2017 Palm Beach Gardens Valentine's
The 2017 Valentine’s Regatta/Region 7 District Championship festivities kicked off Friday evening at 6:00PM. Chester Brewer and Libby hosted 30 hungry sailors and friends to a lovely BYOB dinner buffet which included a large glazed spiral cut ham, slow cooked pulled BBQ pork, a nice smoked Turkey, rolls, drink set-ups and ice. PBG Model Yacht Squadron members added to the fare and brought light hor dourves for all to enjoy. No one was leaving hungry. The highlight of the evening was live guitar and songs by Rich Mojica. Rich is a professional musician working permanent gigs in our area and a new member of PBMYS. He sails Solings, RG 95 and EC-12’s. He played for nearly 3 hours and performed songs by Cat Stevens, Lowell George and the Beatles to name just a few.
The morning was stunning with an ESE breeze at 6-8 knots, a cool 60 degrees and a cloudless sky. Club volunteers arrived early to set up fresh brewed coffee, orange juice, donut holes, homemade banana bread, homemade lemon bars and homemade caramel injected brownies (whoa!). The sailors trickled in in various conditions from the previous night’s debauchery. The RD stalked the edge of the pond with a Great Blue Heron pinching grass, tossing it into the air and imagining possible race course mark combinations. ESE is not the best direction for this pond. A course was set, the opening ceremonies were complete and B-fleet took to the water in accordance with the Notice of Race at 9:30.
The Valentine’s Day Regatta was started by a few members PBGMYS circa 2004. Harry Strunk was one of those members. Sadly, Harry passed about two years ago before he turned 60. Harry’s family gave his EC-12 “Shamu” to Doctor Bob Greer. Shamu is unique because during her time in the mold, the gel-coat was shot to resemble a killer whale. Shamu was sailed in Harry’s honor by Bob this year.
The first race showed the RD that the course was going to work out well by creating challenges and many tactical opportunities. After four races, the cream began to come to the top of the fleet with the top five being R. Kahle 7, D. Brawner 10, A. Perkins 13, J. Walter 19 and C. Milican 25. The breeze was quite shifty – ranging from 10 to 90 degrees with the median locking in at South East. Lunch included pizza, hotdogs, and Luscomb’s homemade “No-Bull” Chili. Clearly everyone had an appetite by the time it was time to dig in.
At the end of the Day, 9 races were completed and the top 5 including one throw out were: R. Kahle 16, A. Perkins 18, D. Brawner 31 and J. Walter and E. Scavella tied at 34. The top two were very consistent to say the least. Reichert Kahle scored bullets in races 5 and six, but Alan Perkins finished the day closing the spread between he and Reichert with 3 bullets in a row! The Race Director ended the day a bit early at 3:30 as the wind shifted more easterly and began to fade. Everyone had a fun day, and behavior was as if the sailors were in church!
Dinner was Dutch treat at Carrabbas Italian Grill. The results of the day were displayed for all to see while cocktails flowed smoothly. Everyone enjoyed their dinners, the service and the company. Afterward, Bob and Kelly Greer led a group to the beach and water’s edge to admire the bright full moon on a gorgeous South Florida winter evening.
Sunday morning dawned with another post card weather day. Clear, cool and a surprising shifty NW breeze at 3 to 5 knots welcomed us to the pond – Perfect Conditions. Another fine spread of fresh brewed coffee, fruit and homemade baked goods were provided. The race director rallied the sailors to hurry up and get set with the goal of getting in as many races as possible before the forecasted easterly came in. One race for each fleet was completed before the wind began to fade as the gradient fought off the sea breeze.
After races 10 and 11, the top five changed. It was reported that Bob Greer had spent the evening in a sweat hut with Shamu eating peyote and channeling Carlos Caseneda's “The Teachings of Don Juan”. It worked! The top 5 raw scores after 11 races were: Kahle 32, Perkins 33, Brawner 42, Walter 62 and Greer 73. The last Race could decide the regatta. The wind had shifted to the east which made it impossible to set up a very challenging course. The first leg was set to be a long close reach making the pin end of the line extremely favored. A good start was critical. The 1 minute starting clock began as the 12 boat A-fleet jockeyed for position. The leaders luffed their way along the near shore end of the line on starboard tack with less than 15 seconds to go. One boat luffed on port tack at the pin as the clock ticked away. At 8 seconds the sails began to come in and the boats accelerated toward the pin. KAPOW! The one port tack boat did not clear the first starboard tack boat. The dominos began to fall with Perkins tangling with the port tack boat and Dave Branning tangling with Joe Walter. For the first time in two days, tempers came up. The crash boat was summoned to untangle them while Kahle sailed away free and clear to a second. After a four party hearing with Ken Morrison, Perkins, Walter and Branning all won redress. The offending port tack boat properly retired. After all that, Alan was still scored a second place which still was not good enough and evaporated his chances of catching Kahle.
Thank You to the Army of volunteers that cooked, cleaned, rescued boats, kept score and on and on. On behalf of the Palm Beach Gardens Model Yacht Squadron – Thank You all for coming and we look forward to hosting again in 2018! Fair Winds.