The Fourth Annual Lake Hopatcong A-Class Catamaran Fall Regatta was held this past weekend, out of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club with 33 boats in attendance, a record number for the Fall Classic. Competitors began to show up on Friday September 11, as the first sailors pulled into the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club parking lot at 9 a.m. with the hopes of getting some practice racing on New Jersey’s largest lake before the main event. With very windy and rainy conditions this day, the sailors were deterred from pushing off the ramp, and instead settled to enjoy the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club’s warmth and shelter as well as their adult beverages.
There was certainly a wide range of distances participants travelled to attend this regatta. John and Ian Lindahl and Bruce Williams came from Michigan, the Canadians from Ontario made their annual trek again, as well as Tracy Oliver from Virginia Beach and Tony Arends and Sterling Mehring from Maryland. Joe Sparks from Tennessee was a newcomer to the event, as well as some young blood from Bristol. Ben Moon from Florida flew up for the event and borrowed a local boat to compete.
Friday evening, nearly 60 people enjoyed a catered dinner and cocktails hosted by one of the LHYC A-Cat Fleet members while catching up and discussing the seasons sailing stories and watching pictures from various regattas on a projector screen.
The next morning the weather was beginning to break with winds out of the NNE at 5-10 knots. The rain was letting up and the first of 4 races for the day was off with 33 sailors on the line. Oliver Moore from Rhode Island took first on the first two races after pulling off fantastic starts to break away from the crowd. Tony Arends from Maryland took the third race, and Danny Goritski from LHYC placed first in the fourth and final race of the day.
After a return to the Club for debriefing and beers the sailors were treated to the club’s annual beefsteak dinner with 215 members and sailors attending. Some of the out of town sailors even went home with prizes from the annual auction and all seemed to have their fill of food and drink.
Sunday brought a big change in the weather. The Low Pressure that had been stuck over the New York/ New Jersey area for nearly a week had finally passed up the coast. A beautiful, sunny morning on the lake had developed with crisp, cool air and plenty of wind.
By the time the sailors were on the starting line the North West wind was in full form with average speeds of 10knots with some heavier gusts in the high teens. So a sunny windy day provided spectacular sailing as well as fantastic entertainment for the many spectators on the lake. Lake Hopatcong’s many coves provided the usual challenging wind shifts and fluky gusts, however the usual gang of experienced sailors figured them out and proceeded to rip up the lake.
Three races were sailed on Sunday after a well planned “Fake General Recall” on the first start. Mark Skeels (who turned 50 that morning) was treated to the entire fleet and race committee singing Happy Birthday as he drifted across the line in total surprise and confusion.
Once the real racing started, Phil Kinder took control and received two first places showing that Bristol sailors are not afraid of the gusty winds of Lake Hopatcong. In the last race Oliver Moore got a hint from local Mike Gruber on the first tack after the start and reluctantly made a move that provided him a “Horizon Job” on the rest of the fleet for the remainder of the race for his third first place finish of the regatta.
At the end of the day, there were many smiles, and a great regatta came to its conclusion. The competitors made it to shore, de-rigged with beers in hand, and were supplied a superb grilled lunch by Peter Block of LHYC. At the awards ceremony, A-Cat icons Cal Fuller (4 times North American Champion and The Father of Modern A-Cat sailing) and Merrill “Doc” Stern (Former North American Champion, 89 years old and still sailing A-Cats) were introduced, and an amazing A-Cat Birthday Cake made by some of the yacht club ladies was given to Mark Skeels. Trophies were given to the top five finishers.
1. Phil Kinder
2. Tony Arends
3. Danny Goritski
4. Ben Moon
5. Scott Callahan
Full scores posted below. Photos courtesy of Mike Gruber and Shelli Skeels.
