Clearly — THIS Is What It's All About! Tom Munroe Wins Melges 17 W.M.Y.A. Championship
10 August 2011
Article by Mike Dow - The Western Michigan Yachting Association's annual regatta is a must attend event in August for sailors on the east side of Lake Michigan. 207 boats arrived on Wednesday at the Crystal Lake Yacht Club in Frankfort, Michigan. A huge thank you to all the volunteers from the WYMA and CLYC! A special thank you to PRO Peter & Mhari Blacklock, Stu Soule and the whole race committee for a job well done. Thank you "tractor man" and everyone helping run the hoist.
The all one design event had Melges 17, E scow, C scow, MC, Butterfly, Laser, and Optimist fleets racing on two courses with three start times each day. In four days, each fleet sails five races. Many sailors will sail in more than one fleet over the course of the event, sometimes racing back to the dock to tie one boat up and quickly leave the dock to race in another class. A few like Rob Terry raced in three classes!
The seventeen boat Melges 17 fleet (clearly a magic number) started off the event with the back to back Thursday afternoon start time. Race one breeze was just enough for skippers to stay high with the crew going side to side for heel. After some early lead changes, the race finished with Mike & Steph Dow sailing USA 205 Flying Toaster in first, followed closely by Tom & Reed Munroe sailing USA 11, and Brian & Deb McMurray USA 188 Catbird. Race two was slightly lighter with more shifts and holes to navigate through. Deb & Jim Gluek USA 51 showed the fleet which way to go with a nice win followed by Rob Terry & John Pomerleau on USA 10 Thrill Seeker.
Friday had the M17 fleet out for the morning start. A light easterly greeted the fleet. The RC was ready and off the fleet went. A big left shift on the first beat put the early leaders way out on the rest of the fleet. Tom Munroe took the gun followed by Rob Terry in second. In third, Jeff MacKeigan USA 1 and fourth Jason Lovell USA 106, both Jeff and Jason are in the newest M17 fleet at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club.
The fleet had the early start on Saturday which had a light easterly. Again, the race started out just like the day before, left shift on the first beat. Boats that were middle or right just couldn't get back to the left with any kind of angle. Then on the first run, the wind got lighter. After a long tough light air beat, the fleet had a long tough run where many passes were made at a very slow pace. Part way up the last beat, the wind did a 180 to the west and the kites went up. A crazy finish ensued with many overlapped boats. Deb & Jim Gluek managed to finish before the mayhem arrived followed by Rob Terry, Tom Munroe, Brad & Jandy Sprouse USA 178.
Sunday had the M17 fleet starting midday and there was a nice westerly blowing. Shifty with nice breeze lines that were visible. The trick was getting to them first. At the first mark it was Jack Kerby-Miller USA 157 with a nice lead, Flying Toaster in second. The breeze came in from behind on the run and had Munroe, Terry, & Gluek moving inside of the two leading boats. Racing stayed tight for the leeward mark and the next beat. In the middle of the beat regatta leader Tom & Reed Munroe had a disaster, the outhaul broke and the boom fell off. All I heard was, "you've got to be kidding," and then we battled on trying to hold off Jack Kerby-Miller and the continued efforts of Glueks and Rob Terry. Somehow, Munroe's got their outhaul and boom back together and battled back. The race finished with Flying Toaster, followed by team Gluek, and the comeback move of the regatta, Tom & Reed Munroe for third.
Congratulations go out to Tom & Reed Munroe as they are the 2011 WMYA M17 Champions! Thanks to the seventeen M17's that came to CLYC to sail this event.
So, what's M17 sailing at the WYMA annual regatta all about for the Flying Toaster? Seeing friends and meeting new ones in multiple classes at one event together. Watching the kids having a great time on and off the water. Getting a great start. Starting the event out with a bullet, struggling thru the middle of the event, then turn it around for a bullet in the last race. The team work it takes to sail the boat well. Following all the results in all the fleets. Dinghy's in Frankfort. CLYC club sandwich!!! CLYC Mediterranean plate. Having early races on Friday so we could make it back to Traverse City for Kurt & Sally Rivard's party which was attended by other sailors too. Getting to know the members at Crystal Lake Yacht Club in our second year there. The new CLYC club deck. Sailing the M17 off the beach on beautiful Crystal Lake. Our morning drive together. Sailing with my wife in our favorite boat, the Melges 17. The excitement of taking what you learned together to the next event. We can't wait for the outrageous fun we will all have together with 36 boats sailing at White Lake Yacht Club for the M17 Nationals!!!
TOP FIVE RESULTS
1.) Tom Munroe
2.) Rob Terry
3.) Deb Gluek
4.) Brian McMurray
5.) Mike Dow