for Black Tie Regatta
By Jimneta Christian
Lambent winds persisted during most of the Black Tie's 40th Anniversary
Regatta making the racing esprit of skippers and crew paramount. This
"Champagne of Regattas" was hosted by Rush Creek Yacht Club, Heath, Texas,
over the sunny weekend of April 11th through the 13th.
As contestants neared the venue, vivid purplish-blue Texas bluebonnets
heralded them. They trekked from seventeen states, namely Colorado,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma,
Texas, and Wisconsin.
Teaser breezes, an azure sky, and temperatures hovering around 78 degrees
tried to entice 96 skippers, plus those requiring minimal crews, onto the
waters of Lake Ray Hubbard on Friday afternoon. For all A, E, C, I-20, and
MC scows, the commencement of the first two races was postponed until the
forces that be generated a somewhat steady, southerly breeze.
For the day, the wind's velocity ranged from 10-3 m.p.h., in that order.
The I-20 and MC Fleets shared a common starting line and course with
variable winds. The first race, the wind was light from the southeast,
with shifts from the south causing a change of course. Propelling puffs
pushed the envelope to about 7 m.p.h. for the day. Waning wind and pockets
of zilch movement caused the course to be shortened during the second
race. Both fleets finished downwind.
Saturday morning's scenario of stillness cultivated even less of a lure to
be upon the lake than the day before. Helmsmen, their crews, families, and
friends watched and waited wishing for the winds to whip up. They never
Those who partied late saw an even earlier Sunday morning as the gun blast
began the first race at 8:30! Dittoed from yesterday, there were the same
fleet groupings, shared starting lines, and respective courses. As on
Friday afternoon, crewmembers, along with a few spectators, viewed the
races from their appropriate boats or barges waiting in the wings for
their skippers if the winds would wax.
The wind's range, for the two morning races, was clocked from a southerly
direction at around 12-16 m.p.h. for the A, C, and E Fleets. Iterated from
yesterday's races, the A and C Fleets raced their original courses. But
for the E Fleet's races, they experienced a shortened course and finished
at the leeward mark.
Simultaneously, the I-20 and MC Fleets were given their own individual
class starts. They had to contend with squirrelly wind shifts. Adroitness
in reading the winds and heading for the correct side of the course was
utmost in being successful in these races.
Winds blowing from the southeast were scaled to a light breeze. As the
first race proceeded, the wind grew into a gentle breeze, and a shift came
from the south. No course changes were necessary.
in-between-race respite, some skippers high-tailed it to the barges to
pick up their crew. Some continued to assess the situation. Some deferred
boarding their crew. Then, just a few minutes shy of the five-minute gun,
the wind settled down a bit. Some skippers returned their crews to the
The deadline of six ship's bells to begin the second race was drawing
nigh. Its start was in the nick of time meeting the S.I.'s qualification!
The wind's tempo grew to a gentle breeze and
tipped over into a moderate breeze during the last race. A huge, bodacious
wind shift from the east-southeast caught many adept skippers off guard!
There was a major course change with a hoopla at the windward rounding and
PRO sage Brad Davis, for the A, E, and C Fleets,
commented about the weekend's wind challenges, "I was impressed with the
quality of the (race) committee work with such great people under
Class trophy results for each one-design, racing
division were as follows: A-scows--4 boats in division 1) Skipper Andy
Burdick & crew George Beukema, Jim Petersen, Charlie Harrison, Peter Keck,
Max Avery: Lake Geneva YC, WI 2) Skipper Rob Evans & crew Richard Evans,
Geoff Evans, Mark Christensen, Pete Crawford, Dug Buffington, Steve
Kennedy: Minnetonka YC, MN 3) Skipper Brian Henke & crew Geoff Ackley,
Dave Halaska, Steve Halaska, Howard Halaska, Bob Stoltz, Jim Glueck:
Pewaukee YC, WI E-scows--4 boats in division 1) Skipper Pat Hughes & crew
Mike Norman, Gordy Bowers, Nancy Hughes: Minnetonka YC, MN 2) Skipper John
Bobnowski & crew Dave Magno, Greg Barow, Parker Stanzione: Lavallette
YC, NJ 3) Skipper Kristopher Koehnen & crew: Al Christian, Peter Ryan,
Julia Wyland: MN C-scows--33 boats in division 1) Skipper John Dennis &
crew John Loomis, Courtney Krejci: Upper Minnetonka YC, MN 2) Skipper
Erick Youngquist & crew Nathan Quist, Jaymie Youngquist: Lake Geneva YC,
3) Skipper Peter Strothman & crew Zak Fanberg: Minnetonka YC, MN 4)
Skipper Michael Lynch & crew Christopher Impens, Mary Lynch: Browns Lake
YC, WI 5) Skipper Tom Frentzel & crew Rick Kotovic: Pewaukee YC, WI 6)
Skipper Augie Barkow & crew Chris Andert, Amanda Allen: Pewaukee YC, WI 7)
Skipper Scott Helms & crew Charlie Harrett, Kristi Erickson: White Bear
YC, MN 8) Skipper James Flood & crew Patrick Flood, Aimee Flood: Reeds
Lake YC, MI Second Place C Scow Black Tie Regatta Perpetual
Trophy--Skipper Erick Youngquist & crew Nathan Quist, Jaymie Youngquist:
Lake Geneva YC, WI I-20 scows--13 boats in division 1) Skipper John Spargo
& crew Jim Brust: Mendota YC, WI 2) Skipper Alec Chabalowski & crew Anita
Bersie: MI 3) Skipper Paul Bates & crew Steve Scheck: Mendota YC, WI
MC-scows--41 boats in division 1) Skipper Greg Gust and crew Court
Bookout: Rush Creek YC, TX 2) Skipper
Jack Kern: Rush Creek YC, TX 3) Skipper Scott Slocum: Rush Creek YC, TX 4)
Skipper Doug Kern: Austin YC, TX 5) Skipper Lewis Conger: Shreveport YC,
LA 6) Skipper Danny Ziegler: Windycrest SC, OK 7) Skipper Dan Fink: Little
Muskego YC, WI. MC Master--Skipper Greg Gust: Rush Creek YC, TX. MC Grand
Master--Skipper Jack Kern: Rush Creek YC, TX
The Perpetual MC Single-Handed Trophy--Skipper Lewis Conger: Shreveport
YC, LA The Black Tie MC Perpetual Trophy--Skipper Greg Gust & crew Court
Bookout: Rush Creek YC, TX
"Once again, the sailors who finished on top were the
ones who sailed conservative races. It's interesting to point out that out
of the four races which made up the regatta, the (top) two finishers in
the MC Scow Class never won a race the entire weekend."