Palm Beach Gardens Regatta Report
Kahle and Buress take the first wins of 2006
By Bob Greer & Dick Reinke

The Palm Beach Gardens MYS 2006 Regatta is complete and some of the "Usual Suspects" showed up at the top. Wet and wild the first day and picture perfect, Chamber of Commerce weather the next. And so it goes.

Twenty-four skippers were registered and 22 were there for the skippers meeting Saturday morning. The weather was threatening but we were game to get on the water. Joe Walter, Florida EC-12 Chairman, had done the math and we divided the 2 fleets according to last year’s scores. The top 11 scoring sailors from the 2005 season were placed in the A-fleet and lower scoring/new skippers were placed in the B-fleet.

Saturday started off cool and breezy. The A-fleet enjoyed 8-10 knot NNW breeze and completed their heat in good time. The B-fleet had completed their 1st race when: WAM; the predicted cold front hit us with 25+ knots and the boats were blown all asunder. Ed Gelina suffered a puncture from a collision but everyone else made it ashore safely. Carroll Buress, however, just could not get enough and continued to sail through the squall. The lightning and thunder forced us to retreat to the high school across the street to consider our options. Thankfully, the women had lunch so we ate and watched the pelting rain and wind from shelter. Thanks to Dan Richardi, who went home and pulled up aviation weather, we voted to cancel for the day and resume at 0800 on Sunday.

We rejoined at Patty Mac’s, a traditional Irish Pub, at 1830. The private room with a warm fireplace quickly removed any of the gloominess we felt. Or maybe it was the ales … and Irish Whiskey. At any rate the great food (open menu) and libations were conducive to a very pleasant gathering. The expression "Red sky at night, sailors delight" was heard more than once as the evening progressed.
Sunday dawned cool and brisk after the frontal passage. After a brief skippers’ meeting, and hot coffee provided by those outstanding wives, we were ready to go at it again. The severe clear 8-10 knot breeze was perfect for the 3 back-to-back B-fleet races. We are fortunate Lake Catherine is large enough to set good windward/leeward courses in almost any wind. The 3 races had us back on keel to complete a regatta.

The wind gradually built as the morning wore on and some skippers switched to "B" rigs, but it never seemed to make a great deal of difference as the racing was so close that no boat seemed to be always on top. The quality of the skippers was evident by the paucity of "holds" and the very few protests and premature starts. The new 2 fleet system of 2 races on, 2 off format helped; and for a "bubble" sailor like me offered a respite from the EORS/P/R marathon.

We were able to complete 10 races, allowing for the welcome throw-out (many 11's and such) and were out of the water by 1230.The skippers had voted to allow a later than 1230 start if necessary; but again, in tribute to the great group of sailors, we were done on time!

We enjoyed ANOTHER fabulous lunch by the wonderful wives who add so much to the away regatta experience. A special thanks to Ann Gelina, Kelli Greer, Patty Strunk, and Alma Reinke and all the others who prepared such delicious sweet goodies for our enjoyment.

The regatta progressed very smoothly, weather aside, to the great support provided by the other PBGMYS fleets, especially the Soling 1M,led by Dan Richardi. Another special "Bravo Zulu" (U.S. Navy for great job) to Ed Lunay as scorekeeper. As an aside, the Solings regularly put over 15 boats on the lake every Sunday.

A newcomer to the EC-12 is Carroll Buress, a champion Soling 1M sailor and master builder in that class. His first place showing in his first regatta is telling and expect him to become a top-notch EC-12 skipper soon. Another notable performance was the "Bullet' posted by the "Chief" John Garver. His teammates from Jacksonville could hardly contain themselves from coaching him on his way to a sweet victory.

It was our great pleasure to host such a super group of people for the first regatta of the 2006 season and we look forward to seeing you all at the pond.

A-Fleet Results

1 Reichard Kahle 22  
2 Joe Walter 31  
3 John Bottensek 32* tie breaker
4 Harry Strunk 32  
5 Doug Bowe 48  
6 Bob Dudinsky 51  
7 Baron Bremer 52  
8 Jack Wubbe 60  
9 Jim Pardee 66  
10 Don Wright 67  
11 Brett Biwer 85  

B-Fleet Results

1 Carroll Buress 19  
2 Tom Germer 24  
3 Ed Gelina 28  
4 David Degaust 38  
5 Rex Theile 44* tie breaker
6 John Garver 44  
7 Bud Elder 48  
8 John Egizi 57  
9 John Biles 86  
10 Jim Black 99 Did not sail on Sunday