Ed Robison Wins Lotawana Fall Regatta
2014 Lake Lotawana Fall Regatta Recap
Who needs an “abmaster” when you have the Lake Lotawana C Scow Fall regatta? The 58th edition hosted by the Missouri Yacht Club on October 4 and 5th, was blessed with really big air.
With Regatta Chairman Scott Tillema pulling up his trailer pegs for a job in Florida a few weeks before the event, Rob Reid and a crack team of volunteers, came together to host another fall classic. 20 boats from 5 lakes and 4 states made the trek to our 600 acre lake we affectionately call the “pond” with curves.
Too much wind for Friday’s tune up race led to some early beer tasting, followed by a bus ride to the American Royal BBQ, the largest and one of the most prestigious BBQ events in the country. Several of our out of town guests were in attendance and a wonderful time was had by all. Special thanks go to Jim Martin, who used his considerable sway and influence with the royal to get us all free passes and entrance into the Road Kill BBQ party. Not sure we’ll be doing this regatta in October in the future, but the party may become an annual fleet event!
Saturday morning saw winds out of the NW at 11-16 and some gusts at 20+. Many in the fleet came to the line without 3rd crews which led to some very exciting sailing. Greg and Ben Stauffer held off Dave Cooley and Scott Stafford for the win. The lightweight Stauffer team sailed an impressive race in the gusty winds to hold off some of the local heavyweights on the final leg. Eddie Robison with his regular crew Sandy Jones took on veteran crew Debbie Weber and cruised to a third place finish. SpencerBrackman with Charley Farley on board placed fourth with the husband wife team of Mark and Sarah Frashier, completing top five. Newcomer to Lotawana shifts, David Staub sailing out of Lake Davenport, sailed a nice race to finish seventh.
After a deserved lunch break, sail changes, and 3rd crew pickups, the fleet headed back to the course for two afternoon races. The wind was still howling. Race 2 featured the usual suspects Stauffer, Robison, Chamberlin, Frashier and Jon Martin arriving at the windward mark at the same time. After a wild rounding, the group headed downwind with Robison taking the low road. It was just low enough that he rounded inside the others and held off all comers on the upwind leg to win, with Stauffer finishing second, and Austin Chamberlin taking third.
Race #3 was almost identical to #2 with the same five boats finishing in different order; Robison, Martin, Chamberlin, Stauffer and Frashier. Jim Martin and Gary Schroeder rounded out the top seven with their best finishes of the regatta.
Saturday night was the traditional Fall Regatta Dinner, only with a twist this year. Since both Dave Cooley and Gary Schroeder had wives with milestone birthdays the same weekend as the regatta… both of whom, may have been slightly put out that the fleet chose to drop said regatta on “their” weekend, Dave and Gary hijacked the normal party, kicked it up a notch, and threw a surprise party for Anne and Regina. The band played late. The drinks flowed freely and there was much dancing into the wee hours. The guest list was more than just a little bit larger than the typical Saturday regatta dinner. However, everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and the ladies were definitely surprised. Maybe we’ll do it again in ten years?
Sunday morning the winds were from WNW in the 10 -13 mph range. That of course was the forecast. Shifts happen. This allowed for a 9:30 am start with back to back races and brunch by noon. And with Robison holding a slim 2 boat lead over Stauffer and two races left sail, it was anybody’s regatta to win.
A pack of about 5 boats rounded the first mark together in race 4. Sinceit worked the day before, Eddie Robison again sailed the low road on the downwind, reaching in ahead of everyone at the leeward mark, and went on to a relatively uncontested win. Jon Martin finished second, followed by Frashier, Chamberlin and Stauffer.
Race 5 had a pack rounding the windward mark together with Stauffer leading and Robison clearly in the rear. But as was the case in the previous races, Eddie moved his boat up in the fleet, and rounded the final leeward mark just behind Stauffer. Greg tacked on the mark, while Eddie held his rounding a little longer before tacking to starboard. And that was the difference. As the two boats head to the finish, Robison got the better of the lifts, and went on to win, with Stauffer second, Frashier third, Chamberlin fourth and Martin fifth.
The MoYC hosted a delicious brunch followed by an awards ceremony. The final results had Eddie Robison and Sandy Jones picking up the first place trophy for the fourth time. Sailing out of Lake Calhoun, Greg and Ben Stauffer placed 2nd. Locals, Jon Martin, Mark Frasier, and Austin Chamberlin rounded out the top 5. David Cooley won the Joe Van Hook Champagne Cup for the top sailor over 40 out of the hardware.
Chief PRO Paulla Martin and her assistant Judy Falkenberg did an outstanding job getting off 5 races in challenging conditions. Geri Brackman wore two hats all weekend. On the judges boat between shotgun firings she captured photos and was able to have them presented in nice frames for the awards ceremony to the top five finishers. Impressive!
Everyone wore that satisfied glow characterized by total exhaustion. It was a fabulous weekend of sailing, Wish you were here. (And hopefully you will be next year!)
|Sail Number||Skipper||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Total|
|SN x||Mark Marling||12||21||21||6||9||69|