Lotawana Fall Regatta Report
Here is my race report from the Lake Lotawana Fall C Scow regatta. The wind forecast for Saturday was for winds building into the upper teens with gusts into the low twentys. We were sailing a boat we had never seen before and had only sailed a "C"scow one other time in the last dozen years. That is my excuse for going slow. Like I always say "sailboat races are a geometry game, but you have to go fast".
We were late getting to the starting line for the first race (Saturday AM), arriving at the boat end as the one minute gun fired. We moved on down the line toward the pin, behind the second or third row of boats. The starting gun went and we still were behind the fleet and not yet at the pin. We continued on and then crossed the line on port at the pin, maybe 15 seconds late. The wind shifted left and we were suddenly in 1st place. Rounded the weather mark third and dropped nine more boats by the finish. The Lee's Summit airport reported winds over twenty, gusting to 33 MPH. Fred and I were a just a little light at 320 lbs.
We were not able to find a third crew for the second and third races so we withdrew before the start. Five others chose not to race either. We decided we didn't need to beat ourselves up and risk breaking borrowed equipment so we joined the Lotawana Homes Tour in progress.
Fourth race (Sunday AM) had a heavily favored right end with a predominately one tack (starboard) beat. The fleet set up early and we were able to sneak in next to the eventual regatta winner at the boat end. Lead off the starting line, rounded 3rd, dropped 3 more boat and finished 6th.
Last race, Same set up as race 4. The fleet set up late and we got squeezed out at the boat end. Circled around and started last. Our choices were to follow the fleet or take a short tack away from the mark and hope for some leverage and a shift. We worked the right side and picked up a few boats upwind. Picked up a few more down wind. Picked up a few more upwind. Finished 9th.
Saturday we never could get the helm to lighten up in the high winds even with the "hair cut" sail. When you are fighting the boat you are not making correct decisions.
Sunday the boat felt much better with the light-medium sail. We over rotated the mast and the helm was much lighter. One major problem tho, the rudder was continually trailing a string of bubbles. Looked like a motor boats exhaust. If it was my boat I'd spend some major time finding out just what caused that and fix it. The rudder doesn't have as much effect in air as it does in water.