Michigan-Ontario District Regatta: A Tail of Two Winds
Steve Rajkovich, MI-ONT District Governor
Portage Yacht Club and Fleet 20 hosted the Michigan-Ontario Districts this year and part of the annual Michigan Hot Scot Regatta. 8 boats competed for the Fanshawe Trophy. Included in the race was our new District Governor, Steve Rajkovich.
As is often the case at Portage Lake the wind was going to be an issue. A cold front was expected and for Saturday the wind was expected to be 15-21mph with gusts to 30. Sunday was another story… winds calm to 3mph.
Saturday Morning started off with coffee and registration in the PYC club house and a lot of activity in the parking lot and the docks as folks readied their boats. There was also a lot of sharing of information gleaned from various phone apps as sailors tried to figure out whether the wind was going to stay within safe limits. Portage is a small, inland lake with a reputation for very shifty winds.
The wind was indeed building as Principal Race Office Bill O’Donnel gathered his crew, composed entirely of members of PYC Interlake Fleet 22, a great bunch of guys and gals that chip in every year to make the Flying Scot regatta a success. Brook Smith, chief judge, assistant pro, and scorer; Rick Jarzembowski, service boat driver; Steve Zawaki, mark setter; Ty and Flea Cathy, second mark boat; and Tom Ehman, Judge. Nancy Staub from Fleet 20 served as the on-water recorder. On Sunday Craig Kivi and Tom Kimball took over the mark boat duties.
At the Skippers’ meeting discussion about the wind continued as safe sailing was discussed. The Regatta was planned to consist of five races and the race team intended to do just that. Steve Rajkovich took the opportunity to introduce himself as Governor and to publicly thank Bill Pfund for serving as governor for the last 6 years.
Folks “saddled up” and headed out to the course for he first race. Winds held steady at 16 MPH with moderate gusts and the race was closely contested. At the finish the fleet returned to PYC for lunch. Skippers and crew were asked about going back out and it was decided that the prospects of little to no wind on Sunday persuaded a majority to try one or two more races while the wind held.