2009 Penguin Internationals


Charlie Krafft and Donna McKenzie really raised the bar in the Penguin Internationals sailed on August 11th through 13th at West River Sailing Club. In most championships straight third-place finishes will put you in the winners’ circle. Charlie and Donna led the fleet with a total of 10 points in the six-race, one-throw-out regatta. They kept out of trouble in the only race sailed on Tuesday in unpredictable very light shifts. Smart sailing and super boat speed in the equally light but more directionally stable second day resulted in a perfect day: two first place finishes. Steady sailing put them over the top by three points during the 8 to 10k bumpy and shifty northerly on Thursday. 


No matter where you finished in this annual class championship you were near a Krafft boat. Charlie’s brother Hank won the long distance award. He traveled from Alberta, Canada (Hank hadn’t sailed a Penguin since last year’s championship) for a respectable mid-fleet finish and top single-handed sailor. Their sister Amy sailing with Matthew Chow beat Charlie’s son Martin on a tiebreaker. Top Junior Sailor Martin sailed with Charlotte Andreason on Tuesday and Thursday and Steven Chow on Wednesday.  Top woman skipper Amy and Matthew shared a brief moment of glory on the first day by sailing to second place during the third leg of the race. They were undone by wind filling in from the left and topped in the race and the series by longtime Penguin sailor John Majane and crew Craig Taylor. Light air makes tenuous champions of us all.


There were three boats from the Chicago fleet. Dan Hilliard single-handed while his brother Pat sailed with son John. Former Internationals Champs Sandy and Marilyn Rapp were forced to withdraw after the first day and return to Chicago. Sandy won his first of three Internationals in 1968. New Penguin sailor Pat is demonstrating his commitment to the class by building a new fiberglass Penguin from class-owned molds.


Local and new Penguin sailor Bob Blomquist, sailing in a newly painted and very green boat, rounded out the single-hand sailors.


Veteran Penguin sailor and 2005 and 2002  Internationals Champion Steve Lavender sailing with his daughter Erin won the race on the tricky first day. Steve and Erin won the Lawson Family award for the highest placing family boat and placed second overall. They were followed by one point in the standings by Jonathan Bartlett and Kyle Comerford who edged Sandy McAllister in a tiebreaker. Sandy sailed with Conor LeMire on the first day and Patrick Floyd on the second and third. Sandy and crew easily won the heartbreaker award. They were tied with Charlie and Donna for first after the first two days but tumbled on the shifty northerly on Thursday. As was true with Del Walter and me if you read the scores in reverse it can feel better or worse depending on your final standing. The psychology of a high score at the beginning is easier on the ego than a finishing with a high score in the last couple of races of a series. Psychology is everything especially in light air.


Thanks to West River for hosting this regatta.