Vancouver Lake Regatta
June 2&3, 2007
Hosted by Vancouver Lake Sailing Club
“Feast or Famine at 38th Annual Vancouver Lake Regatta”
Report by Jim Sterner
District 6 Lido sailors came out for the traditional first travel regatta for the Pacific NW fleets – the Vancouver Lake Regatta. This annual gathering of dinghies from Oregon and Washington is always popular with Lidos, as well as Lightnings, Lasers, A-cats, and Thistles. Racing is Saturday and Sunday, with camping on the grounds for visitors, and always a great bbq meal on Saturday night. This year a fleet of 6 Lido crews from Fleets 78 – Anacortes, 25 – Portland, and 81 – Eugene came together for the first NW regatta of the year.
Saturday morning the fleets launched at 12:00pm with bright sun and a building breeze. The first race of the day saw Garrett Johns w/ crew Toby get off to a good start. While all crews were searching to determine which side of the course was favored, Garrett showed great boat speed, sailing the lifted tacks on the W-L course. He would hold on wire to wire to take the first race. What transpired behind him was more interesting… Jim Sterner, sailing with daughter Carolyn gave close chase to Garrett around most of the course, all the while being followed closely by the other 4 boats. In the final 3rd of the beat to the finish, 3 boats worked the right side hard while Sterner hung left – all 3 passed to finish ahead of Sterner. Ron and Nicole Runyan took second, and Fred Jensen w/ his grandson Briton pulling out 3rd. A very close race with all competitors finishing within about 20 boat lengths of each other.
During the 20 minutes leading to the next Lido start, the whole fleet of visiting Lido crews were watching the home town Lightnings and Lasers closely to see what the local wisdom was on which side was favored… those two fleets split evenly up the beat, so we were all on our own. And so the Lido fleet also split up the first beat after a clean start. This time it was the Runyans that showed strong speed and height to hold off the close chasing fleet to take the win.
The first two races brought variable wind speeds between 4 and 8 knots. However races 3 and 4 saw the breeze freshen to 8 to 12 knots as the afternoon wore on. In race 3 and 4 the Sterners found a groove upwind that placed them first at the weather mark, and they were able to hold on to take both races. Garrett and Toby were on their tail taking 2nd in those two races.
One bit of excitement came at the start of race 4 when Sterner thought he would catch the fleet off guard with a port tack start at the pin. No chance!! Garrett was charging hard on starboard, and just after the gun Sterner had to crash tack on Garrett’s lee bow with inches to spare. Other racing highlights on Saturday (besides the sun, warm air temps, and great wind) included Steve and Ginger Orsini passing through the lee of 3 boats downwind in race 2 to rouind the leeward mark 2nd – sweet move in what seemed like their own private breeze. Also, showing great downwind speed all day on Saturday was Class President, Allan Stults with crew, Terry Sellers on 5071 – Water Witch. Impressive in only his second season racing Lido’s, is Portland resident Fred Jensen. Fred brings his experience racing in the tough Portland Laser fleet to Lidos, as well as a fast boat – sail # 4522. 4522 is the orange boat he bought from past Class Champion Tim Mulvanney (1987.)
With four races completed, the SI’s called for a throw out, leaving Garret Johns and Jim Sterner tied with 5 points.
Some of the scuttlebutt overheard that evening at dinner included: a new boat from the factory for the Orsini’s? techniques for building trailer bunks; America’s Cup boat builders pop out sweet Lido rudders; tips from Sterner for hermetically sealing your boat for best off-season preservation; deep wisdom from President Stults; just how did Ron fall off his boat at CCR last year?; and some talk on how to make the 2008 CCR at Fern Ridge (Eugene, OR) the best ever!
This regatta report should end with a description of an equally fantastic Sunday. But unfortunately, mother nature did not cooperate. The wind never came in, and so the regatta stood on Saturday’s results. So Jim and Carolyn Sterner won the regatta on a tie-breaker from Garrett Johns. And the Runyan’s took 3rd. Racing was very close and competitive, and as always this group had a great time together. Thanks to Vancouver Lake Sailing Club for another great regatta – see you next year!