High Sierra Regatta

July 10-11, 2010

Hosted by Fresno Yacht Club on Huntington Lake.

For official results, please visit the Fresno Yacht Club website.

This year's High Sierra Regatta was looking pretty sketchy with no wind 20 minutes before the start of the first race - a very rare, if not unheard of, situation at a lake known for its consistently occuring winds.  But the wind did start to fill in just in time for the first race to be sailed on schedule - but the winds were light and a bit fluky.

Huntington Lake is located at high altitude nestled in the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range that dominates much of the California landscape.  It is a man-made reservoir constructed in the early 1900s as part of a massive (for its time) hydroelectric project that now encompasses several lakes, numerous dams, miles of water tunnels bored thru the mountains, and five power generating stations.

The lake is very well know in the sailing community for the annual High Sierra Regatta run by Fresno Yacht Club. 

Fresno, located about 60 miles away in the central valley below the lake plays a key role in generating the famous winds of Huntington Lake.  Without high temperatures in the Fresno area, the winds don't show up at the lake.  When the valley is hot enough (generally over 103 degrees), a thermal wind is generated that rises up the slopes of the Sierras, skips up and over the dams at the western end of the lake, and picks up velocity as it moves down the lake.  This wind gives a wide range of sailing conditions ranging from drifting at the dam end to mid teens at the leeward end of the late (where the start and finish of the races are located).

Negotiating the lake is a well discussed and documented topic with lots of emphasis placed on sailing fast and high to the Boy Scout Camp, working up the left shore, and taking a calculated gamble as to when to cross the lake to get to the weather mark.

Increasing, as has been reported in prior years, the consistency of the winds at Huntington Lake have diminished - becoming more unstable and hard to predict.  And this year's running of the 57th annual edition of the High Sierra Regatta presented racers with just such a situation.

This year's regatta was looking pretty sketchy with virtually no wind present on the late a half hour before scheduled start of the first race - a very rare situation indeed.  But true to form, the wind did arrive just in time for the first race to be sailed on schedule - but the winds were light and a bit irregular.

In Race 1, new Lido 14 class member Steve Klotz, sailing in his first major Lido 14 regatta, sailed conservatively and smartly and was rewarded with "winning" the race to the weather mark.  On the long downwind leg that followed, Stu Robertson eventually caught up to and overtook Steve - winning the race.

The second race, also on Saturday, was slightly better with occasional puffs requiring hard hiking and by the time the boats were coming up the final beat to the finish, a 11am first race.  Stu, once again, was dominant and finished first - without being challenged much, if at all, by any other racers.

On Sunday, the winds were still somewhat strange with the majority of the puffs coming down the middle of the lake, leaving the left hand side (where boat usually work the shoreline) questionable.  The wind never really filled in well but was reasonably "regular"...that is until boats were reaching from mark 2 (top mark of the north side of th e lake) to mark 6 (on the south side of the lake) where the winds started to get swirly.  Wind was coming from all directions and was, in fact, just coming straight down and splashing outwards in unpredictable directions - leaving lots of people were hopelessly chasing the the wind.  The best solution in these circumstances is to just point your boat in the direction of the next mark and keep your fingers crossed.  The strangeness continued on the reach from Mark 1 to Mark 7 where boats ended up sailing close hauled and tacking to make it to Mark 7 - an extremely unusual situation.  Amongst all this, a number of boats got lucky and made huge gains, while others (of course) lost.

In the end, however, the irregular winds were not a factor in determining the regatta outcome - Stu Robertson and Mike Anctil sailed extremely fast and handily won the regatta with three first place finishes - each with sizable leads.

In second place, overall, was the brother and sister team of Mark and Sarah Ryan.  They have been sailing together for several years now and have been working hard to improve.  Sailing in 2506, a boat that had been in their family many years ago, this team showed excellent skill and speed.

