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RS Aero North American Midwinters at Palm Beach Sailing Club

by Marc Jacobi 30 Jan 15:27 GMT 27-28 January 2018
RS Aero North American Midwinters at Palm Beach Sailing Club © Palm Beach Sailing Club

2018 was a "sporty" year for the RS Aero Midwinters, once again co-hosted by Sailfish Club of Florida and Palm Beach Sailing Club in Palm Beach, Florida. It was windy. Like 40 knots on Friday (so no sailing during the clinic), and gusts into the mid-30s on Saturday (which laid down to a pleasant 12-20 as soon as the committee abandoned ashore for the day, natch).

At least Sunday dawned sunny and warm, the breeze considerately moving a smidge south of East allowing easy launching into Lake Worth for five races in 10-20+ knot breeze tumbling over the barrier island just to windward of the racing area. It was a tough day to get used to an 85-lb speedster, but several class newbies joined seasoned owners, swelling the ranks to 26 entrants. This was truly an international competition, with sailors from Canada, UK and from across the USA plying the warm waters of Lake Worth.

Several lighter folks put up 5 rigs (the smallest of three RS Aero rig choices, the others being seven and nine). Several others wouldn't have minded joining them but didn't have 5s in their quivers. Podium finishers in the nine-boat fleet were Julie Willis (UK) in third (Top Female overall), then a tie for first between local Paul Gingras and David Solnick of New York. The tie was broken in favor of Paul (no-doubt for his pull with the Sailfish Club that resulted in literally buckets of Rum Punch, plus trays of Beef Wellington and Shrimp Yummys).

Even the big boys who went out Saturday after race cancellation were impressed enough by the jagged breeze to switch down to 7s for Sunday's racing, resulting in a robust seventeen-boat fleet. Class newcomer Bob Patterson, sailing in his first Aero regatta as an owner, placed a close third to 2017 North American Champion Hank Saurage, who was heard saying he felt a bit "off" (wonder if it was the thirty-two-ounce Rum and Cokes he and Ash Beatty were witnessed downing on Saturday?). 2017 RS Aero 9 World Champion Marc Jacobi from Connecticut overcame a disastrous first race (replete with a foul, lost tiller extension, and embarrassing use of profanity, all on the first leg!) to top the podium.

Awards

Farthest Traveled; #TeamLymo dead heat, Julie won the tie break arm wressle. Best Beard: This is, of course, a highly subjective award. Does one go for Wild-n-Wooly (Tim Desmond/Bruce Avery), One-Notch-Down-But-Dang-That's-Thick (Jim Myers) or Carefully Coifed (Jesse Winterbottom)? In the end, Chris Schmitz wins for excellent symmetry, balance and fulfillment of mission (capture of energy bar crumbs and bringing ladies to the yard).

Best Regatta-mobile: Hank Saurage, who raised property values from Baton Rouge to Palm Beach by driving his tasty Indus Silver Jaguar XF SportBrake to the event with boat on top. Honorable mention similarly to Bob Patterson in his Porsche Cayenne S.

Coolest Pic on a Bathroom Wall: Paul Gingras, former Commodore of Palm Beach SC, looking quite stylin' at the helm of a Santa Cruz 50 in the middle of the Pacific aimed at Honolulu.

"Best" Expletives, Weather Mark Edition: Marc Jacobi and Ash Beatty (unbreakable tie). Sorry again, Ash!

With heartfelt, profuse thanks to Palm Beach Sailing Club and Sailfish Club of Florida, the RS Aero fleet moves its sights one hour north, where next weekend the class contests its second Annual Florida State Championship at the US Sailing Center in Jensen Beach, FL. Will the fleet get blown away by honking Easterlies again? Will Hank shake off this weekend's hangover? Can anything tame Tim Desmond's beard? Stay tuned!

Overall Results:

PosSail SkipperClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
RS Aero 5
11378Paul Gingras Sailfish Club of Florida [6] 12216
21David Solnick Sebago NY2211[5] 6
32475Julie Willis Lymington Town SC UK13[4] 329
41278Jeffrey Leach Sailfish Club of Florida 35[7] 4315
50John Brim Sailfish Club of Florida [DNC] 635418
62119Geoffrey Moehl Lake Eustis Sailing Club FL445[DNC] DNC 23
72279Larry Cole Seattle Yacht Club WA5[7] 66623
83Kim Frisbie Sailfish Club of Florida [DNC] DNC DNC DNC DNC 40
91760Tom J. Bowler Sailfish Club of Florida [DNC] DNC DNC DNC DNC 40
RS Aero 7
12218Marc Jacobi Cedar Point YC CT [6] 11114
21626Hank Saurage Pontchartrain YC LA 13[4] 2410
32404Robert Patterson Melbourne YC FL4224[6] 12
42122Keith Willis Lymington Town SC UK3433[5] 13
52278Karl Thorne Lymington Town SC UK25[8] 5719
641Timothy Desmond Wadawanuck YC CT565[7] 319
72212Jim Myers Watch Hill YC RI7[9] 76222
82209Jesse Winterbottom Melbourne YC FL8[10] 68830
92276Bill McKenzie Palm Beach SC FL[11] 7910935
101738Tony Corkell Carolina SC NC[DNC] 81091037
111Bruce Avery Watch Hill YC RI[12] 1112111246
122275Jeff Dunmall Canada[13] 1213131149
131423Roy Cooley Piseco YC NY10[DNC] 1112DNS 51
142277Charles Delamater Palm Beach SC FL9[DNC] DNC DNC DNC 63
152282Chris Schmitz Concord YC TN14[DNF] DNC DNC DNC 68
161610Gregory Popp Halifax SA FL[DNC] DNC DNC DNC DNC 72
175Ash Beatty MISA TX[DNC] DNC DNC DNC DNC 72
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