Great White 2013

The GTYC held its annual “Great Whites” on West Grand Traverse Bay in pond like conditions.  The fleet assembled from Ann Arbor to Columbus and even as far as Nashville to watch and wait on Saturday as the usually dependable sea breeze struggled to take hold.  The RC lead by Jordan Owens demonstrated fantastic patience and persistence not starting a race until conditions became fair and being ready the moment they were.  This regatta held special significance for me, as this was my daughter’s first regatta (age 10, my only child) so I was excited but also anxious that she have a good time.  Fortunately I had Jason Masseroni with us.  He is a great sailor, a longtime family friend and Marija loves him.  During the hour postponement, Marija put “sunscreen war-paint” on our faces to strike fear into our opponents.  Hey, I’ll take the edge.  This was only my second regatta of the year and my first sure showed my rust so I take all the help I can get.  It must have worked because we clicked big time.GT13_2

R1, 4 legs WL, was light and shifty from the NE, but not a complete dice roll.  We won the right only to have two boats beat us from the left, Tom & Kendall Young (1377) and Max Thompson (a Sears Cup finalist sailing my donated #628) with Maddy Zimmerman.  We saw a lot of these two during the weekend.  We had a great run setting the kite quick and hold it till the last second because I know that Jason can work magic with the pole and challenged Marija to keep up on the spinnaker douse and stuff.  BAZINGA!  We had a great rounding, man does three up make spin work easy.  The rest of the race was loose covering for us as Max & Tom battled for second, third.

R2, 4 leg sausage in similar conditions but add 2 knots to the wind range.  We thought we nailed the perfect start in a puff only to be hailed OCS…RATS!  After doing our penitence, we set it aside (even though we were confused, we were so sure) and got down to business.  It turned out to be one of my better races ever as we got in phase, missed ‘most’ of the holes and finished 2nd just a boat length behind Youngs.  I’ve seen Scott Savage and the late George Fisher do this type of comeback before, it felt good.  (Later, we found out that our boat wasn’t OCS but when we hiked one of our hats was.  Since Marija is 5’1”, Jason 5’6” and I am 5’18” {not a typo}, well you can figure it out).GT13_3

R3 started in 8 knots with pushes to 11-12. The sea breeze was finally winning.  The course was lengthened to .9 miles and when a puff hit we all hiked and charged.  This was coming into our strength and the fleet saw a shake up as most of the heavier teams came alive.  There was something for everyone on this day.

Louis Rodriguez organized the meal, which featured food by Fogarrelli’s, a local foodie favorite.  We all ate too much, we couldn’t help ourselves with this great feast that held its own in the greatest of GTYC eating traditions visitors have come to expect.  Wash it down with free beer, and some more, and moreJ

Sunday saw R4 with shifty winds from the SW at 4-9.  Tom, Max and Bob had their own race as the clear leaders.  Jack Coleman & Ann Taylor (who have sailed this event every year since it started in 1998) raced well and took advantage to grab the bullet while we took second plus had boats between us, Tom and Max.

R5 had the RC changing the course every leg of the 5 WL.  Velocity was variable too.  Everyone past everyone a bunch of times.  This race wasn’t about the first shift, it was about the last.  We had done a good job this regatta of keeping our eyes out of the boat while being both patient and brave.  The far left, 5+ lengths past the layline came in and we came back on the last leg to pass Tom with Max charging in also from the left for third.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Terry & Karen Kilpatrick also supported the event.  They came up early to help with some maintenance on our TACS fleet of Interlakes.  Of course Terry also spent time assisting other Interlakers.  It is great to have a builder who truly loves the people as well as the boat.

Marija had a great time and we are looking forward to this being the beginning of a new joy we can share together.  Thank you to Jason, the RC and all my competitors for making this fun.  Special thanks to my wife Mya; it was the best of times.

Bob Sagan