The 2016 Conroe Yacht Club Spring Fling Regatta is now in the books. We had 23 boats from as far away as Baton Rouge and as close as our own club start 5 races on Saturday and 3 Sunday. Without the expert help of race committee Jim Simmons, Ken Walters and Steve La Haie, this year’s regatta couldn't happen; thanks guys! We also had Howard Reid, Mari Gentry and Annette Johnson working the chase / water / safety boat and did a fantastic job. Teri Simmons and Carole La Haie provided probably the best part of the entire regatta, the food! A huge thank you to both of these girls for a job very well done. Veit Gentry handled all the registration and as usual, it went without a hitch.
Saturday provided 10-15 mph winds gusting to 20 at times. The committee laid out a 3/4 mile beat to the top mark with a 1/2 mile jibe mark on the run to the bottom. They ran us on an Olympic course with the start / finish line below. The committee had to deal with three fleets; Sunfish, Laser and Portsmouth starting in that order. The idea was to get the slower Sunfish off first, then the Lasers and Portsmouth boats so all fleets would finish at about the same time and eliminate as much time waiting for the next series of starts. This all seemed like a great idea until all the boats were finishing and three people had to try and keep score. But they did it and in grand fashion. Ken decided after the first race to spread them out a little to make scoring more reliable. It's great to have people on the water with the knowledge for making calls like this making scoring as accurate as possible.
CYC member Yanic Harel gave it his best shot in a Sunfish. Our regatta is host to the Sunfish Southwest Regional World Qualifier and as such attracts very good Sunfish skippers. Yanic had his hands full but kept them all honest. With a capsize on day two that would have sent most to the clubhouse, Yanic soldiered on and finished the series in 4th place; bravo.
The Lasers saw national youth ranked sailor Carson Shields show the others how to do it in a blow. At 17 years old, Carson is as fit as any Laser sailor and a crafty tactician on the water. On the second day he was over early at the start to only restart and hit the pin mark. Once he restarted a second time he was well behind the fleet…and still won. A great sailor among very good competition.
The Portsmouth fleet was made up of International Canoes, WETA trimarans, both AERO 7 & 9, Flying Scots and International 420. CYC sailor Mike Lindstrom with CYC member Joe Pasciak as crew sailed the Scot to 3rd overall, being beaten by the WETA of Darin Keever and the AERO 7 of world ranked sailor Hank Saurage.
The club served half-pound steak burgers off the charcoal grill with all the fixings. Great food was had by all and the conversation was both lively and interesting. Amazing as to the diversity of people who sail.
The members of Conroe Yacht Club thank all those who came from near and far to sail at our little club. We all want to especially than Ron and Myra Liston for their unwavering support of our sailing addictions. Without them, none of this would be possible. This race started four years ago and has been growing ever since. If you’re a club member and have not been to one of these regattas, you’re truly missing out.
Well done to all those who helped put on the 2016 Spring Fling Regatta.