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2013 Wave North Coast Championships

Photos by: Tom Thanasiu

We all dream of an island paradise and while doing so usually picture some in the South Pacific or the Caribbean, but there are some awesomely great tourist islands in northern USA. You all have probably heard of Martha’s Vineyard and Mackinac Island, but hold on.., they don’t hold a candle to Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

This gorgeous little island five miles off the mainland has steep white cliffs on the western edges, sloping down to beaches on the east side. It is heavily wooded and beautiful. The island has about 2500 summertime residents and an average of about 25,000 daily visitors that flock to the island on the Jet Express Ferry and Miller Ferry.

Mackinac has its HOOK, such as having no cars, and lots of horses and horse dung, by the way. Put-in-Bay’s hook is Antique Cars. Most of the islanders drive antique cars everywhere. And every Sunday around 2 pm they have an Antique Car Parade which has had as many as 109 cars. There are 32 Model T Fords on the island, and many more Model As.

The island is considered the crown jewel of the Lake Erie islands, and Put-in-Bay is nicknamed the “Key West of the North, “ offering exciting nightlife with live musical entertainment to satisfy all generations – Strolling Barbershop Singers, bagpipers, steel drums and Ohio very best entertainers, i.e., Pat Dailey and Mike “Mad Dog” Adams. There are also several award-winning wineries where many folks gather to have a taste of the grape.

Prior Winners fly their trophy flags from their masts after back at the beach or dock

Waves racing in the harbor in front of the Perry Monument. Perry's Victory and International War Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie, near Ohio's South Bass Island, in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led a fleet to victory in one of the most significant naval battles to occur in the War of 1812. The memorial also celebrates the lasting peace between Britain, Canada, and the United States that followed the war.

A 352 foot (107 m) monument — the world's most massive Doric column — was constructed in Put-in-Bay, Ohio by a multi-state commission from 1912 to 1915 "to inculcate the lessons of international peace by arbitration and disarmament." Beneath the stone floor of the monument lie the remains of three American officers and three British officers. It is among the tallest monuments in the United States (the Gateway Arch, San Jacinto Monument, and the Washington Monument are taller). Although substantially completed in 1915, funding problems prevented the proper completion of a fully realized memorial complex.[2] In 1919 the federal government assumed control of the monument and provided additional funding. The official dedication was celebrated on July 31, 1931. In 2002, 2.4 million dollars was spent on a new visitor center. The memorial is visited by 200,000 people each year.

View from atop the monument

The Regatta
This major regatta has been considered the largest fresh-water regatta in the world since 1886. The I-LYA Bay Week Regatta is one of the premier events in the Great Lakes. Rick White said, “I got my first sailboat, a Shark Catamaran, in 1965 and sailed this event and absolutely loved it. I have not missed one since!”
There are feeder races from all over the Lake on the days leading up to the actual Bay Week Regatta. For the catamarans it is the Sandusky Steeplechase, from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay, Ohio, a 20 + mile race across open water.

Skip Kaub (left) and Mike Fahle (right) won the Rick White Perpetual Trophy (a hand-carved replica of Perry's Monument which was hand-carved by Ed Cutchall. This award for first to finish. They also won the Bill Wells Sailing Spirit Trophy for best on corrected time.

Then there are three days of racing and partying. One can not be sure which drains you the most. There is never a time when a party is not scheduled. The small course adds to that with a Wine and Cheese Party at Bullet Borman’s Cottages after racing is over.
Waves on a reach to the leeward mark. Jet Express Ferry in background with Perry's Monument overlooking the race course.

This year we had two Wave Classes participating. How this happened was at a get-together at the HCA Midwinter Nationals in Mississippi, where the Wave attendance was the best HCA had ever seen. Jack Woehrle talked up the Wave North Coast Championship and wondered if the IWCA would allow an HCA Wave Class. The idea was present to IWCA President Rick White, who immediately was all for it. He said, “We have always welcomed any Wave.”
And so the idea happened. We ended up with 26 registered Wave, which is the best turnout we have had for a while. While the Waves have been the largest class at the regatta for a number of years now, the largest turnout was in the mid-2000 when the Wave North Americans there.
All the boats started together, but each class was scored separately. Colored ribbons determined which class you were in. In that way you would not have to worry too much about covering a boat in a different class.

Two HCA Waves (colored sails) mix it up with the IWCA Waves (white sails). #38 doing a pretty good roll-tack.

The Races
On the first day in excellent winds in the 15 mph category, but they managed to create some pretty lumpy seas as well. It was quite difficult trying to drive through seas that were about 4' high and about 13' apart with a 13' boat.
Doug Seib started things off well for himself on the first day of racing getting two bullets and a third and fourth, thereby taking a two point lead over Rick White. Sharon Woodruff was another two points behind White in 3rd place. And one point behind Woodruff was Ray Matszak and Jim Hildebrandt. Obviously, this is a very tough fleet and racing is always very tight.

Doug Seib won a lot of the races, but due to a flooding hull, missed two races. Somehow he managed to still come in second place overall

On Saturday, the second day of racing, showed everyone that this venue has a little bit of everything for everybody. Sure enough it was light, shifting winds, with quite a bit of powerboat chop to contend with. The object seemed to be to keep up the boat speed and drive through the chop when you saw it.
Bad news struck Seib – he was sinking. Either a drain plug fell out or it was not properly put in, but the end result was he had to sail to the nearest island and drain the boat, missing two races.
Meanwhile Rick White was really smelling the wind and the windshifts and took three bullets and a second – his worst race in the series was a 5th. Seib got back in for the last two races of the day, winning one race and taking a 2nd in the other. Amazingly, with a throwout, he was still in 2nd place, but 11 points down from White.

