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When you're on, you're on! Steve Schmidt and Matt Prange never made a mistake today. In another tough day of three races, Schmidt was untouchable. Winds were more steady in direction. PRO Mark Tesar leapfrogged the fleet over the long length of Okoboji which allowed sailing in the wide area and then up in the narrows. Racing was only 6 hours today but the last race placed the throwout in effect. Places shifted as the inconsistent performances were dropped. A finish line protest affected the top five. -- Scores are only preliminary, adjustments for the DSQ have not been made. --- late afternoon protest.
Which brings us to the scorer - Brad Farrar. The guests of Okoboji have watched the club manager clean, stock the bar, manage staff, repair items, score the races. He is a one-man dynamo and the efficiency, impeccable condition of the club, the organization of the events shows his expertise. Thanks, Okoboji, for such a great show.
It would appear Schmidt and Prange have this sewn up. He has been remarkably consistent. Prange commented, "it has been a marvel to watch him sail. He is in a zone."
It's hard not to cheer for this boat. Andy Burdick, I-45, has sailed all but one race with his children. The three in a day is really tough for the little guys but they sure look like they have enjoyed it.
Second place overall and top junior belongs to B-1 and college senior Will Haeger and Brad Roble. The third and last tiring race was Will's.
The C fleet meeting provided an opportunity to mark the growth in the fleet - 15 new boats sold this year. The new mast die seems to have stabilized the fleet's concerns about variations in mast quality. There is a system now in place to measure each tube as it is received at Melges. The used boat market is lively so new boat purchases are encouraged. The fleet spent time philosophically discussing the advantages of sailing at such an intense pace versus enjoying a more leisurely, family-centered style. -- Here we come, Oshkosh. There is never a party like one thrown at Oshkosh. Next year will be family-oriented or intense; your choice. Sail in two fleets per day or enjoy the more relaxed approach.
Top Ten Great C Moments at Okoboji
10 - Relaxing with your friends on the lawn at Okoboji
9- Hearing "remember when" stories about 'Boji; then re-living them again this time.
8 - Watching dads and sons and daughters and nephews all sailing together in this mighty fleet. And husbands and wives - this is a fleet which can truly say, "WE ARE FAMILY!"
7 - Walking into a hamburger joint, recalling it used to be Woody's and bemoaning the fact you can no longer get a bottle opener with "I took my top off at Woody's" - Is this really 'Boji?
6 - Learning a new language -
Wisconsineses - "OPEN BAR" means free beer
Iowaeese - "OPEN BAR" means the bar is open
OOPS! - I didn't bring cash!
5 - One penny beer night at the Reagel Beagle on Wednesdays, have your children imbibe BUT they are now smart enough to ask, "Just how does this work financially?" - Oh, that college tuition was so worth it!
4 - Andy Burdick, "Let's start the C races like the A's: 11:00 so all the young folks can recuperate from the night before. Then . . . see Craig Parker show up at the evening party for his first appearance of the day complaining about trying to keep up with the young folks."
3 - Watching Patrick Lynch and Junior drive their oversized RV through the tiny area of bar alley in downtown Okoboji
2 - Listening to sailors wax poetic, "There is nothing like an Inland. This is in a class all its own"
1 - Anticipating the tradition steeped in the trophy presentation even a day early. THIS IS THE INLAND, where we ARE family. Our new champion will be tearful, the crowd will be near a level of a standing ovation, the trophy will be magnificent and 100+ years in the making AND . . . the victory party at home will be more than memorable.