Like all proud parents, Dave and Sue Grassley wanted to get their new baby off to a strong start. But after battling 35-knot gusts and lumpy seas on the first day of Monroe Boat Club's spring series, the couple decided their new Beneteau 36, Sho-Wae-Cae-Mette, had had enough.
Theirs wasn't the only boat to be forced out by the weather. A third of the fleet didn't turn up for the next two races.
The following week, North Cape's Champagne Series had lighter winds but was still too cold for comfort.
With two big regattas coming up this weekend, plus the Mills Race looming over the horizon, area racers are hoping conditions improve.
Rain or shine, Jolly Roger Sailing Club, site of the venerable Cattail Regatta, has promised to warm up the weekend with pre and post-race parties.
“Preliminary weather forecasts call for possible showers and burr-eezy,'' said race chairman Tom Marriott.
“We all know what that means, but hopefully breezy won't start until afternoon when the regatta is over,'' he said.
The Cattail will be a one-day event held on Saturday this year, rather than the two days that are traditional. It also will include an open junior regatta sailed in Thistles, CFJs, Lasers and Optimists.
The Cattail is a “two-star” event that counts double in the Interlake Travelers Series, so Marriott is expecting a good turnout, including some boats from Sandusky and Portage. About 60 boats are expected in the junior event.
The youngest juniors will race “where the Ottawa River meets Maumee Bay,'' Marriott said. The rest of the fleet will race in the Bay.
Awards for both events will be presented at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Bill Buckles of Lorain will go for a repeat at the Sailing World National Offshore One-Design Regatta in Detroit, tomorrow and Saturday. The 189-boat series will be held at Bayview Yacht Club, on Lake St. Clair.
Buckles' Liquor Box won the Tartan Ten class at the St. Petersburg NOOD earlier this spring. In Detroit, he'll be competing in a 24-boat class that also includes Don Fritz's Full Bore, of Harbor View Yacht Club.
Other entries include Josh Kerst's Instant Karma in the J/24 class and Robert Gordenker's Time Machine, a J/35 racing in a mixed class with the T/35s.
The Toledo Rowing Club's open house, scheduled at noon tomorrow in conjunction with National Learn To Row Day, will include orientation and registration for the club's summer program.
This year, SUM-PRO will be offering two programs: a sculling course starting Monday and a sweep-rowing course that begins June 30. Each will run four weeks. The sculling program is a requirement for the sweep-rowing classes.
Rod McElroy, coach of TRC's sweep-rowing program (as well as the St. John's Jesuit High School rowing team,) will split the SUM-PRO teaching duties with Jeff Helmick, Norm Rehm and Mary Stepnick.
Cost of the sculling course is $90, which includes all instruction, materials, use of boats and a cool SUM-PRO T-shirt. Sweep classes are an additional $60.
For more information, call Sue Weaver at 419-874-5811, evenings.
The U.S. Match Racing Championship for the Prince of Wales Bowl will be held in Ultimate 20s at Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit, on Sept. 2-7. Chris VanTol of Bayview won the right to represent U.S. Sailing Area E in a six-boat qualifier series held on the Detroit River, May 17-18.
BOATING CLASSES: A safe-boating course will be offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla this weekend at the Woodville Mall Elder Beerman Concourse. Classes will meet at 6-8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Call 429-698-4122.
The City of Toledo Recreation Division will teach basic boating skills in classes held at the Ottawa Park Nature Center, from 6-9 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday. . Call 419-936-3848.
Both courses meet the new Ohio and Michigan state requirements for mandatory boater education.
The city also will offer Personal Watercraft Training in a three-hour “short course'' at the Boating Education Center at Walbridge Park, across from the Zoo, from 6-9 p.m. tonight.
Participants must be at least 14 years old and have completed a boating-education course within the past four years. Proof of certification and advance registration are required. Call 419-936-3848.