Naples "New Year Regatta" Report
This was one of the best regattas I have sailed in a long time. The Naples club did a super job with everything including great weather. Tony Gonsalves is a top notch Race Director. He gave us great courses and kept the action going without tiring us out too much. I was a little disappointed in the small turnout, but a few of the always make it skippers had rare issues this time around that prevented them from attending. We missed Tom Phillips, Jon Luscomb and both Perkins to name a few. BUT, this allowed us to sail one fleet with some very competitive skippers. There was only one protest that was going to go to the room, but I was informed it was mistaken identity on my part. Sorry again to Larry Markey for my mistake. He stood by his innocence the whole time, but was willing to take the fall. Glad it was resolved before he got DSQed. That was a good sport.
Tony Gonsalves (r) consults with one of his "Green Shirt" crew.
On Saturday, the rave venue was the pond at the water park. This lake is better for East-West winds. Tony set a great course for the 8-12 kts of breeze. That is the high end of the A-rig, and a few people switched to Bs. We sail 14 long heats in a single fleet. Picking the right side of the course was a challenge and Dick Hedderick got it right better than any of us. Ted Flack was on his heals though, and it looked like it would be the Dick and Ted show all weekend. It took a while, but I started to move up to join Ted and Dick at the top of the leader board along with Robert Greer and Gerhard Kelter.
For Sunday the forecast was for a Southerly breeze. This meant we all moved to venue number 2 by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Again Tony and company set up a great course. The wind was lighter than Saturday and maybe a little more shifty. Dick Hedderick was on fire. It was almost like he was ordering up each wind shift just for him. I did all I could do to hold on to second place, while some great battles were being had between Kelter, Flack and Greer. Calvin Obara and Chuck Millican were in the mix as well. Calvin unfortunately had issues on Saturday that had him sit out a few races and Chuck had a failure on Sunday that sent him home early.
The trophies are awesome by the way. They light up with a rainbow
Thanks again to Tony and the whole Naples crew for hosting a really enjoyable regatta. The rumor is this may be the last EC12 regatta in Naples. I sure hope it is not, because it was simply a great weekend of fun racing with wonderful people. Thanks everyone at the NMYC.
L-R: Gerhard Kelter 5th, Ted Flack 4th, Robert Greer 3rd, Joe Walter 2nd, Dick Hedderick 1st.