Lake Region Sailing Club

Sailing Club Hosts Annual Dave Thompson Races

Sandy Trend prepares to cross the finish line, ending the third of four races during the day.

The Lake Region Sailing Club held their annual Dave Thompson Memorial race on Saturday, August 10th in Harrison Bay on Long Lake. Mark and Jackie Cotton, and Paul Follansbee on the Committee Boat set the one and a half mile, windward-leeward race course running north to south with the start/finish line in between the buoys. The winds were building and the fleet was ready to race.

A staggered start saw Sandy Trend in her Sunfish first across the line, followed by Rob Knowles and Ryan Lane in the Capri 22 “Barbara B”, Walt Read, Craig Trend and Sara Laroux in the Santana 20 “Hat Trick” with Paul Gillis and Mike Bray rounding out the fleet in the J22 “Rampage”. With winds holding steading at 10-12 mph and gusts upwards of 15-18 mph, four windward- leeward races were held.

All four races were similar with winds varying slightly from north to northwest. A long port tack was favored off the starting line heading towards Harrison. Tacking to starboard it appeared the windward mark was reachable. Headers forced the fleet to tack several more times to make the mark. Trend rounded the windward mark first in every race. The downwind leg was next with 12 mph steady winds which was the perfect setup for the planing hull of a sunfish and gave Trend the advantage in every race. As the Capri, Santana and J22 don’t have planing hulls but fixed keels, they went wing on wing with their main and genoa sails and headed down the center of the course to the leeward mark.

Keeping the fleet at bay, Trend rounded the leeward mark in the lead in every race and headed for the finish line. Gillis, Knowles and Read took turns rounding the leeward mark second in each race, then it was a close hauled battle to the finish line. In the third race Trend found the Santana 20 closing the gap near the finish line. She kept her wits about her, covering Read at every tack. Keeping the Santana to leeward, Trend crossed the finish line first with the Santana overlapping her Sunfish by three feet. What an exciting finish!

The day was a fitting tribute to Dave Thompson whose sailboat of choice was a Sunfish, who taught himself to sail, then race and went on to race in two Sunfish World Championship races where only the top 100 Sunfish sailors in the world race. Dave was one of those rare people who was always willing to do whatever needed to be doing, whether teaching others how to sail, sharing his knowledge of racing, writing a sailing rule book or writing a computer program to keep score. His enthusiasm for sailing was unmatched. We speak of Dave often, here’s to you and your family!

By virtue of winning all four races, Sandy Trend on her Sunfish took first place overall. Second place went to Read, Trend, and Laroux in the Santana 20. Third place overall was claimed by the team of Knowles and Lane in the Capri 22, with Bray and Gillis in the J22 taking fourth place. After the race everyone met at the Gazebo on Long Lake in Harrison for snacks, trophies and excuses!

On August 6th, the club completed another weekly race in the Tuesday night series sponsored by Lake Region Physical Therapy. Mother nature hasn’t cooperated much this summer, having three Tuesday’s rained out so far, we’re hoping for steady winds and sunshine the rest of the summer season. Two more Saturday races are on the calendar, the Anchorage Regatta on August 31st and the Bray’s Cup on September 7th. If you’d like to join in give us a call, these are fun afternoon races with a gathering afterwards involving food and trophies!

The Lake Region Sailing Club races on Tuesday evenings at 5pm (10 races in July & August) with the starting line on Long Lake in front of Lakeside Pines Campground. All types/sizes of sailboats are welcome. Can’t race Tuesday’s? We hold 5 Saturday races each summer. Contact us for information: Paul 925-3142 or Rob 647-5298. Our goal is to have fun, and improve our sailing/racing skills. See you on the water!