By David Brawner

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…”

We had wind at Stowe!! It was a steady breeze that allowed us to use the same course for 24 consecutive heats at one point.  Yes, the breeze was that steady. Sure, we had some of the fluky stuff on the first day and a bit on the last day.  But, all day on Saturday was considered simply spectacular for any location.

Three fleet promotion/relegation was in order for the field of 31 skippers.  Over the course of two and half days of racing, they completed 51 heats.  The skippers did a great job getting in and out of the water to allow the regatta to maintain a good pace throughout.  Skipping a formal lunch break added several extra heats and probably a bit more fatigue.

Jim Goddard proved championships are won with consistency, not necessarily bullets.  He demonstrated his ability to overcome early race adversity and turn it into a low second or third place finish time and time again.  No doubt that he also won his share of races, both seeding heats and a couple fleet races.  Also, he never left the “A” fleet throughout the regatta.  No other skipper managed this feat. Congratulations Champ!!

The second and third positions were taken by two of the quietest skippers in the field. Though Jim Child and Ron Lange each spent some time in “B” fleet, they seemed to stay just long enough to say hello and then get back to the “A” fleet where they belonged.  Each of these skippers won 3 fleet races.

After a really good day on Sunday, newcomer Peter Feldman climbed a several positions to earn a fourth place finish just two points out of third.  There is no telling where he would have finished in the regatta if his rudder servo didn’t fail in the last 30 yards before the finish line when he was in a top spot on Saturday.  The heartwarming part of the story is that his father, Mike Feldman gave him his rudder servo out of his boat in order for Peter to stay in the competition while Mike took a couple DNS’s.  In the good karma department, Mike won a full Soling kit provided by Victor Model Yachts at the dinner on Saturday.  Peter won a race each day for a total of three.

Don Ouimette overcame early trouble in the regatta to take a solid fifth place finish.  After dropping down to the “B” fleet in each the first three races, he scored single digit scores and never again left the “A” fleet.

In a battle between two Suncoast Model Yacht Club members for 6th and 7th places, Doug Jones got the better of Jack Ward.  Though, Jack was scratching and clawing at Doug’s lead throughout the final day.  What was a 26 point difference ended with Doug just three points ahead of Jack.  A point to note Suncoast took three of the top seven spots with Jim Child, Doug Jones and Jack Ward.  Well done.

Don Hain won not one, but two fleet races including the first of the regatta after starting in the “B” fleet.  Our host, Bruce Nourjian scored a bullet in the 8th race of the regatta and Bill Ewing scored his bullet in the 11th race.

It was a packed house for the Saturday night banquet in the dining room at the Commodores Inn.  After an awesome buffet dinner, door prizes: a lifter and a set of Soling sails supplied by Chuck Millican and a full Soling kit supplied by Victor Model Yachts were raffled off.

My job as RD was made easy by a race committee full of Stowe regulars and some experienced imports.  The scoring was handled by Rosie Fitzhugh, Suzan Letwenski, Louise Townsend and Kim Montcalm.  George Dean and Jamie King took care of the action at the windward mark while Bob Letwenski and Barbara Wright handled the starting line and leeward end. Oliver Slesar was kept busy with dinghy duty, between rescuing boats and re-setting buoys. There was not a lot for co-RD, Ken Shaw and I to do other than sit there and look pretty.  We failed miserably at that part.

We owe a big thank you to the entire Stowe Yacht Club for their terrific pre-regatta preparation.  Once again the Commodores Inn provided a wonderful venue for a championship regatta.  Our hosts, Bruce and Carrie Nourjian went above the call of duty as they always do.  We are very fortunate to have this venue on the racing schedule.

Summary Version:

Event: Soling 1M NCR
Class: Soling 1M
Date: Sept. 9-11, 2016
Location: Commodores Inn, Stowe, VT
Host Club: Stowe Yacht Club (#159)
Entries: 31
Winds: Light/Variable (Fri & Sun); Moderate/Heavy (Sat)
Races Completed: 17 (51 Heats)
Scoring System: Three-Fleet Promotion/Relegation

Regatta Committee: David Brawner (RD); Ken Shaw (Co-RD); George Dean, Rosemarie Fitzhugh, Bob & Suzan Letwenski, Louise Townsend,  Kim Montcalm, Barbara Wright, Jamie King, Oliver Slesar.


2016 Soling 1M NCR Results:

Place Skipper Home Port Points
1 Jim Goddard Nova Scotia 42
2 Jim Child Florida 63
3 Ron Lange New York 75
4 Peter Feldman Michigan 78
5 Don Ouimette Connecticut 80
6 Doug Jones Florida 91
7 Jack Ward Florida 94
8 Bruce Nourjian Vermont 104
9 Bill Ewing NJ/Florida 122
10 George Townsend Vermont 140


Remaining Finishers: Fred Goebel, Charlie Berry, Don Hain, John McKinney, Bob Griswold, Tim Stone, Chuck Millican, Phil Tonks, John Martin, Peter DeWolfe, Clark Abbott, Mike Feldman, Nick Mortgu, Frank Vella, Jose Montcalm, Herb Dreher, Glenn Provost, Jim Knorr, Jim Linville, Robert Rotolo, Roger Potvin.