This past weekend, NHYC held the annual W.D. Schock Memorial Regatta. The regatta includes one-design racing for Lehman 12 (A and B Fleets), Lido 14 (A and B Fleets), Harbor 20 (A and B Fleets), and Harbor 25 boats on two consecutive days (Saturday & Sunday) in March each year.
Naturally, we were blessed with great spring type weather (about 70 degrees on Saturday and 66 on Sunday) with sufficient winds on both days to complete 7 races for the Harbor 20’s. The A Fleet had 12 participants while the B Fleet had a record 18 participants for a total of 30 Harbor 20’s and 14 races over the two-day event, which included a buffet dinner on Saturday night.
A first for the Fleet, Newport Harbor Yacht Club provided each boat with a transponder so that their track over the coarse was recorded and could be watched live, or played back to review the race. Below is a clip of Fleet A, Race 1.
The Winners were: (all of us, for a great weekend!!). But really, the winners are:
1st Place: Skipper Terry Gloege and Crew Byron Capps
2nd Place: Skipper Tom Schock and Crew Jane Schock
3rd Place: Skipper Bob Yates
1st Place: Skipper Walter Johnson and Crew Karen Pierce (promoted to A Fleet for winning a 2-day regatta)
2nd Place: Skipper Helen Duncan and Crew Audrey Nye
3rd Place: Skipper Jack Cannon and Crew Phil Crosby
We asked Emile Pilafidis, #209, who recently qualified for A Fleet and experienced his first A Fleet regatta, to share a bit about his experience sailing in the A Fleet for the first time:
I advanced to A from B with my results in the Midwinter Regatta in February; ended with a first place finish in Bs, a result I hadn’t expected! I got a number of lucky breaks during that regatta, and at the end I was on top by one point over a three–way tie for 2nd-4th, and by two points over 5th! So close!
Needless to say, my expectations for the Schock Regatta this past weekend, against other As, were minimal! But I did agree on an objective with my crew, Alice, that it would be great not to be in last place for the regatta!
So with no pressure and no expectations, we began the regatta, with one core strategy, namely, to try and follow Tom Schock! As it turned out Tom got tangled up at the start of the first race, and I had to quickly decide to follow other boats! The strategy worked better in the second race, and after the first two races in light air, I found myself in sixth place out of twelve boats! This of course didn’t last long, since we came 12th and 10th the next two races, despite having sailed without making any major mistakes. We just were not as good at the start or as fast as the others. At the end of Saturday, after four races, we were next to last, but only a couple of points behind three other boats, and feeling quite ok!
On Sunday we realized there would be a throw out race which sounded like a plus for us, and started with the same plan in mind! Yet we quickly realized that Tom was the wrong target, since he got so far ahead winning races 5 and 6! We tried to sail close to others, but ended with an 11th and a 10th. At the final race, we crossed the start line in decent order, continued on starboard tack to near the C mark, tacked twice, reached the mark in the first group of boats, and followed Tom and Terry Gloege all the way to the D mark, while noticing Bob Yates and Nick Froehlich sailing slightly faster on the right side of the course. At the finish line we ended behind all of them in fifth place, yet with our best result of the two days. Later we found out that we had finished 10th overall, and were thrilled!
Reflecting on the experience, my take-aways are that is good to have a plan but need to be very flexible, that is crucial not to make major mistakes in the course chosen, and that it is so much more fun to sail in the middle of the fleet or higher and not way in the back!
Oh yes, and that it will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun racing with As!
So we intend to enjoy our year as As, and hope to get lucky again at just the right time so we can extend our stay!
Emile Pilafidis, Party Globe # 209
The Harbor20 Association would like to thank the NHYC for hosting the event, and specifically to Jennifer Lancaster, Charlie Underwood and all the Race Committee volunteers for hosting an excellent W.D. Schock Memorial Regatta again this year!