August 13 – Rain was the story of the day…lots, lots, lots of rain. Just as it appeared to be breaking and a nice little 4 kt. wind developed on the water, PRO Bill decided to give it a shot and sent the ladies out for racing. Unfortunately the rain returned during rigging, this time in a slightly heavier fashion. After some delay and course adjustment, the first warning signal went out at around 4:55 pm.
Three boats were registered. Connie Berchem and Teri Fosmire (#951) were coming off of their surprise victory at the July 4th regatta at Lake Norman. They were going to be challenged by Nicky Einthoven and local crew who I unfortunately cannot remember her name at the moment. Rounding out the fleet was Paula Squared (Paula Hennon and Paula Pacheco) in #483. After a clean start in Race 1, Paula squared went low and fast, eventually popping out ahead halfway up the beat. The wind was very light and of course shifty – at one point, there was about 90 degrees difference in points of sail of the 3 boats on the same tack. PS rounded in first but apparently Paula H. forgot she was driving and took a 90 degree turn toward Vermont for about 10 minutes, allowing Einthoven and Berchem to pass. Berchem and Einthoven built on their lead during the second leg but Connie just got inside position at the top mark and rounded ahead. A little shift and increase in velocity from the right got their chute flying and Berchem/Fosmire took the bullet with Einthoven close behind. A duck actually finished first but race committee determined that he didn’t do his penalty turns after fouling Berchem.
After running up to the time limit in Race 1, PRO Bill set a much shorter course for the second race in an effort to “get one in before dark”. Fortunately a little breeze built in from the south that allowed a pretty fair race to get off. Einthoven found the stronger breeze on the right up the first leg and rounded just ahead of PS and Berchem. The places stayed the same until the final leg to the “upwind” finish (which by this time was a close reach). Einthoven and PS didn’t immediately fly their chutes but thought otherwise as Berchem/Fosmire broke out “red baron” on a nice gybe set. PS got their kite up first and managed to get on top of Einthoven’s wind. There was some confusion if the race was finishing, and PS appeared to share in it. As Paula H. put it afterward, “All of a sudden we saw a mark and so I swerved to avoid it”. Fortunately for them they swerved across the finish line to take the race, with Einthoven only a half of boat length behind. The finishing order in Race 2 made the series a tie (4-4-4), which was broken by the PS bullet in Race 2. Congratulations to Paula Hennon and Paula Pacheco on their Women Nationals victory!
Tomorrow the open event begins with a 10:30 am start. Wind forecast is still 12-16 kt. so we expect to get in the full slate of 4 races. Look for updates here.
Women Nationals Results
483 Paula Hennon/Paula Pacheco 3 1 4
951 Connie Berchem/Teri Fosmire 1 3 4
1116 Nicky Einthoven/Local Crew 2 2 4