Memorable Moments From Nationals!

Memorable Moments From Nationals!

4 September 2011

John Schumacher "Who could ask for more out of three days."

Mike and Stephanie Dow  "Really liked sailing on the big lake. Good old fashioned chop sailing! I haven't done that in a few years. Wow. The photos and videos are fantastic."

Jim and Deb Gluek "Not too often you get to sail nine great races in sunshine, perfect temps and beautiful wind.  Our favorite part of the regatta was definitely sailing on Lake Michigan....what a hoot!  As a scow sailor, that is something I will always remember, so thanks for getting us out there."

Chris Katzfey "between racing in Lake Michigan to flying around the course on Saturday afternoon.  My crew said it gave him goose bumps when we rounded the windward mark on Saturday afternoon surrounded by 10-15 boats.  It was a great learning experience and look forward to sailing with everyone in the future."

Casey Call "Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time - and really, really appreciated the wonderful job you and team did in hosting the event. It was first class all the way and a great time!"

Tom Munroe Sr. "After being called over for the 2nd time on Friday afternoon while sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan (low point) and thinking that our chances for a good regatta where toast, we somehow, someway found our way back to a 5th place finish in Race #3, keeping our chances alive. WOW that made us really happy." "Dancing till Midnight to the OuterVibe Band is a close second."

Sean Fidler "Favorite moment was Saturday before dinner and band with the large crowds watching the video's...second favorite was Saturday PM!  Third was the band and the dance floor activities!"

Bryan Sarber "Three Awesome days of sailing. Planing downwind on Saturday. Sailing on Lake MI. Traveling with the Indy fleet. 6 of 6 Indy boats participating. Good group of great friends.

Sailing my best race in the last race. Sort of like making birdie on the 18th, it keeps you coming back. Hanging out on back deck of the McMurray cottage with the Big Dipper and a billion stars lighting up the night. Let's do it all again in Indy Oct 7-9."

Eric Wynsma "I'm fortunate to sail in many classes but events like this really make me wonder why I just don’t focus more on this fantastic class. The people are great and the boats are simple to own ! My favorite moment? Spending 3 days racing with my 13 year old daughter amongst a large fleet of people I truly enjoy spending time with."

Bob Herdrich "Our host, Dick Marvel, was a great host and a great place to stay. As far as memorable moments, I have never sank a M17 while still under sail, 3 times."

Brad and Jandy Sprouse 2011 Favorite moments. "Wonderful old western Michigan yacht club with generations and generations of sailing tradition. A classic uninsulated vintage club that was built in 1906 and has been used by sailing families for over a century. The weather was perfect if you like sun, warm temps and breeze. We raced on the big lake (Lake Michigan), we sailed on the little lake (White Lake),  we had big winds, we had little winds, the Melges 17 fleet saw it all at this year’s nationals. An awesome sport boat for two people, absolutely second to none. The people racing the Melges 17 truly are a great group of individuals. The fleet is composed of many great sailors coming from very diverse sailing backgrounds. We come from E Scows, Melges 20s, MCs, Lightning’s, Snipes, Lasers... and more. The bottom line, we all have a passion for speed and competition in a fun and friendly environment. Advice was shared by all as the top sailors in the class are more than happy to share their secrets for success.  The White Lake Yacht Club members did an outstanding job of running the regatta. Jamie Jones was the PRO, and as always ran a very top notch event. All nine races were sailed over the three day event as planned. All competitors were housed by local club members in their houses. Photographer Jonathan Ahlbrand took photographs each race and had hundreds of great action and artistic sailing shots. Last but not least.....the Saturday night band playing, Jumping Jack Flash and Johnny Cash's...."Ring of Fire"

John LeFevre "I was very happy to get local sailor 14 year-old Keaton Smith to crew for me at the last minute. The first day of racing started with pretty light winds.  By the time we got to race three the wind had picked up and the boat was really moving fast on downwind legs.  It was great to see his reaction as this was his first time on an M17. By the time the afternoon session on Saturday rolled around, he was really having fun. His skills improved on every leg of every race and I think he will develop in to a great crew person for the White Lake Fleet. I was glad to spend the three days with him. It was also great to see quite a few teenagers participate in this regatta not to mention one of them on the winning team."

Jeff Lewis "My favorite moment was race 6, the high wind dump fest. Peter and I were in about 10th-12th around the windward mark on a screaming plane. we realized that the tacking angle to the finish was going to be very low due to the wind speed, then just  as we needed to jibe, we were hit with the highest velocity puff of the weekend. But we had to go or we would not be able to hold the kite to the finish. I started an S jib. steering back off as soon as the main started to come across, but too soon and it was no go. We started again and succeeded still upright.. but now just past layline. Mike Dow was to leeward and was not able to hold his chute. we flew past him and Peter kept dumping and trimming the chute to keep us stable. I was saying " got it, ah maybe not , no I think we,ve got it". We held the chute and crossed in 5th place. Very exciting full throttle sailing.

My other favorite moment was race 7. First windward leg. heavy air. Port tack near layline. Peter suddenly misses his hiking strap and I watch his feet fly past my head and he is out of the boat. All I feel is the tension of the jib sheet on my left flank. I know he is still attached to the line but I’m heeled up hard and can’t see him at all. I’m looking over my left shoulder trying to see where he is. I reach down to release the mainsheet from the jam and seconds later feel Pete climbing over my feet saying keep going  I’m back in. He had flipped heels over head into the drink, but the jib sheet swung him right to the transom were he got an arm back on board and without missing a beat flipped right back into the boat. Wow, to be young and agile like that again. We did not lose more than a boat length on the fleet.

Jack Rillema "Getting 9 races in with sunny skies and every wind condition and direction; all of which a National regatta should include. Racing in Lake Michigan for 3 races will be talked about for a long time! Great fun!"

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