The reason good sites are good is because they rarely disappoint. Expectations ran particularly high for this year’s Area Championships when Lake Quinault was selected as the venue after a two year hiatus.
NW sailors have been plying the no-motorboat-waters of Lake Quinault for over a quarter of a century. Most sailors arrive early and stay late, and this was true again this year. There are plenty of stories to tell, and it was particularly heartwarming to have many long-time Hobie sailors — some of them without boats — show up for an informal reunion and lots of reminiscing.
Hobie Cats NW served up its patented (and highly sought after) seafood cioppino Friday night to hungry mouths catching up on old times. Full Sail Ale continued to quaff their collective thirst.
Winds were light Saturday, and limited the sailors (and RC Skip & Jan Anderson & crew) to just 3 light-air races. But tactics continued to be the trump card. Those who read the lake well were aptly rewarded.
Laura Sullivan and a slew of volunteers served up a wonderful salmon dinner Saturday night that was to die for. All of this for $40-50? Incredible!! The raffle afterwards helped subsidize the dinner with lots of laughter included.
Sunday morning Peter Nelson familiarized newbie sailors (and a few vets) with a rules clinic. But that didn’t last long as it became apparent Race Committee was intent on its 1030 start.
Sailors saw a building breeze that started with partial single trap conditions and ended with most boats fully trapped. There isn’t much better than trapping out under sunny skies on Lake Quinault in the middle of a rain forest! Committee hoisted all class flags at the same time for the last start and 32+ cats were off to the weather mark. The second lap had boats heading to a reach mark in front of the beach where everyone was finished. A great end to a great day on the water.
Yet another dinner was hoisted up by Laura, aided by J Rosenbach. So sailors were fed 3 great meals for $50 for 2-crew boats, 2 days of racing, and awards. There’s nothing like a Hobie regatta (at Lake Quinault)!!!
Sorry for no blog yesterday, but hopefully after reading this you will understand.
We woke Thursday morning to the wind blowing the oysters off the rocks. Committee did not wait to post an AP OVER ‘5’ meaning return at 1500 and we’ll try again.
So we returned at 1500 with no change in the weather. Still blowing. But around 1530 we started rigging boats for first shape at 1700.
We ran 3 races into the evening. The current was stronger than before making the waves bigger. Most opted for the Oregon shore and flatter water. But the approach to the starboard layline had a lot of competitors heading to the Washington shore. Downwind the middle and OR shore were favored.
The “usuals” continued to make hay in the strong breeze. Marshack dominated. But when he wasn’t dominating the upwind machine known as Sohn put hurt on him. Erwin, who has been leading since Day 1, was tight on their tails. Both Ped and Evenden turned in good days, while Nelson and Sinnickson were hurt by equipment — Nelson flipping twice and hitting a mark.
After breaking the boats down in the dusk, racers were told to be ready for a start at 0800 Friday morning. With no races scheduled after 1400, committee wanted to get in some races to break the tie between Sohn and Erwin after Thursday’s racing. Short night. Racers had a quick nap and returned Friday morning to strong breeze, but not too strong.
Committee got off 2 more races. Sohn showed mastery and won the Championship. Erwin held on for 2nd, Marshack 3rd. For Div. 4, Nelson got 4th, Evenden behind Sinnickson at 6th, and Ped just out of the trophy hunt at 7th. I am not sure where Thompson finished.
Overall the event was well received by all racers. A total of 13 races were run in the 18 fleet — 14 races for the 20s — in medium to strong breeze.
The wind gods finally cooperated on Wed., but not until the afternoon. After postponing racing at 10 a.m., Race Commitee sent us out for a 4:30 start. Both classes got 4 races in on a course further west than Monday, and off of Stevenson.
In the 18 fleet a different competitor won each race — Sohn, Sinnickson, Marshack, and Doty — in a gusty 15k. Puffs were rolling down different sides of the river making it particularly challenging to “connect the dots”.
In the first race of the day Marshack showed mastery, only to auger in again like he did Monday. Only this time he was about 10 boat lengths from the finish.
In the last race barge traffic at A-mark created a 5-boat length starboard layline! In the 12-15k boats were bunched up, causing mass confusion. Sinnickson ran down Murray’s port hull and sheared off the rudder while putting a hole in his boat and causing him to retire.
Two protests were heard after the racing. Erwin was DSQ’d for not giving Nelson enough room to round the gate mark while the race committee had Edgar tossed for getting too close to commercial traffic.
Event organizer, Laura Sullivan, served the sailors a late dinner on the grass of cioppino and salad before everyone retired for a short night.