Rick White on the way to a first place finish. On the second day in the light stuff, White took three bullets and a second place to seal a victory.

Sharon Woodruff was hanging on to 3rd spot, four points behind Seib, and again there Matuszak and Hildebrandt one point behind her.

Sharon Woodruff had one of her best regattas of the year, hanging on to third place through most of the regatta

Ray Matuszak was always right there in the picture and despite a three-way tie for second place over, ended up fourth.

Newcomer to the Wave, Jim Hildebrandt had an awesome regatta, and in the three-way tie for second, ended up third overall.

On Sunday morning, the last day of the regatta, the forecast was for 15-20 winds out of the North and colder weather. None of which was true. Actual winds were 8 knots out of the north – perfect. And the temperature was certainly not what you would call cold.
Rick White’s game plan was to stick to Seib like velcro and to not allow any of those 11 points to vanish. White was 2nd around the weather mark of the first race with Seib close behind. Seib slipped by White on the first reach, as did a couple of other boats.
After rounding the leeward mark for the second beat White was forced out of a good lane in which he was able to keep Seib close. The boat causing the trouble was an International Canoe in the monohull class, who was on starboard. White had to duck the Canoe and was now down in bad air.
Later White said, “All of us on port tack kept getting lifted and lifted. I thought to myself this sure looks like the ‘Great Circle Route’ and tacked over the left side of the course, and sure enough, I tacked to port near the left layline and passed the entire fleet except for Jim Hildebrandt, who won the race. White settled for 2nd and Seib took a 4th place, now falling back to 13 points behind the leader.

Going around the reaching mark.

White rolled on to three 2nd place finishes in the last races to win overall by 20 points. There was now a three was tie for second with 40 points – Seib, Hildebrandt and Matuszak, and that is the order the tie breaker came up with. Now one point behind those second spot ties was Sharon Woodruff, who had to settle for 5th place overall.

Heading upwind from the leeward mark

Awarded Finishes:
1. Rick White
2. Doug Seib
3. Jim Hildebrandt

Rick White toasting his victory with warm water, with only one more race to go.

Below is a great series of shots of one of the starts. This was a bit of a port favored line and through these pictures you can see the jockeying for position to get to the port end of the line and in good air.

Jim Glanden with the white top dipped in just ahead of Rick White (50). Just to windward of White are Jack Woehrle (colored sail) and Ray Matuszak (24)

Glanden continues down the line

White, knowing he cannot get the pin end, holds up the boats above him to make room below to drive for speed just before the start

Here you can see the open water between White and Glanden (bow in right side)

And now it is show time. White bears off for speed, sheets in and keep Woehrle just off his hip

And White got off to a great start. He was able to pull away from Woehrle (shark bow), others above are dropping back as well, and eventually sailed up even to Glanden and tacked for the weather mark. White was first to the pin.

For the HCA Jim Glanden of Delaware never had anyone close. On the first day he had finishes of 1-3-2-1 to take a 3 point lead over Jack Woehrle. One point behind Woehrle was Matt Wirth, followed by Ben Wells.

Jim Glanden pretty much dominated the HCA Class. Of the HCA Class, he was the only one that was able to sail amongst the IWCA sailors

The light air on the second day suited Glanden to a TEE, as he took all aces, creating an 8 point lead over Woehrle. Wirth was still hanging in there in 3rd place, another six point back. Ben Wells was now secure in 4th place, with the next boat on his heels was Mimi Appel down by another 20 points.

Jack Woehrle was a strong contender to Glanden, but ended up in second place overall

The last day had good air, although it was forecasted to be howling. Glanden sealed the deal with two bullets and two thirds to win by 15 points. Woehrle had a 10th place finish that allowed Wirth to close, but held on to second place overall. Wirth finished 3rd place.
Returning to sailing again after a number of years being a landlubber, Bob Everson spend most of the regatta learning the ins and outs of the Wave.

Mimi Appell was sailing well and finished in the top third of the class

The first reach of the course was a deep reach, yet you needed to read your telltales for ultimate speed

All the way from Minnesotta -- Hannah and Daniel Birkholz. Hannah finished ahead of Daniel in the final standings

When sailing downwind sometimes you get in some ugly positions. Here Daniel Birkholz shows a demanding style

Award Finishes:
1. Jim Glanden
2. Jack Woehrle
3. Matt Wirth


Rick White being presented the Blue Pennant for First Place in the IWCA Fleet, along with bottle of Mount Gay Rum

Doug Seib, despite all the bad luck, still ended up in a three way tie for second, which broke in his favor. Here is with Steve Harris, Vice-Commodore of the I-LYA

New to the Wave this year, Jim Hildebrandt gets the third place pennant

Jim Glanden wins the HCA Class

Jack Woehrle takes the second place overall in the HCA

Matt Wirth held on to third place all the way through the regatta

Some People Pictures:

Left to right: Jack Woehrle, Nan and Ray Matuszak, Sharon Woodruff and Doug Seib

Sharon Woodruff, in front of the WELCOME I-LYA SAIL sign

Jim Hildebrandt took third in the IWCA

Matt Wirth was happy with his finishes in this first time back in quite a while.

Mimi Appell does her pose

Winner of the HCA Class, Jim Glanden

Skip Kaub makes his return to the Wave Class

Daniel Birkholz derigging while talking to Roger Davis

Mark Scarpelli

Rick White's Golden, Coby, gets some cuddling while waiting in the 1908 Model T Ford Speedster

The Awards Party is Over, So, Now it is Time to Go to the Wine and Cheese Party at Bullet Borman's Cottages -- a tradition of many, many years




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