Sailing a borrowed boat with a new crew, Ernie Dieball of North Cape Yacht Club won the 19-boat Interlake class and the Michelob Trophy at Jolly Roger Sailing Club's Cattail Regatta.
Sixty-four boats in three divisions competed in shifty winds the Ottawa River and Maumee Bay yesterday.
"Conditions were very challenging, but we had good starts and really good teamwork," Dieball said.
Although he and his crew, Jeff Eiber of Edgewater Yacht Club, had never teamed up before, they are both old hands at racing an Interlake.
"We've competed against other and we've each crewed a lot," Dieball said. "We got on the same level and had it together."
Teamwork was also the key to nailing the 420 class, according to Brian Goldberg of North Cape.
Brian, sailing with his brother Ben as crew, scored two firsts, a second and third in the four-race junior series.
"Me and my brother work really well together," he said.
They also spend a lot of time on Lake Erie, going out at least twice a week to practice in different conditions.
"The wind blew pretty steady today, but it was shifting around a lot and near the end, it shifted all the way around, almost 180 degrees," Brian said.
"The conditions were our conditions. We're a heavy boat, but we are really good in light and medium breezes."
The tricky winds proved more challenging to Angela and Andrew Wells, a sister-brother team in the Flying Junior class that competed for the first time.
"We had the spinnaker up and we were neck-and-neck with the first-place boat when the boom swung over and we capsized," Angela said. "We didn't panic because we knew we were going over.
"We got back up, but the spinnaker was still sheeted and we went over again.
"Our sailing coach, Brian Bradley, had us practice capsizing, so we didn't think so much of it. We just got back in and said, let's keep out heads in the game."
Angela and her brother managed to pull out a third place in the class. Skipper Wesley Wallace, with Conor Madden, crew, of Edgewater took first.