4LIYC members Tim McCormick, left, and Ron Rosten, right, line up in the one and two blocks for the fourth Renegade race. Results
Sunday’s conditions were a paradox of wind with intermittent fog. The Nites were the first to sail, and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Byron Hill won his first race of the day.
The wind picked up, which made for an exciting and competitive Renegade race won by Tim McCormick. The Nites were able to sail one more, again won by Byron Hill.
The Renegades lined up for race four which was a four-lapper. After two laps, a competitor pulled in and informed the Race Committee that the weather mark had fallen because he had hit it. Chief Judge and Nite Commodore John Hayashi, assisted by Pat Heppert, immediately decided that sailors fishing around for the weather mark in the ever-lower visibility was a lousy situation and black-flagged the race.
Congratulations to Jim Gluek for his second Renegade Championship and Byron Hill for his victory in the Nite Class. Thanks to John Hayashi, the Green Lake Ice Yacht Club, and Pat Heppert for all his help.
The celebratory braunschweiger and onion sandwiches provided by Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Debbie Biermann at the trophy presentation were much appreciated. Her husband, Dan’s, birthday is coming up, and he asked her to make them rather than a birthday cake. We all hope it’s a new tradition.
Class A Skeeter sailors Ken White Horse and Paul Krueger haven’t had the conditions to sail this season. Mike Ripp made sure Ken kept his racing skills tuned up and lent him his Renegade to race in the regatta. Paul Krueger joined Ken as a coach, pit crew, and ATV driver.
Thanks, Peter Sarelis, for traveling to the regatta from Michigan and representing the Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club.
With a total of 19 boats over the weekend on ice that was as Hollywood as you can get, the Nites completed 13 races on Lake Puckaway in central Wisconsin, a great early season iceboating venue. The Nites competed for a Saturday, Sunday, and overall series.
The ice was so smooth you could not even hear your runners glide over the ice. These are the perfect conditions for ice boaters, hence the name “Hollywood Ice.”
With a large fleet in attendance, the competition was close. The 2020 Nite National champion, Chad Rechygl of Pewaukee Wisconsin, and Mike Jankowski of Green Lake Wisconsin battled it out throughout the weekend for the overall top spot. Split-scoring the event by days allowed sailors to try different settings and tactics. As they say, everybody has a favorite condition. Jim McCabe was the hot sailor of the weekend, cracking the top three on both days. Another local favorite, Byron Hill, also placed consistently in the top three. Chad Rechygl took first, Mike Jankowski second, and the Vandervelde brothers in the next two spots in the overall standings.
We were happy to see a strong showing of sailors from Lake Kegonsa and the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club as well, with Lars, Henri, Brad, and Don in attendance. They sailed fast and showed a considerable step in improvement from last year’s event. We were also lucky to have Daniel Hearn join in the racing and experience the close roundings and the back and forth position changes that make Nite racing unique and fun.
It was interesting to watch from the Race Committee view, learning from Deb Whitehorse, John Hayashi, and George Gerhardt. While Saturday’s course was more straightforward, the Race Committee had to chase the wind and change the track. When the wind settled in, the Nites sailed six races before the snow started to fly.
It was a memorable weekend of Nite racing. It was ICE COLD FUN!
Saturday at the Nite Nationals was a perfect combination of steady wind, sunshine, and fast racing. Congratulations to Chad Rechcygl who won the Gold fleet in a rather dramatic way and to Dick Grota, a literal Grand Master, for his Silver fleet win. It was an early-to-sleep Friday night in order to make Sunday’s first race scheduled for 8 AM. Despite my own groaning at having to get seriously moving before sunrise, it was the right call. Getting on the lake at 7 AM ensured that trailers were able to easily leave the landing before the ice softened too much, unlike last year’s Nite Nationals on Kegonsa where a bridge over troubled landing waters had to be deployed.
Lively winds and rutted ice put tremendous loads on the boats. Other than rigs coming down and a few mast failures, the competitors used good judgement and kept the racing safe. In race eight,Chad Rechcygl, who was leading the Gold fleet in points at the time, had something happen at the worst possible time, his hull broke. As the Silver fleet raced for the last time of the day, Chad faced the prospect of not being able to complete the regatta. However, Nite Class rules allow for equipment substitution. When Toledo Ice Yacht Club’s Alex Chabalowski finished Silver fleet race nine sailing in Nite Commodore John Hayashi’s canary yellow boat, Chad jumped in the boat for the last Gold fleet race, finished fourth, and won the regatta. During prize-giving, Chad credited the help he received from Tom Hyslop for his victory and what it meant to be able to sail with Pewaukee Nite guys Tom Sweitzer and Mark Prange. Another Pewaukee sailor, Dick Grota, made it look easy in both light and heavy air with his Silver fleet win. Also of note was the top female sailor, TIYC’s Anita Bersie Chabalowski, who placed third in the Silver fleet. I don’t think she ever stopped smiling all weekend.
The 4LIYC was represented with Daniel Hearn, Brad Wagner, Lars Barber, and Don Sanford. Daniel finished 3rd in the Gold fleet sailing Joe Norton’s boat. Brad Wagner, who is new to racing this season, won race four on Friday, placed fifth in the Silver fleet, and walked away with the top rookie award. Lars Barber’s mast was one of the casualties of the regatta but he was already making plans to check on the Sitka supply at McCormick Lumber this week for the next one. A big 4LIYC congratulations to Don Sanford who won two races in the Silver fleet and placed second overall.
Thanks to all the competitors, the Nite Class, the Green Lake Ice Yacht Club, John Hayashi, Joe Norton for everything, and to Todd Morgan who helped scout ice and gave a film crew a ride out to the course in his beautiful B Skeeter. A special thank you to Mary Jane Schalk who tabulated and published all the live results from the offshore office!
The recent Nite ballot passed. The class welcomes new rules that strictly define our runners, makes our masts and sails more uniform, and cleans up our rules so that they are more in sync with the National Iceboat Authority rules.
Our minimum skipper weight has increased from 180 to 190 lbs for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. The cherry on top of the Sunday is the ability to sail Nite Nationals the first weekend in January. Nothing like gaining three weeks, is there? Thanks to all that were involved and see you on the ice.
That is the question and the Nite class is not going to wait any longer. The general pattern for Nite Nationals has been to start the national regatta process in the third week of January. Though we have had great luck the last seven or so years with completing a championship regatta, Nite class board members felt it was time to make more options available. This means that the first eligible weekend to sail a national championship regatta is the first weekend in January. The ability to have those two extra weeks hopefully will open up new regatta venues for the Nite class which we have not been able to sail in the past. So mark your calendars now, January 4th and 5th 2020.