Wednesday, August 9, 2017

J/Love @ Ugotta Regatta!

J/70s sail Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs (Harbor Springs, MI)- Sailors from across America and the World head to Harbor Springs each summer for sailing traditions, friends, relaxation, and a time to recharge and connect with the spectacular natural beauty of Harbor Springs.  The water is so clear and clean you can see nearly 35 feet down to the grassy, sandy bottom!  It is a slice of the Caribbean in the Great Lakes North!  No wonder people love coming to this gorgeous little corner of the world!!

One of the hottest summer attractions in this quaint little village is the annual Little Traverse YC “Ugotta Regatta”!  The event takes place the weekend following the 2nd of the Mackinac Races (Port Huron-Mackinac or Chicago-Mackinac).

J/105 sailingLTYC’s Ugotta Regatta is open to all sailors.  However, there is a city-required cap of 88 boats (yes, a town ordinance!) and registration is first come, first served. The series begins with one-design racing on Friday followed by tour-of-the-bay courses on Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend’s festivities kick-off bright and early Friday morning with a fun tradition: a long line of happy people beginning at sun-up outside Irish Boat Shop to purchase the 2017 Ugotta Regatta t-shirt. Each year, the shirt design changes and with a limited production, the lines begin early to score a coveted shirt! Yes, people are a bit crazy in northern Michigan, but then again, that is part of its charm!!  Then, on Friday night is the “Welcome to Harbor Springs” celebration at the Irish Boat Shop for racers and racer-chasers only!

On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, the LTYC hosts the famous, traditional “Little Traverse Sailors Pancake Breakfast.”  Open to the public and racers, the Pancake Breakfast is a delicious way for the boat teams to quickly fuel up before getting on the water. One highlight of the breakfast?? The young sailors flip less-than-perfect pancakes over their shoulders to land on the roof of the sail shed behind them- a bit of light-hearted entertainment to start the day!!

After the end of sailing each day, the LTYC hosts parties both Saturday and Sunday evening for regatta participants!  In short, there is no lack of fun, merriment, and socializing ashore, interspersed with moments of stark terror sailing on the gorgeous azure blue waters off Harbor Springs!!

J/70 corinthians teamThe venue has become a very, very popular one for J/70s in the Great Lakes region.  The family-oriented Harbor Springs J/70 fleet #25 has grown to eleven local boats, with several regular visiting fleet members from Chicago and Detroit that join in on all the fun! Not surprisingly, the J/70s were the largest and most competitive one-design fleet in the LTYC Regatta in July.

Winning the enormous twenty-boat J/70 division was Richard Lehmann’s WIND CZAR with all top five finishes to win with just 14 pts total.  Second was John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA crew from Wilmette, IL with 32 pts.  Third and top Corinthian crew was Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS with 38 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE, taking 4th overall and 2nd Corinthians, and in 5th place was Rick Shaffer’s NASTY BABY. In the photo are (L-R) the ESCAPE crew- Pilar Macomber, Will Macomber, then Ellie, Sarah Wagner, Polk Wagner.

In the J/105 one-design class, Mark Symonds crew on PTERODACTYL have been on a roll in their past three major events.  Remember, they won their class in the Chicago-Mackinac Race, took 2nd in the Bayview-Mackinac Race, and now won the Ugotta Regatta J/105 class!  Wow.  I think Mark’s wife is about to convert their garage into a man-cave full of just this year’s trophy’s and pickle dishes!!  Second was the hot local team of Carter Williams on his famous CREATIVE DESTRUCTION and taking 3rd was Bill Petzold’s GREEN FLASH.

In the world of handicap racing we find a number of J/Crews had fantastic performances racing around the Bay!!  In ORR B Division, Geoff Brieden & Jeff Clark’s J/120 SCOUT stunned the class with a 2-1 to win by a comfortable margin.  Third was yet another J/120, Mike Fozo’s PROOF, fresh from winning their class in the Bayview-Mackinac Race.

Then, in PHRF A Division, Dave Irish’s famous J/111 NO SURPRISE posted a 2-2 to take second in class, followed by Carl Hanssen’s J/111 VARIANCE in third with a 3-3, what a coincidence, eh??

In PHRF B Division, Scott & Jim Sorbie’s J/88 LEGACY took a 5th in class, with Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG in 7th, Tim Wade’s J/88 in 8th and Bob Evan’s J/109 GOAT RODEO in 9th.  This was a very weird class, ranging from M24 sportboats to a 100 ton Tartan 4000- not exactly “cricket” from a handicap standpoint!!

In PHRF Non-Spinnaker, Bill and Judy Stellin’s J/42 JAYWALKER did exactly that, “walked away” from their fleet with two bullets to win by a comfortable margin in their class!  Second were their colleagues on a J/32- Gary Stewart’s J/32 ZONE with two 2nds in their scoreline!  For more Ugotta Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.