2009 NACs Write Up and Results

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2009 C15 North American Championships

by David Rumbaugh


In 2009 the fleet returned to Huntington Lake, CA for their Championships hosted by Fleet 20 out of Sacramento, CA and Lake Washington Sailing Club over the weekend of June 19-21. The last time the event was held here was in July of 2005. That was the first year that Anne Newton and I raced the NACs together and since I had grown up by the lake we were pretty confident that we would do well. Well we didn’t, and ended up a respectable 3rd behind Barret Sprout and Craig Lee.

Fast forward 4 years later and 2 previous Championships (one in 2007 in Long Beach and one in 2008 in Half Moon Bay) and it looked like Anne and I were the team to beat. The numbers for this years Championship (between 10-15) looked to be rather small but the competition promised to be tight. Friday morning came and Anne was lost somewhere in the Central Valley and it looked like she would barely make it to the lake in time for race 1. With a no throw out series planned that would be a bad way to start to the regatta. I got the boat together and waited nervously for her to arrive so that we could start our defense of the crown.

The plan for Friday was 5 races if we could get them in so that the series would include 10 total races since there was 3 planned for Saturday and 2 on Sunday. The wind was up and Anne showed up about an hour before race time. Race one was the short course and Craig Lee got out of the gates early with a nice lead at the first mark. We made little ground on the downwind run and at the bottom mark they had a sizable lead over us in 2nd. The rest of the pack was a little ways off so it looked to be a 2 boat race at this point. We played the shifts on the way back to finish line nicely but still lost the race to Craig by seconds at the finish line. In races 2 and 3 the wind came up a little bit more and Anne and I showed the speed that had allowed us to win the past 2 NACs together. We won both races by good margins with the rest of the fleet really mixing it up behind us. Race 4 started after a long break due to a boat being down and full of water. The crash boat was busy helping them for some time so we had to sit around and hope that the crew was safe in the cold water for such a long time. This again was the short course and out of the blocks Kiersten Vance and crew (father Paul) were out in the front leading the pack around the race course for a bullet, followed by Craig Lee and then Anne and I. With the long day and since it was getting late into the afternoon the race committee decided that was it for the day.

After the first three races which is the SYC CORP series, or qualifying series in our Championships, the scores were tight as expected. Anne and I had the lead with 4 pts. The next 5 places were only 2 pts apart. Kiersten V and Kevin Wasbauer were tied with 11 pts each (Kiersten was ahead of the tie breaker). 4th and 5th were also tied with 12 pts each. Craig L. was winning the tie breaker over Vincent Paternoster. In 6th only 1 pt behind them was Alex Fishman with 13 pts.

The weekend series was run with the Commodores Classic regatta hosted by the MHRA fleet out of Northern California. They had a nice sponsor, Maui Jim, who was giving a pair of sun glasses to each fleet winner over the weekend. Even though we had a nice lead at this point in the regatta with the no throw outs we knew that we had to keep our heads in the game because one break down could cost you the title. During race 2 my main sheet decided to separate its cover from the core, and during that race I had to trim the upwind legs with only the core! Luckily I have a rock star crew who helped me replace it with a spare main sheet I had between races.

Saturday morning came and with three races on the table we were at the boat early and getting her ready. Today the wind was up early and it was a lot stronger breeze due to the lower temps in the valley that day. We were able to win all three races that day but the real news was Kevin Wasbauer right behind us in every race with straight 2nds for the day. This allowed him to vault up in the 2nd spot overall for the regatta with only two races to go. The best part of this day was in race 2 Kevin had us at the top mark by a half boat length and the rest of the fleet was a good distance behind us. On the run we were neck and neck watching the rest of the fleet battle it out behind us. At one point there was a few massive gusts rolling down the lake which I am not sure I can explain through words what was actually going on behind us but I will try. The water seemed to be a black color and the group was fairly tight together. I watched as boats in the pack started to increase their speed rapidly and roll back and forth wildly (if you have ever sailed a laser downwind in some breeze you know what I am talking about here). Crews could be seen jumping back and forth in the boats to keep them upright. Bows up out of the water and water spraying out from the boats on a full plane! It was a sight to see and the crew work was nice because no one went over. As Kevin and I looked back and waited for our turn, it never came. The wind fizzled out before it got to us. After a few more puffs like this by the time we got the bottom mark the pack of 5 boats were now all in attack mode. They had closed the gap and were only boat lengths behind Kevin and I. We were able to hold them off and really felt good about our spots with only 1 day (2 races) to go.

Sunday came and the breeze was up early again. Not as strong as Saturday but it looked like it would build up for us as the afternoon came. Vincent P came out of the gates this morning and passed Anne and I half way up the beat, then got a huge left hand shift and really extended on us at the top mark. They lead by over 10 lengths! ON the long downwind run we sailed not in the direction to the mark but to the direction to keep us in the pressure. It was paying off because we were making ground on their lead followed closely by Alex F (and his father Steve). The last 1/3 of the run they let us get underneath them (remember I was sailing to the pressure not really the mark at this point) and they went in toward the other boats and the shore. Anne and I stayed out in the middle of the lake more hoping that pressure would pay off better than a straight line course to the mark. Well it did and we opened up on Alex rounding the turning mark half a boat length behind Vincent. We were able to get up on their breeze and reached across the lake a little better. Once it was time to set the pole we were on the inside of them and passing so they decided to gybe away from us and head back to the fleet a little. At the bottom mark we pulled away some from both Alex and Vincent for the win. Kevin who was fighting with Craig for the second spot ended up in 6th, but since Craig finished in 5th he did not make up many points.

The last race the wind started to pick up again. I was tired of letting Alex win the pin end of the line and decided this race we would take it. We had a great start at the pin and rolled up the lake playing the shifts nicely and had a nice lead by the Boy Scout cove. A big left hand shift came in right after the cove and we were sailing on port tack straight up the lake. We had a nice lead and ended up winning this race followed by Kevin W, Craig L, Kiersten V, and Vincent P. What a weekend of racing it was. We had done it, our third title in a row!



Corinthian Fleet Race #

Sail # Competitors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points

1. 2218 David Rumbaugh 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 12

Anne Newton


2. 3744 Kevin Wasbauer 3 4 4 4 2 2 2 6 2 29

Steve Skinner

3. 2602 Craig Lee 1 5 6 2 3 6 3 5 3 34

Catherine Lee

4. 2938 Kiersten Vance 6 2 3 1 6 4 5 4 4 35

Paul Vance

5. 3627 Vincent Paternoster 4 3 5 5 4 5 7 2 5 40

Tom Paternoster

6. 3686 Alex Fishman 5 6 2 6 5 3 4 3 7 41

Steven Fishman

7. 11297 Adam Quest 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 7 6 61

Kiersten Quest

Cabrillo Fleet Race #

Sail # Competitors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points

1. 3407 Matt Eister 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 13

Isacc Hollowhornbear

2. 2150 Megan Eichhorn 1 1 5 5 2 1 1 5 5 26

Ole Eichhorn

3. 3119 Eugene Fodor 3 3 3 2 5 5 5 5 5 36

Kyla Fodor

4. 1944 Charlie Quest 4 4 2 5 5 5 5 5 5 40