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North Sails NEWS
Images © Lisa K. Photography
TED KELLER WINS 2017 COW TOWN CLASSIC
Ted & Ben Use North Sails Z-Max
The first weekend in May can mean only one thing. Well, some horses run around a track for about two minutes. But to MC sailors it means it’s time for the Cow Town Classic. The 2017 edition of the Cow Town Classic, took place at Hoover Sailing Club in Westerville, OH on May 6th and 7th. Hoover is a reservoir on the northeast corner of Columbus, OH. The sailing club is active with multiple one design fleets and MC Fleet 54.
The weather forecasters again predicted dingy conditions for the weekend with rain, cold temps, and high winds. There were definitely some turned away as it looked mid-week like it would be hard to get any racing in at all. But late in the game, the forecast changed to dry and breezy but sailable conditions both days. Those who were not to be dissuaded made it to Hoover from Indianapolis and even Wisconsin, and a fleet of 18 sailors vied for the Cow Town title.
Saturday saw mostly sunny skies with NW winds from 10-20. We hear that range a lot, but the fleet saw every bit of that range as the lulls were down to 10 or even a bit less and the puffs were in the high teens and touching 20. This meant that it was a shifting gears day, depowering the boat and hiking through the puffs and then powering the boat back up for the lulls. The NW wind was quite shifty as well as the N and W winds fought to edge each other out. Pressure would shift from left to right and back again, pulsing in increments. With the puffs packing some punch, there were definitely some abrupt auto tacks as well. With the shifts coming quickly, it was important to work the middle with a ‘climb the ladder’ mentality. Getting too far to one side often meant missing a shift, ending up trying to get back to the middle out of phase. Staying conservative and patient was the key, finding the pressure on one side and maximizing it, while almost immediately looking to the other side of the course for signs that the switch was coming.
The Race Committee, led by PRO Steve Lavender, did a great job managing the shifty conditions and setting square courses and starting lines. 4 races were sailed on Day 1, each one with 7 legs. This made for lots of mark roundings, plenty of tight quarters racing and opportunities to pass a bunch of boats all at once. Or lose a bunch.
The highlight of this regatta is the prime rib dinner Saturday night. The Hoover fleet delivered again and the sailors enjoyed great food, drink and camaraderie, sharing stories of the day.