by Eric Hood
Jamie Kimball has won one of the largest One-Design Championships of 2012 sailing season here in the United States. 94 teams came to White Lake, Michigan for the 41st Annual MC Scow National Championship. Not only did we have a large turnout but we also had MC skippers and teams there that represented 22 of those 41 National Championships. Having sailed in over 200 MC Scow regattas myself I can tell you this clearly was the strongest fleet we have ever assembled. That also suggests the class is extremely healthy and strong which is great news for this cool little 16' Hot Rod that we all simply call the MC.
Normally in my regatta reports I give you all some blow by blow reports about the top boats. For this report though I think I will do something a little different. I say that because there is not much more to say other than that Jamie Kimball dusted us. You have to give some high honor to a National Champion who does not have to sail the last race (actually no choice because he could not risk a black flag which cannot be dropped).
So, let's talk about the other 93 teams. I am going to point a few things out here that I hope are encouraging for everyone between 2nd and 94th. First I want to start with the race winners but here is something I am going to do differently (encouragement) and that is I will put out to the side of each race winner in brackets their worst race. What you will see I think will surprise you and hopefully it gives you a sense of how tough this event was out on the course.
Race 1 winner - Jamie Kimball (12)
Race 2 winner - Ted Keller (26)
Race 3 winner - Doug McNeil (41)
Race 4 winner - Bill Colburn (18)
Race 5 winner - Eric Hood (44)
Race 6 winner - Coye Harrett (73)
Race 7 winner - Justin Hood (OCS)
So everyone between 2nd and 94th just know that at some point during this event you beat a team that won a race at the nationals. That is a big deal and just know you can put that on your list of "how am I doing, how am I improving". I think the most important thing I would say to folks who came this year to the nationals is that it was really tough sailing, in very tough conditions (extremely shifty at the top of the course each race) and not to think you got hammered or had a bad regatta. Anyone who sailed at this years national championship is going to be a lot further down the road as a good MC skipper and team as a result of sailing this event. So way to go for everyone hanging in there!!!
Another huge win and success story for this particular championship this year was the high count of crew and young sailors on board. With the solid wind velocity ranging most of the time between 12 and 18 mph for most races were able to sail with our crews. Seeing so many young sailors both male and female was extremely encouraging. It also helped I think that regatta co-chair Cam McNeil recruited from the large White Lake Yacht Club junior team. During our Champions dinner I gave a short speech on the "HIGH VALUE" of mentoring , coaching our youth and it was like it opened the flood gates of conversation. So many folks came up to me afterwards and said how much they appreciated that moment. I heard from many that in their own world they would work harder to that end of creating sailing legacies for the next generations to come. We had a great week with young sailors. In my case I had a 13 year old Connor Briegel who sails a Butterfly. When we sailed out to the course on one windy race broad reaching at a high rate of speed I asked him to steer. Wow, that was worth the whole regatta effort for me in seeing a new sailor grab the tiller of an MC in a breeze broad reaching down the course with a huge smile and big eyes. You had others out there like Andy Burdick's team with his daughter Mya and son Finn. They added a piece to the history books by sailing with three and doing well. We talked to a lot of crew members who were crewing in their first major regatta and that is really encouraging for our future.
Another "Note to Self" moment was that we picked a great spot for a National Championship. White Lake Yacht Club established in 1903 had everything you could want. Many teams brought their whole family and I think the year long promotion of don't miss this "Bucket List" stop proved to everyone that it really was a "Bucket List" stop. A great lake to sail on even in unstable wind conditions. There is nothing nicer than Lake Michigan on the west shore of Michigan. A really cool club house, great pool. The worlds best ice cream for a buck. Everyone there, everyone said it was incredible how nice not only the entire area, club, both lakes were but also how incredibly nice all the folks from White Lake were. A large number of folks stayed with folks in this semi-remote area. So a big thank you to all those who housed folks.
Back to some sailing. Here are the top 20. Complete results race by race are posted at www.mcscow.org
Overall Champion - Jamie Kimball 27pts, Bill Colburn 34 (wins tie-breaker), Andy Burdick 34, Cam McNeil 50, Ted Keller 68 (wins tie-breaker), Jeff Grinnan 68 (Top Master), Justin Hood 71, Joe Rotunda 76, Brett Hatton 77, Doug McNeil 82, Brien Fox 86, Eric Hood 87, Mark Tesar 99, Noel Nueman 105, Rob Terry 113, Brian McMurray 117, Scott Harestad 122, Todd Bosgraaf 125, Steve Everist 130
So another view to help encourage everyone in the fleet.
Past champions from the big 5 regattas including the Nationals , ILYA , Midwinters ,Masters and Westerns finished in these positions throughout the fleet
1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,20,27,31,34,41,43,53,84. These are all folks who have won a major. So it was tough from 1st- 94th as I have said previously.
Other divisional winners Jeff Grinnan from Rush Creek top Master, Stefan Schmidt from Madison top Grand Master, Gary Verplank top Mega Master, Lynn Walborn top Woman.
PRO Chip Mann had a large great crew with him . Locals Jack Rillema and Peter Blacklock were on the mid-line and leeward ends. Chip had Bill Best and several others from his regular crew on board helping. We had great starting lines, very good courses under the tricky conditions down in the east end of White Lake. Bottom half of course was always good, middle was always a little dangerous on velocity and the top last couple of hundred yards is where we saw some very tricky conditions that could quickly add or subtract 10-30 boats at any given moment.
Largest learning from this event with the huge fleet was you had to get off the line and sail the first three minutes in unrestricted air. I would say the top 5 boats in this regatta sailed 95% of the time in clean air. That was the first premium and the second premium was velocity. With so many boats if you were not in velocity all the time you were probably not doing well.
As I close this report I would like to say on behalf of all the competitors "THANK YOU" to all of the folks at White Lake Yacht Club and of course Spring Lake Yacht Club for their social add-ons like the "Lean In Party" .
Check out about 800+ photos going up on Ingrid Lindfors website WWW.INGRIDL.COM . You can purchase photos there and I can promise you there are hundreds there worth purchasing.
Watch for an interview I am doing with Jamie Kimball in the near future.
Check in with Andy Burdick, Harry Melges, Jimmy Gluek, Justin Hood or myself if we can help you with your MC needs.
Next year Clear Lake, Iowa for Nationals and 2014 Augusta. I want to challenge everyone now to get ready . Freshen up your sails, freshen up your rides and work hard at getting 5% better with each weekend of sailing you do. There is nothing more fun than going to a major championship with big numbers attending. Add Clear Lake to your calendar now. End of June next season.
See you all out there.
All the best from Zenda,
Melges Performance Sailboats
Photos . Be sure to look at the "order online" tab on the homepage.