2008 Maple Hall Regatta
"It looks like mud but it's really sandy."
Lifelong Penguin sailor Bill Lane made this welcome observation as he started
to launch his Penguin at the first Maple Hall Regatta sailed on
Tilghman Creek off the Miles River on May 17th.
This beautiful venue provided outstanding and tricky racing in the close
confines of the creek.
Pasadena sailor Scott Williamson sailed, observed by his future crew Charlie, age 3 and Tommy, 19 months ashore, waiting to gain just a little weight and a few years before jumping in with Dad. Single handing is very tough in puffy, shifty conditions, but Scott made it look easy by doing a “horizon job” in the first race. The other single hander, Ed Lutz of Annapolis, scored a second in the fourth race, and should be given credit for a second place in the third race. He crossed the line on the second downwind leg and sailed off into the noonday sun. Who knows what happens to a sailor's brain when cruising to an easy second? Did it really look like there should have been a downwind finish? Ed was still talking to himself after the regatta.
Bill Lane, sailing with wife Barbara, proved that smart sailing and old tricks, like not falling off into a hole after rounding the weather mark, can lead to a couple of easy victories. Another longtime Penguin sailor, Roger Pickall, turned into a crew and let junior Patrick Penwell take the helm and got things settled down and in gear in the last race. Regatta organizer Monty Baker brought Donna Mckenzie back from a long illness to race to a second place in the second race on this beautiful spring day.
Following the breeze and tacking on about the third flicker of the luff were the keys to success in this narrow creek. Big air turned little very quickly, especially at the weather mark, so shifting gears in a hurry paid dividends. Fast crew work (read young, like my crew Del Walter, who slept all the way home) makes a skipper's life easy in these conditions. A quick brain also helped as Bill Lane proved at the weather mark of the last race, when he made going up and over the lead boat and into first look so natural, like he's been doing this all his life. Well….
In the challenging conditions, three different boats won races, five of the six boats had at least a second, and everyone earned a top three finish. At the low end of the scale four boats counted a fourth in this no-throw-out event.
PRO Dick Kelly did an outstanding job with a square course and square line just big enough for the six boats. Thanks to Dick and Mike McKenzie, Sean and Maret Carey and Roger Kraovnek, who did a fine job setting marks and manning the safety boat.
The most fun came after the regatta when host Rick Rhine provided a catered cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers. Maple Hall proved a fine sailing and socializing venue.
2008 Maple Hall Regatta
9696 Paul Hull/Del Walter 2 1 2 1 2 8
4200 Bill Lane/Barbara Lane 4 3 1 3 1 12
7703 Scott Williamson 1 4 3 4 4 16
8839 Ed Lutz 3 5 5 2 5 20
9700 Monty Baker/ 5 2 4 6 6 23
8241 Patrick Penwell/ 6 6 6 5 3 26