PUT-IN-BAY - D tente's skipper Robert Pollock had planned to leave immediately after the last race of the three-day Inter-Lake Yachting Association Sail Regatta yesterday.
But the North Cape Yacht Club sailor changed his mind and hung around for the awards ceremony after learning that his boat, a Gulfstar 50, had captured the overall and Class A honors in the new Cruising Class division for novice racers.
It was a red letter day for Pollock, who had never won his class in a race before.
“We could have used a little more air, but I'm happy," he said.
Pollock gave credit for the win to his sail trimmer, Rob Peterson.
“Rob showed us that tightening a line a couple of inches makes a surprising amount difference."
Another crew member, Doug Haag, said he had been sailing for years, but had learned more about the sport in the past three days that in all that time.
“D tente really is a reaching machine," he said, “but before this we lost more time going to weather than we made up on the reaches.
“Winning the race was great, but the real thrill for the crew was learning how to make the boat go faster and better."
Conditions were excellent for the final race, which served up mostly steady winds and a slight chop. About 150 boats raced on three courses for division and class titles that included the major championships held concurrently with the regatta: the 28th Annual Midget Ocean Racing Club Internationals, the Hobie Wave Class National Championship and the Melges 24 Great Lakes Championship.
State of Schock swept the overall honors in the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Division and Class A for the second straight year with a 1,1,1,3 series.
Nico Cotone, co-owner with Joe Sbrocco, said they had plenty of wind, but had worried that last race, a trek around the islands, favored boats with long waterlines like Park McRitchie's new Beneteau 40 Jeb.
"We covered JEB in the first three races," Cotone said. "Today they kind of sat on us and pushed us out to the port layline which didn't help either one of us."
JEB won the race but ended up second in the division and class.
Cotone said his biggest challenge was achieving team cohesion, “to get to point where everyone knows what they should be doing to be competitive."
“Team cohesion is name of the game," he said. “No one individual can get this boat around the course. It takes all 10 crew members."
After finishing 4th and 7th in Tuesday's races, Jeff Mackay's Wizard turned it all around yesterday and wound up vaulting to the top of PHRF Class B.
A win in the final event was achieved “with a lot of help from a lot of people," Mackay said.
“We were short of crew yesterday and we suffered badly, but the stars were aligned," he said. “We knew we had to win today and everybody else fell back where they had to."
A four-way tie in the MORC division sent race officials to the rule book to determine the overall winner.
The title went to Hat Trick, a Northcastle 30 helmed by Brad Boston, of Sarnia Yacht Club. The runner up, another Hat Trick skippered by Matt Dubois of Grosse Ile Yacht Club, placed first in MORC Class B
“The two of us were dueling it out," said Andy Laidlaw, co-owner of the boat, along with Brad's father Spike Boston. “We had two firsts on the windward-leeward races Tuesday and that proved decisive.”
The keys to winning, he said, were “fantastic speed and a helmsman who could start the boat faster than the boats we had to beat."
Jubilate Deo, co-skippered by Jerry Porter and Jon Stong of North Cape, clinched the Jib-and-Main division overall and Class A honors with 1-2-1-1.
“We didn't know for sure we had it because we tore a sail and had to put up a smaller one," Porter said.
Hobie Wave Class he president Rick White didn't win any races yesterday, but he did what had to do to win the first North American Championship for the class.
White's sister-in-law Betty Bliss won the woman's championship and third overall in the Wave fleet.
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