follows: Locally handcrafted pepper grinders were the keeper awards for the Blue Star plus the 4th District Traveling Trophy, Drinking Glasses for the Paw Paw Open Win and names engraved on the Permanent Star Model Trophy, and a Clear Acrylic Star Paper Weight for the Masters Win along with the Traveling water color by Gill Cole of Mark Reynolds and Mateusz Kuszierewicz grinding it out upwind side by side.
A lunch of Sloppy Joes with all the trimmings were enjoyed by all after a very strenuous workout on the water today.
Additionally, this was the final and fourth event (Gull Lake, Lorraine, Racine and Paw Paw) of the 4th District Ranking Series with the top prize of a North Jib going to Greg Smith and TC Belco, a Thomas/Sobstad Boat Travel Cover to the Marquard Brothers in 2nd overall, and a Regatta Cockpit Cover to Jack Rickard in 3rd Overall.
All were amazed at the hospitality put on by Paw Paw Lake Star Fleet and Yacht Club. Staying in member's lake homes at no cost, the ease of use of the facility, endless drink and great food, hands helping launch and recover, "set the bar" according to Terry Gibney, and was not the regatta to miss! The hat really goes off to Jeff Phillips and his lovely wife Lois Phillips for making this event extra special.
With the red carpet still out, we had an incredible party last evening. Dinner was casual with Brats, beans, tons of appetizers, plenty of beverages flowing. Daily awards were made, then the Crew was the entertainment. How? Each filled out a questionnaire at registration answering three questions: 1. Who is the highest government official you ever met?; 2. Who is the biggest celebrity you ever met?; and 3. What was your favorite race or series ever? The answers were great with having met the King of Spain, George W. Bush, Senators including McCain, Governors and local officials, Halle Berry, Lebron James, Rham Emanuel, Will Smith among others.
Saturday awoke with anticipation with fresh French toast souffle' with fresh fruit bowls, and the regular sides and drinks.
The first start of the day was right on time. The testosterone and estrogen was flowing hard with a general recall on the first start. The remaining starts of the day were clean.
It was Triple-A sailing day: Aleve, Aspirin or Advil. While winds were 8-18, and far from steady. Crews were dunked regularly when the wind dropped. Shifts were plentiful. While overcast there was no rain.
Greg Smith and TC Belco from Gull Lake continue to dominate, the McCarthy/McCarthy team did lead the first to marks of the day, Smith/Belco made their solid moves and finished first once again in all races. With three races today, they now lead with five bullets, a very formidable lead. Great job men.
The dog fight for second place is opening up, Jim Babel and Scott Benson, another boat from Gull Lake, opened up a 4 point lead after two races over third place (with 12 points). Third is in the hands of Ross and Dorothy Adams (with 16 points). One point behind is a tie for fourth place with Jack Rickard/Adam Korejsza and Gene McCarthy/Glenn McCarthy.
Breakdowns began to appear with higher winds, but Rick Rundle/Chris Wurtz who missed day 1 due to a broken upper backstay, made it to the start of the 5th race today, and finished an impressive 2nd. Boats 1st through 7th have all had a shot at placing 1st through 3rd in one race or another.
Great bag lunches on the water between races four and five were gobbled. All boats are rinsed off coming out of the water, beverage stands in the boat parking lot were the place to be as the camaraderie, story telling and laughter rolled for a few hours.
Tomorrow (Sunday) is the grand finish.
D4 Sailors and out of District Guests,
Please see the attached for the 2018 4th District BlueStar to be hosted at Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club. There are great events scheduled with optional housing available to all. Please complete the attached Entry Form as soon as possible so that PPLYC has a good idea of numbers in advance. We owe them this courtesy. In addition, please see Glenn’s notes on the clubs improvements. Additionally, please forward to any out of District Star Sailors that may be interested in attending. We anticipate a great turnout with close to 20 providing verbal commitments.
Additionally, the final event in the Ranking Series is part of this event. The standings are attached and as you will see, too close to call except for “Rocket Man”……. We look forward to determining the future of this event.
NEED CREW? OR, NEED A SKIPPER AND A BOAT?
We have a skipper with boat looking for a crew and we have a crew looking for a skipper with boat (together they are overweight to enter). Contact Glenn McCarthy for pairings. Let him know of your availability and interest now! firstname.lastname@example.org
While we are tree lovers, nine large trees were removed not to conflict with our masts.
Power Lines have been buried in the parking lot - (Ask Bill Allen!).
Temporary Docks to be installed by the hoist.
New underground wiring to Hoist.
New outdoor bar is the place to be.
There's no licking wounds waiting for the wind to shape up, we have plans to keep everyone busy all of the time, which we hope won't be necessary and we’ll be sailing.
Larry Klein Memorial Regatta - June 2, 2018
1st 8216 Robert Wood
2nd 8187 Terry Gibney
3rd 7220 Neal Turluck
4th 8084 Robert Teitge
5th 8036 Adam Korejsza
Sailed in light air conditions averaging 0 to 3 knots with gusts to 5 knots.