Glenn McMurray wins WMYA

“Torch Lake has been called one of the three most beautiful lakes in the world by The National Geographic Magazine. It was formed by the glaciers that carved out the terrain in our area over 11,000 years ago. Torch is very deep (sorry buoy tenders), it varies from 200 to 450 feet at different locations around the lake. The crystal clear blue water comes from spring that feed the lake”. (from the 86th Annual WMYA Regatta Book).

The Western Michigan Yachting Association (WMYA) Annual Championship Regatta is open to all sailors. It rotates to different locations amongst several different member yacht clubs including White Lake, Crystal Lake, Muskegon, Torch Lake, and Spring Lake. The 2016 WMYA Championship will be held August 10-13, 2016 at the Spring Lake Yacht Club featuring their beautiful, expansive club and newly renovated dock system overlooking the racing area.

The multi-class regatta allows sailors to race in up to three different classes. This year there were 41 races over 4 days amongst 9 classes of boats featuring youth and adult sailors, male and female, in this highly family oriented venue. Many C sailors also raced in other classes. Todd Bosgraaf (SL-88) and Scott Harestad (SL-16) both trophied in the MC Class while Cam McNeil was crew on the 2nd place E-Scow and John McNeil crewed for his dad Doug on the 4th place E-Scow. Brett Hatton (SL-68) skippered the 9th place E-Scow.

A fleet of 12 C-scows sailed five races last week in sometimes shifty breezes up to about 17 mph. Brothers Cam (SL-21) and John McNeil (WH-11) skippered boats representing two different lakes. Twins Jason (T-17) and Justin Schaub (T-96) tied for 8th position with father Joe aboard one boat and his fiancée, Liz Bernstein on the other boat. Glenn McMurray (B-22) sailed with his girlfriend, Andrea Lee and her daughter Katarina Harshbarger while Glen Walborn (SL-0) sailed with his son Reid. SL-88 was the family team of Todd and Brian Bosgraaf. Grandmaster Ken Achterhof (SL-10) sailed with his daughter Jillian. Brian LeBlanc (SL-17) had Steve Czadzeck as substitute crew because his normal crew, daughter Claire, was sailing Butterflies at the same time. Ken Achterhof was recognized as the oldest skipper at the entire regatta. Tom Keenan (LF-88) sailing in his 57th! CONSECUTIVE WMYA championship, sailed with son, Michael and daughter, Tina.

Two races were held in a building afternoon breeze on the first day of the regatta. After a general recall to get things started, B-22 wound up first with Cam McNeil second. Cam sailed SL-21 with Grant Stille on board. Grant normally skippers this boat and loved the opportunity to learn from Cam. This also allowed John McNeil to sail WH-11. Several teams added thirds between races. Oscillating winds made for a lot of position changes throughout. B-22 came from way back to capture this race, Glenn Walborn was in the mix, but it was Jason Schaub in T-17 who showed great speed and smarts to nail second.

The following three days included single races per day. Race three was a quick three legged affair with different wind directions on either side of the first upwind. Todd Bosgraaf went right and led the fleet around right up to the end when B-22 found a puff to cross the line first. Scott Harestad with Beth Windemuller up front also sniffed out enough wind to finish second. Race four was again light and shifty with the race committee moving things around to compensate. Cam McNeil was untouchable, leading all the way. In the last race, Brett Hatton, with Christie Steketee crewing, showed his unique style by turning on the jets after turning on the tunes in his boat on the final leg to pass Glenn and take the gun.

Team B-22 of Glenn, Andrea and Kat received the Jacques Chatain perpetual trophy for winning the fleet. For some reason, the nameplates listing winners only goes back to 1970, while the WMYA scocw regatta goes back to 1929. The 1970 winning skipper was Dr. Lee Holly. Glenn was the third crew for that regatta, bookending a nice career in C boats – so far.

Full WMYA results:

Posted on August 19th, by Matt Prange in From the Blog.
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