US Nationals – Final

Green Lake, WI, August 26, 2018

Report by Art Rousmaniere

Augie Diaz and Julia Melton topped a small but very competitive fleet at the 2018 edition of the US Nationals held on pristine Green Lake Wisconsin on August 23-26. The classic adage “snooze, you lose” was in play all week as all of the races were hotly contested to the end with no team winning more than one race and multiple finishes having 4-5 of the front-runners finishing overlapped or within seconds of each other.
Day one brought 80 degrees, cloudless skies and moderate building conditions of 6-10 knots. Being a weekday and late in the vacation season meant the we had all the lake to ourselves. Doug Hart with Diego Escobar eeked out a 4-way overlap to take race 1. Art Rousmaniere with Lily Lichtenstein crossed the finish less a mere few boat lengths ahead of Diaz/Melton then Jim Bowers / Julia Rabin to claim race 2. Diaz / Melton finished the day by winning the 3rd race of the day, once again in a close finish.

Green Lake, WI, August 26, 2018

Report by Art Rousmaniere

Augie Diaz and Julia Melton topped a small but very competitive fleet at the 2018 edition of the US Nationals held on pristine Green Lake Wisconsin on August 23-26. The classic adage “snooze, you lose” was in play all week as all of the races were hotly contested to the end with no team winning more than one race and multiple finishes having 4-5 of the front-runners finishing overlapped or within seconds of each other.
Day one brought 80 degrees, cloudless skies and moderate building conditions of 6-10 knots. Being a weekday and late in the vacation season meant the we had all the lake to ourselves. Doug Hart with Diego Escobar eeked out a 4-way overlap to take race 1. Art Rousmaniere with Lily Lichtenstein crossed the finish less a mere few boat lengths ahead of Diaz/Melton then Jim Bowers / Julia Rabin to claim race 2. Diaz / Melton finished the day by winning the 3rd race of the day, once again in a close finish.

 

Friday brought more blustery conditions with a 15-18 knot breeze and gusts close to 25. The Race Committee wisely called for a double-triangle course for the second race which made for fun rides for all. Peter and Connie Commette commanded the day with third and first with Arthur Blodget and Terra Berlinski not far behind, courtesy of an impressive win in the first race. Doug Hart was able to inspect the leech of the Rousmaniere/ Lichtenstein main as the latter capsized on top of him at the first leeward mark of the first race of yet another rounding with 5 boats within a few lengths of each other. But the highlight of the day was formally presented at the evening’s festivities to Lee Griffith and crew Nikki Bruno for Lee’s hike/ falling out of his boat just a few boat lengths shy of the reaching finish in the second race – all within a hair’s breadth of passing a pack of boats to windward. Watch for a posting from any of the smart phone videographers of the fire-side sing-along of

Arthur Blodget’s inspiring musical ballad to commemorate Lee’s backwards full gainer.

Unfortunately, and despite valiant efforts by PRO Grant Frautschi and his team, no more races were to be had for the regatta due to an unusual weather pattern that tempted the fleet to bob around the lake on Saturday with nary a start due to unfulfilled breezes, and then two races on Saturday that started in promising winds but had to eventually be abandoned due to excessive consistent shifts in dying winds.

From a distance, the low turn-out could be a cause for concern to those who equate number of competitors to the quality of a regatta, especially when considering the fact that the previous Green Lake Nationals (1975) drew over 120 Snipes. Instead, the local fleet were the benefactors of the swarm of locusts (the travelling Snipe sailors) who were constantly seen lending advice to all the competitors on the water and off. As local fleet champion, master wooden boat builder and this year’s Master Endurance winner Joe Norton put it, “seeing Lee (Griffith) and others chatting with one of our younger sailors and new Snipe owner was great. Hosting the Nationals has definitely added energy and greater turnout to the fleet this year.” Adding to that was Emma Zeratsky, a 17-year-old hard-core iceboat sailor and fourth generation Snipe sailor (her aunt skippered another Snipe and her great uncle manned a support boat): “This is really cool. I learned a lot about crewing techniques from watching the crews on the leading boats”. The Green Lake Snipe fleet is alive and well, though confessing to not having traveled to any regattas in recent years. One has only to look at a map of how spread out the fleets are in the heartland of the US are to understand how rebuilding fleets can benefit from getting exposed to sailors from all over: their appreciation, enthusiasm and eagerness to soak up whatever tips and tricks from the front-of-the-fleeters was palatable.

Kudos to regatta chair John and Mimi Hayashi for orchestrating an outstanding event. With outstanding social events and hyper-close quarters racing, they nailed both the “serious fun” and “serious sailing” aspects of the class moto.

Position

  Sail Number Sailor(s) Boat Name/Club Points R1 R2 R3 R4 R5

1

USA 30288

Augie Diaz

Julia Melton

Danilu

Coral Reef Yacht Club/Biscayne Bay Yacht Club

12 2 2 1 5 2

2

USA 31297

Doug Hart

Diego Escobar

Mission Bay Yacht Club

14 1 4 2 4 3

3

USA 29442

Peter Commette

Connie Commette

Lauderdale Yacht Club

18 3 5 6 3 1

4

USA 31171

James Bowers, Jr.

Julia Marsh Rabin

Winchester Boat Club

19 4 3 5 2 5

5

USA 30473

Arthur Blodgett

Snigitysnipe

Lauderdale YC Junior Sailing

20 5 6 4 1 4

6

USA 31304

Lee Griffith

Nikki Bruno

Menage a Trois

Surf City Yacht Club

34 6 7 7 6 8

7

USA 29499/31280

Art Rousmaniere

Lily Lichtenstein

Fozie

Winchester Boat Club

36 8 1 3 DNF-18 6

8

USA 30777

Gene Soltero

Laura Dahl O’Leary

Princess Soggy Bottom VIII

Corinthian Sailing Club (Dallas)

38 7 9 8 7 7

9

USA 30390

Howard Miller

Steve Fader

CLSA

45 9 8 9 10 9

10

USA 28470

Stephan Irgens

Monica Irgens

Green Boat

CCSA

51 12 11 10 8 10

11

USA 28463

Michael Hawkes

Emma Moore

Green Lake Yacht Club

60 13 13 14 9 11

12

USA 29628

Francis Pollock

Virginia Pollock

Charge It II

Green Lake Yacht Club

64 14 14 12 11 13

13

USA 28182

Joe Norton

Emma Zeratsky

Green Lake Yacht Club

67 10 10 11 DNS-18 DNS-18

14

USA 25432

Gretchen Feeney

Amber Grim

Green Lake Yacht Club

76 15 DSQ-18 13 DNF-18 12

15

USA 31204

Ray Schmit

Margaret Lawrence

cpyc

77 11 12 DNS-18 DNS-18 DNS-18

16

USA 21047

Ami Gerstein

Truly Scrumptious

Green Lake Yacht Club

82 16 15 15 DNS-18 DNS-18

17

USA 24690

Tim Bice

Tim Bice

green lake yacht club

89 17 DNF-18 DNS-18 DNF-18 DNF-18

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