Monroe Team Wins 2012 M17 Spring Championship
May 6, 2012. Eight boats arrived for the second annual Melges 17 Spring Championship Regatta at Lake Lansing. All visiting boats took advantage of the warmer weather on Friday and arrived on time to get their boats rigged and four boats got some sailing time in on Friday afternoon. Most teams were sailing for the first time this season and 2 of the teams were new to the Melges 17 fleet. Marks were set and some video was taken of the crews practice on the water. Brian Poppert and Stacy Selman were the first to arrive before 1 PM enthusiastic to rig their boat and participate in their first M17 regatta as were newcomers Brad Shottke and Will Osterink.
Saturday arrived and the forecast was accurate – chilly and breezy. Winds were from the northeast at 5-10 with some occasional stronger puffs. Three races were sailed in rapid succession in the morning and we got to shore for lunch by noon. Most spent some time during the lunch break in a warm car as it was cold and damp. It was decided that the outdoor steak cookout be scrubbed in favor of an indoor restaurant. The group went out for the afternoon racing session and fortunately the temps warmed up and it ended up being very comfortable racing conditions to finish the first day. Again, three races were run in quick succession Saturday afternoon and we were all back on shore by 3:30 PM.
The Sunday morning “harbor gun” was postponed waiting for the wind to fill in. At 10 AM it was decided to head out and we got in 2 light air races. As we finished the wind was getting very fluky so we were fortunate to get it 2 pretty good races on Sunday to finish the regatta. The wind from noon – 3 PM was pretty light and variable so it was good that we got in the races during the window of time that we did.
Tom and Reid Monroe won the regatta with very consistent sailing which included 5 first place finishes of the 8 total races sailed. When you have a 3rd as a throw out, you know you are racing very well. Jeff and Emily Lewis traveling from Wisconsin also sailed very consistently including two first place finishes. Mike and Stephanie Dow won one race and were 2nd 4 times to capture third place and John and Margo Schumacher sailed very consistently including a 3rd place finish in Race 5 to capture fourth place.
For the Monroe team getting around the course all weekend was all about looking for the pressure and getting to it no matter what the wind direction was. With 5 to 12 mph wind speed differences getting to and trying to stay with the 12 was huge. Jeff and Emily Lewis found this to be especially true on the downwind legs as they made huge gains that led to some very close finishes. Mike and Stephanie were always right there too. It was almost comical how 10 yards and a shift with pressure would change your position by 50 yards to the good or bad. The last race was especially fun with a great tacking and jibing flurry with the three lead boats to the finish.
To sail 8 races in two days was a treat for the M17 crews on hand for this season opener. This regatta was a great kick-off to the M17 regatta season. You are always taking a chance with an early May regatta but the Lansing venue has pulled off a good weekend of racing two years in a row. It was great to have two new M17’s on hand to get some experience and join the fleet with Poppert and Schottke participating in their first M17 regatta. The Lake Lansing Sailing Club looks forward to hosting this event next year and sincerely appreciates all the boats that traveled to Lansing to participate.