This year’s edition of the famed High Sierra regatta did not disappoint as it celebrated its 68th year. Eleven C15 showed up as we returned in force following the 2018 NAC. Again, Jim Holder, now 89, skippered Ole Eichhorn’s (See image below crossing finish line), “It’s the water too” in a series of breezy races. It was his 55th High Sierra regatta! Try to top that. Other veterans of the C15 association sailed including Charlie Quest and John Eurich.
Saturday started off with a challenging long race punctuated by some delicate mark rounding and furious reaches. Several boats did capsize and some retired from that race but soldiered on for the rest of the day. It was a case of pointing well towards the Boy Scout camp and catching the lifts along the shore. David Rumbaugh with crew Steve Fishman led each race, consistently pulling away from the fleet with flawless driving and attention to shifts. Only a few times was he sweating when Vincent Paternoster and crew Steve Miller appeared to gain towards the weather mark.
The top of the fleet scored rather consistently with a peloton battling for 5,6,7 positions.
On Sunday, a light cloud cover presaged of a lighter day which was somewhat of a relief after a grueling 3 races the previous day, which was welcomed. However, following a pleasant and eventless race4 in 10kts breeze, race 5 proved to be quite different.
The fleet was becalmed half way up the weather mark, scattered around the race course and looking carefully for any ripple on the water, boats heeled over for maximum effect.
Before reaching the weather mark, the wind eventually filled up from the bottom of the lake in what locals refer to as the “Mono wind”, coming from Mono Springs. The downwind run ended up being a windward leg as the breeze built up consistently over the rest of the course to well over 20kts. Adam Quest came back to threaten Vincent’s 2nd position near the rounding or mark 8 but Jim Holder who was not far behind was able to pass him on the last downwind leg, confirming the final score:
Huntington Lake holds a special place in the heart of dinghy sailors and the fleet left energized with many looking forward to the NAC , just 3 weeks away, in Marina del Rey where the conditions will be much different with ocean current and swells.
More pictures on this flickr album