Finishing third overall was Steve Klotz.  Decades ago, Steve Klotz was a well known world class dinghy sailor.  So when he decided to return to the sport after a long absence, his first concern was to find a one design dinghy class that was both competitive, offered large fleets, and was approachable as an older adult.  And his answer was the Lido 14.  Steve purchased a second hand but very well prepared racing Lido 14 this spring and set out to practice as much as he could but given his very busy family and work schedule, that meant getting out just a handful of times.  And each outing he's learning a lot about the boat and how to sail it.

A loud and hearty round of applause to Stu and Mike and all those that raced hard and well against them.

A

Skipper & Crew

SAIL #

R1

R2

R3

T

1st

Stuart Robertson & Mike Anctil

2511

1

1

1

3

2nd

Mark & Sarah Ryan

2506

3

2

3

8

3rd

Stephen Klotz & Hiroko Sakimoto

6300

2

5

2

9

4th

John Gresham & Terry Johnson

2511X

6

4

5

15

5th

Kelly Cantley & Kevin Thomas

5036

4

8

4

16

6th

Kurt Wiese & John Papadopoulos

6240

8

3

7

18

7th

Eric Heim

4078

9

6

10

25

8th

Freddie & Fred Stevens

2614

10

12

6

28

9th

Paul & John Makielski

6277

7

7

14

28

10th

Daniel Gilboa

1255

5

11

17

33

11th

Steve & MíLiz McJones

2153

12

10

12

34

12th

Jim & Carolyn Sterner

5110

14

9

20

43

13th

Colin Orsini & Lisa Acomb

5029

13

13

18

44

14th

Don & Kit Lockwood

5050

11

24 DNC

11

46

15th

Ron & Nicole Runyan

6131

17

14

16

47

16th

Walter Johnson & Nikki

6288

24 DNF

16

9

49

17th

Dave & Stephanie Carroll

4682

19

17

13

49

18th

Stephen & Ginger Orsini

6310

16

19

15

50

19th

Steven Natvig

3474

15

15

21

51

20th

Peter Beale

6274

18

18

19

55

21st

Steve & Kris Potter

6284

24 DNC

24 DNC

8

56

22nd

Hank Erbele

2953

20

20

22

62

23rd

Greg Rodgers

4794

24 DNC

24 DNC

24 DNC

72

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B

Skipper & Crew

SAIL #

R1

R2

R3

Total

1st

Jonathan & Stephanie Carroll

4755

8

1

1

10

2nd

Gary Schaffel

3446

1

2

7

10

3rd

Joss Giddings

6050

2

10

3

15

4th

Grant & Barbara Williams

4300

7

6

2

15

5th

Kathryn Reed & Cindy Heavrin

3747

3

5

9

17

6th

Ryan & Ross Butcher

4790

5

9

5

19

7th

Jock & Lili McGraw

5127

4

4

12

20

8th

Butch Michel & Bruce McDevit

4150

17

3

4

24

9th

Chris & Christophe Killian

6297

6

14

8

28

10th

Charles & Joanna Smith

6337

11

11

6

28

11th

Sarah & Jim Mackey

4284

12

12

11

35

12th

Steve Gierke

1954

13

13

10

36

13th

Michelle Shanks

4048

14

7

17

38

14th

Matthew & Maggie Nolan

4543

16

8

19

43

15th

Ellen & Lenore Collins

6313

10

18

16

44

16th

Tracy Conn

4029

15

16

13

44

17th

Larry Hoskinson

6197

18

15

20

53

18th

Jim Drury & Bruce Wasson

4963

20

20

14

54

19th

Kevin Fabino

3008

22

17

15

54

20th

Mark Dawson

6272

19

19

18

56

21st

Terry Hensley

4617

9

29 DNC

23

61

22nd

Pat Sayer-Handley & Luke Sayer

6149

21

21

21

63

23rd

Bill Hahesy

2562

25

22

25

72

24th

Jim Clevenberg

3720

24

29 DNF

22

75

25th

Scott Morris

398

23

29 DNF

24

76

26th

Susan Dijkman

4023

29 DNC

29 DNC

29 DNC

87

26th

Holly Davis

4299

29 DNC

29 DNC

29 DNC

87

26th

Tom Estlow

6195

29 DNC

29 DNC

29 DNC

87