District 2  Regatta Report

Sat Jul 11th, 2009 through Sun Jul 12th, 2009

75 th Annual Millers Series Competitors Ranging in Age from 18 to 87

75 th Annual Millers Series Competitors Ranging in Age from 18 to 87



The weekend was a study in contrasts. Like having wind for 2 days of racing but Saturday’s powerful, steady, sea breeze enhanced Southerly winds, flipping to Sundays, tedious, variable, fading Northeast breeze. Like young (18 years) and cocky (in the best way), Bobby Lippincott (of venerable Star lineage) lining up at the start, toe to toe, with Stuart Walker (a young 87 years), back in a Star for the first time since his honeymoon, 64 years ago. Like first timer, Laura Beigel sailing with her veteran Star sailing father, Read, as crew. And Gibson Island Yacht Squadron, home of the District’s smallest and oldest fleet of Stars hosting a popular and well run event, just as they have for well over three quarters of a century. The modern Stars running home after the big seabreeze on Saturday with their vangs eased looked very much like they must have looked, 75 Miller Series’ ago.

John MaCausland and John Avis jumped into a quick lead in Saturday’s first race, powering off the line through the nasty chop in the already strong breeze. A strong ebb tide against the Southwest wind made starboard tack a wet punching match where keeping powered up was crucial. A short, fast respite on Port was great sailing for the Stars with the inevitable return to the battle on Starboard to approach the weather mark. Downwind, there were great waves for surfing, carving to leeward, by the lee as much as you dare. A few gybes went awry and the leeward roundings were wild as masts and headstays sagged off dangerously in the transitional stages of downwind to upwind trim. The first casualty was Murray Leigh, as his mast puller line snapped, inverting the spar more than seemed possible without it breaking. A very game young Laura Beigel (with Dad Read crewing) in her first Star race, bravely completed it before wisely heading in, her dignity and rig fully intact. Bobby Lippincott made it around the course declaring it “scary and awesome”, his crew, Aunty Barb Vosbury denying him any “Chicken gybes”. John Mac won easily, followed by John Vanderhoff and Adam Dolezal. Tom Price made money on the final run to take 3rd, his brother, Chris, crewing in his first Star race.

The breeze increased a bit more for race 2 and attrition took its toll with 7 Stars starting. John MaCausland cruised home first again, pressed a little more closely by John Vanderhoff and Gunti Weissenberger, all enjoying the conditions. Tom and Chris Price had their vang wire part with a massive “bang” in a puff on the last run, resulting in a big roll in to weather, finishing with their boom topped well up in the air, rolling wildly.

In the interest of preserving the fleet, the RC wisely sent the boats in and a hungry gang of Star sailors lined up at the bar and dined on a wonderful dinner at the Gibson Island club. The rolling Bay just outside the rotunda windows made an excellent backdrop for the meal.

During the night a minor frontal boundary passed through and in the morning we had a gentle and pleasant NW breeze with potential to become a deadly, dreaded dying NE with leftover chop affair. Shortly after the start, that’s exactly what happened, with occasional flurries from the original wind to mix things up. Two interesting and challenging races were completed, with the best still rising to the top. John MaCausland showed us how the leader can climb the ladder easily through the shifts upwind after being over a little bit early in the start. Keith Donald crossed the finish in second. The wind veered towards the East as the weak front moved away offshore. Just when you would make your break towards the East for your “big gain” the left side would pay off enough to keep everyone honest. In race four, guest skipper, Stu Walker made a, well, “stuwalkerian” gain on the last leg to pass 3 boats, anticipating a “backed, downdraft shoreline enhanced flow from the overlying gradient inversion”. John MaCausland made it a clean sweep by winning the last race, battling with young Bobby Lippincott, who had a great day in the lighter stuff with a 3, 2.

Back at the Boathouse, the awards were given out, the superb Race Committee work by Terry May and friends was praised and the bar was open. An excellent Boathouse Grill in the late afternoon sun was a great ending to the weekend. Tom Price 7313 “Bop”

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 Total
1 Erin   John Maccausland   John Avis   8195   CR   1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 4
2 8038   John Vanderhoff   Adam Dolezal   8038   NCB   2.0 2.0 7.0 3.0 14
3 Fiasco   Keith Donald   Sean Quinn   7814   AN   5.0 4.0 2.0 7.0 18
4 Bop   Tom Price   Chris Price/Stuart Walker   7313   CB   3.0 5.0 8.0 4.0 20
5 8095   Gunti Weissenberger   Chris Hardin   8095   NCB   4.0 3.0 5.0 8.0 20.0001
6 Never Piss Off a Witch   Bob Lippincott   Barbara Beigel Vosbury   7986   ES   6.0 11.0 [DNF] 3.0 2.0 22
7 Mary Jane   Sam Hopkins   Chris Brown   7970   AN   11.0 [DNS] 6.0 4.0 5.0 26
8 Neva Joe   Murray Leigh   Anthony Kupersmith   7454   CB   11.0 [DNF] 11.0 [DNS] 6.0 6.0 34
9 7425   Laura Beigel   Read Beigel   7425   AN   7.0 11.0 [DNS] 11.0 [DNS] 11.0 [DNS] 40
10 Lupa De Mere   Joseph Pro   Nick Pro   8113   WJ   11.0 [DNF] 11.0 [DNS] 9.0 9.0 40.0001

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