by Anita Bersie-Chabalowski
Once again, the crew from Green Lake put on a fabulous weekend of racing for the Inland20 sailors in the 2011 ILYA Championship. Although Friday started out slow due to light winds, PRO Larry Krause and his team were hard at work keeping a close watch on the conditions. Meanwhile the class took advantage of the downtime and held the fleet meeting under a nice shady tree. Just as the meeting was wrapping up the call came over the radio to rig up. Around 3:30pm the conditions were right for a great 5 leg light air race. The first bullet of the event went to past champion Steve Scheck.
Saturday morning warning was scheduled for 9:30am, but again the sailors had to wait for wind. This time the wait was much shorter with the second race of the regatta getting off around 10:30am. Two nice medium wind races were sailed back to back, and won by Aaron Lynn and Stefan Schmidt, respectively. After lunch the fleet headed out for two more races in slightly more wind and chop. Steve Scheck won the fourth race (third of the day), taking his second bullet in the event. Winds began to die off towards the end of race number five, with a slow last upwind leg. But Fond du Lac sailor Jack Boatman persevered and took the last bullet of the day.
Shortly after the last boat squeaked across the finish line the whole fleet was caught off guard as a major squall hit the lake out of nowhere. More than half the fleet went over, and two boats lost their rigs in the gusts that were rumored to be as high as 45mph. Thankfully plenty of race committee and assistance boats were on hand to help the capsized sailors. Aside from some bumps and bruises the I-20 sailors were all fine and safe.
Because of the Saturday evening storm, Sunday races were down a few boats. However, the boats that raced had two excellent windy races with hiking crews and fast downwind rides. Steve Scheck won the first of the two races. Aaron Lynn won the seventh and final race of the regatta. For the third time in class history, Steve Scheck with his wife and long time crew Leigh Leonard took the Championship with an impressive 9 total points over seven races (with one drop). Fellow past champion Aaron Lynn and crew Keith Rosenbaum took second place honors. Jack Boatman and his son Eric rounded out the podium with their third place finish.
A special ILYA Sportsmanship Award was given to Mr. Joe Norton by PRO Larry Krause. Joe went above and beyond not only lending assistance to the race committee on his personal boat during racing, but making sure all twelve boats made it safely to shore following the Saturday evening squall. Regatta winners Steve and Leigh both noted their appreciation for the caring folks in Green Lake, as while they were capsized during the squall not one but two local power boats checked to make sure they were ok and if they needed assistance. It is this kind of hospitality and care that make Green Lake one of the Inland20's favorite regatta sites.