2009 Lake Hopatcong A-Cat Regatta
|Rank||SailNo||Club||HelmName||LHYC Regatta 9/12/09||LHYC Regatta 9/12/09||LHYC Regatta 9/12/09||LHYC Regatta 9/12/09||LHYC Regatta 9/13/09||LHYC Regatta 9/13/09||LHYC Regatta 9/13/09||Total||Nett|
|1st||10||Bristol, RI||Phil Kinder||8.0||3.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||1.0||(34.0 DNS)||51.0||17.0|
|2nd||267||West River, MD||Tony Arends||3.0||(10.0)||1.0||5.0||2.0||3.0||5.0||29.0||19.0|
|3rd||211||LHYC, NJ||Danny Goritski||2.0||(12.0)||7.0||1.0||11.0||4.0||2.0||39.0||27.0|
|5th||273||LHYC, NJ||Scott Callahan||7.0||6.0||4.0||(13.0)||6.0||10.0||3.0||49.0||36.0|
|6th||282||Bristol, RI||Oliver Moore||1.0||1.0||15.0||15.0||(34.0 DNF)||6.0||1.0||73.0||39.0|
|7th||205||LHYC, NJ||Mike Gruber||6.0||9.0||8.0||10.0||5.0||2.0||(34.0 DNF)||74.0||40.0|
|9th||135||Virginia Beach, VA||Tracy Oliver||4.0||8.0||(16.0)||4.0||13.0||14.0||4.0||63.0||47.0|
|10th||175||LHYC, NJ||Dean Lennox||10.0||7.0||3.0||7.0||12.0||11.0||(13.0)||63.0||50.0|
|11th||119||Bristol, RI||Max Kramers||13.0||4.0||6.0||11.0||(17.0)||9.0||8.0||68.0||51.0|
|12th||200||Bristol, RI||Jim Godbey||5.0||16.0||13.0||8.0||3.0||(22.0)||10.0||77.0||55.0|
|13th||268||LHYC, NJ||Andy Burdett||12.0||11.0||(22.0)||6.0||9.0||8.0||11.0||79.0||57.0|
|14th||218||LHYC, NJ||Peter Hefele||11.0||17.0||(24.0)||14.0||8.0||12.0||12.0||98.0||74.0|
|15th||225||LHYC, NJ||Bernd Hefele||14.0||15.0||(21.0)||16.0||14.0||18.0||14.0||112.0||91.0|
|16th||3065||LHYC, NJ||Peter Block||18.0||18.0||12.0||24.0||7.0||13.0||(34.0 DNS)||126.0||92.0|
|17th||224||LHYC, NJ||Greg Comito||(22.0)||20.0||14.0||12.0||16.0||16.0||17.0||117.0||95.0|
|18th||44||LHYC, NJ||Mark Skeels||21.0||(22.0)||19.0||18.0||20.0||15.0||7.0||122.0||100.0|
|21st||274||LHYC, NJ||John Seitz||20.0||21.0||9.0||22.0||(26.0)||23.0||18.0||139.0||113.0|
|22nd||147||LHYC, NJ||Ken Kirkland||(27.0)||25.0||17.0||20.0||23.0||17.0||24.0||153.0||126.0|
|23rd||208||LHYC, NJ||Charlie Oberman||19.0||23.0||20.0||26.0||21.0||(27.0)||22.0||158.0||131.0|
|24th||147||LHYC, NJ||Fred Steinbaum||17.0||28.0||(34.0 DNF)||34.0 DNS||15.0||19.0||20.0||167.0||133.0|
|25th||200X||LHYC, NJ||Lloyd Kitchin||(26.0)||26.0||26.0||25.0||19.0||24.0||15.0||161.0||135.0|
|26th||Can 31||Canada||Fred Smith||25.0||19.0||18.0||27.0||(28.0)||25.0||25.0||167.0||139.0|
|27th||223||LHYC, NJ||Steve Levine||28.0||24.0||25.0||23.0||25.0||(34.0 DNF)||23.0||182.0||148.0|
|28th||179||West River, MD||Sterling Mehring||24.0||(29.0)||29.0||21.0||29.0||28.0||26.0||186.0||157.0|
|29th||30||LHYC, NJ||Todd Walter||29.0||27.0||28.0||28.0||22.0||(34.0 DNF)||34.0 DNS||202.0||168.0|
|30th||173||LHYC, NJ||Robert Gruber||(34.0 DNF)||34.0 DNS||34.0 DNS||34.0 DNS||24.0||26.0||21.0||207.0||173.0|
|31st||278||LHYC, NJ||Peter Karpiak||(31.0)||31.0||27.0||29.0||31.0||29.0||28.0||206.0||175.0|
|32nd||349||LHYC, NJ||Jack Lennox||(30.0)||30.0||30.0||30.0||30.0||30.0||27.0||207.0||177.0|
|33rd||3865||LHYC, NJ||Ralph Preiss||(34.0 DNF)||34.0 DNF||34.0 DNF||34.0 DNF||34.0 DNF||34.0 DNF||34.0 DNF||238.0||204.0|