The crew at the Saylorville Dam Jam delivered once again. Great shirts (rashguards this year), great camping, great food, great people, great racing, and GREAT WEATHER! I don’t know how they do it every year, but I sure am glad they do it like they do. We were treated to great 10-15 mph winds for course racing on a triangle course Saturday (seven races), and three heats of slalom in 15-25 mph winds on Sunday. Thanks to the entire organizing committee and to all the sailors that came to the event.
The Columbus Ohio Alum Creek gathering was great this year with 10 sails on the water. This first campground based gathering was successful and plans are to do it better next year. We did find the next circle over (row K) has much better launch area and plans are to camp there in 2014. The camp ground boat launch worked well also. Boat traffic in the course area was very minimal .. way far less than down by the marina and beach area. FOUR original Mistral Superlights showed up and Gordon Bittle from Columbus using a Superlight with a 8.5 Prodigy One design sail took 1st place honors. Eric Rahnenfueher from Cleveland using his hydrofoil monster board took second and Scott Haas from Toledo took home 3rd using a Superlight the first 3 races switching to his Prodigy for the last four races. Scott used his Ezzy Lion 8.5 sail.
Despite an unusually late spring this year, Lake Winnebago warmed up quickly and delivered great conditions for the 2013 Walleye Wagatta. Saturday started overcast but quickly warmed into the mid to upper 60s and we raced 3 course races. With onshore NE winds we set the starting line was within 20 yards of shore and Esther Monroe and Larry Reed did a fantastic job of running the starting sequences from shore. We raced a triangle course for the first lap followed by a windward-leeward second lap. The downwind finish brought us right back to shore and the RC did a great job keeping the races coming. Thank you guys a lot!
After the three course races we took about an hour break until 2pm and then did a distance race (counts two times, so R4 and R5 in the scoring) to the sailing launch at Deadwood Point. The wind started out about as strong as we had all day, but as it shifted more easterly we had several big lulls, shifts, and swirls. Kevin, Tim, and I ran a path closer to shore while Don, Alex, Peter, and Wayne took a route further from shore. As we approached the finish Don played the shifts the best and got to shore in 1st place, followed by Tim Cleary as he snaked along the shoreline. Alex made it next from the outside group then Kevin and I followed. Peter and Wayne finished up the mix of inside path vs outside path.
The finish of the race was at the cooler of beverages that Larry and Esther drove up up to Deadwood. Everybody had a drink or two (or three) as we discussed the next race. We thought of racing all the way to the lighthouse at the south end of the lake but because of the unstable wind we decided the next race (again, distance races count twice, so R5 and R6 in the scores) would be back to Windpower.
The Sport Fleet of Andrea Gratton and Mark Schmitz took off a few minutes ahead of A Fleet and finished ahead of the A Fleet leaders. Way to go! In A Fleet, Alex Monroe jumped out to an early lead with the rest of the fleet mixing it up. We got close to Alex around midway, but then he stomped the gas and took off for a clear victory. Don Altmyer and Peter Hartwich sailed a tight race to finish 2nd and 3rd.
After racing we hung around Windpower sharing stories and watching Kevin clean some pan fish some local kids caught from the river and left for him. Mike Reed made it up from IL to join us, and the Koeberls and Deusters also stopped by to join the fun. Several of us went to dinner at Schwarz’s Supper Club and had a great time.
Sunday morning we got bright skies and great 10 mph NNE wind, so we went right into course racing. We ran four consecutive course races and every race saw hotly contested racing, especially on the first upwind leg. The A Fleet was very close throughout the day with all finishers typically completing the two lap course within a minute of each other.
Thank you to all the racers for coming, Esther and Larry for RC, and the entire Windpower crew for the prep work, equipment, and fantastic location. Thank you Mike Reed for assisting Kevin with the rebuild effort on the pontoon engine. Thank you to my Dad, Wayne Anderson, for all the help preparing for the event and with buoys and boat work over the weekend.
“Low Boom” Larry Reed and the Iowa crew are pleased to announce the Notice of Race for the 2013 Saylorville Dam Jam. Larry says the lake levels are up to normal and he has once again ordered great wind and weather that the event has been blessed with in the past.
The ice is off Lake Winnebago, the wind is blowing, and it’s time to start thinking about racing again! The MOWIND Race Series will start May 4-5 in Fond du Lac, WI at the Walleye Wagatta. Click HERE for the Notice of Race. Contact Arden Anderson at arden.EL11@gmail.com with any questions.