Glow Regatta Caps Midwest District Season

There are a lot of things you can control about a regatta: advertise your upcoming event plenty early, line up race committee members, arrange for registration, organize food and trophies. The one thing we all know that you can’t organize is the wind. For our seventh annual Glow we have become a well-oiled machine: registration, t-shirt orders, race committee, it was all working flawlessly. Then came the weather to mess us up. All week we’d been watching NOAA predictions. There was a gust line on Saturday that had me worried on Tuesday. I was sure by Wednesday it would be gone. Wrong. It was there and growing stronger. Same thing Thursday. By Friday I couldn’t even look. What can you do? You host a regatta and you wait and hope the weather will cooperate. Saturday dawned calm. I knew that could be misleading, but I was privately hopeful. Even by the skippers’ meeting at 10 a.m. it didn’t seem too bad. There were no whitecaps, after all. When we launched an hour later, however, conditions were looking decidedly less calm. Seasoned sailors were looping and spinning on their way to the course. We headed out and looped and spun ourselves. Happily, the race committee saw the situation and, instead of starting a race, sent everyone in. Luckily no one capsized but there were some close calls. In the end the only capsize was later in the evening, after dinner, when a picnic table overbalanced, sending a couple sailors overboard! Hardly any alcohol was involved, honest! After all the boats came in and were pulled out we sat and watched in wonder as the wind grew and grew. There was talk of gusts to 32 or 38 mph. This was a rare instance where not a soul grumbled about the race committee’s call … probably because we’d all been out and experienced those gusts! 

Here are all the chairs toppled by the wind
A few sailors went into Clinton to experience the Apple and Pork Festival (it’s a Midwest thing, I think), but most people hung around at the club and visited. We had a volleyball net, but the ground was like cement since it had been so dry, so I didn’t even pull it out…note to self, we need one of those bean bag toss games… The beer, courtesy of Deb and Luther Torgerson, of Madison, WI, held up all day, though. 

Camp Torgerson!
We moved up our dinner schedule because of the threat of rain. After our steak cookout, followed by brownies and cookies and more beer we all sat by the bonfire and decked ourselves out in glow sticks. No sailing, but so far, a good regatta even so.  Luckily the rain held off until the middle of the night. At least one tent was flooded but I think everyone else stayed fairly dry. The morning dawned clear and cooler and the wind was, as Goldilocks would say, just right. Not too big, not too small. After a hot breakfast cooked over the fire by Ken Johnson and his trusty sous chefs Chris Tesdal, Jamie Cash, and Maria Benner, we all headed to the course. We had one minor setback at the ramp when Henry Schultz’s Prius got stuck in the gravel. Luckily that car is so light we just pushed it right out and used a four-wheel drive to pull his trailer. Then we were in business!! Even though our cutoff was noon, we fit in three, good-length, windward-leeward, twice-around races in about 10 mph wind, which I think was enough for everyone to feel as if they’d really been sailing. The wind was shifty enough that fleet positions changed frequently, which was both frustrating and exhilarating, of course.  In the end, Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu, sailing Rick’s Café Américain, sailed strong and consistently, followed closely by Harry and Carrie Carpenter, sailing Eva, a new boat he delivered to Frank and Marianne Gerry at the regatta. 

Here are Harry, Ryan and Frank at Frank's new boat, Eva

Randy Adolphs and his son, Dave, sailing Into the Mystic, had a strong regatta, finishing third. Ben Williams and Deb Aronson finished fourth and Frank and Marianne Gerry finished fifth. This year trophies were neon-colored towels, embroidered with contrasting, neon thread. In a new Glow tradition, we offered hamburgers for lunch. Considering how fast everyone stopped what they were doing and came to eat, I realize we should have started doing that years ago, rather than having everyone hit the road hungry. So, another note to self, buy more hamburgers next year! Here are the final results