Snowbird Tune-Up Regatta

February 26, 2015 Punta Gorda, Florida

A full house of thirty skippers was registered for this regatta, but the forecast of heavy rain and thunderstorms had three skippers think twice about racing. Although the weather was not perfect all day there was some great racing with cheering for those novice regatta skippers who finished well. The breeze for the first race was out of the northwest, right on the edge of A and B sail. During the race the air lightened up and those who chose A sails prevailed. After a few heats the winds dropped off to nothing. During lunch a new front came thru and the light breeze filled in from the west and continued from that direction for the rest of the regatta.

The Gold and Silver fleets were separated by three odd even races. Then each fleet raced two races at a time until the 3pm or so time limit. The Gold completed a total of 8 races including the three seeding races, and the Silver fleet completed 7 races to complete their series. Jim Kaighin,  Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, won four of his eight races to win the regatta by two points over Alan Perkins, TheVillages, FL, who placed second with 18 points. Dave Branning, from Maryland’s Eastern Shore placed third with 23 points, fourth and fifth went to Al Dion and Janice Anderson, both local sailors.

The Silver fleet saw some newcomers racing who all improved during the day. Snowbird Larry Lefczik sailed into first place by just one point over Port Charlotte’s David Horthrop, and two points over third place, local club member Jack Ward. This year’s program of sailing a Gold and Silver fleet for each of the three Snowbird Series Regattas gives the newer, less experienced skipper a chance to sail against some of the best RC Laser skippers in the class, and fine tune their skills. Then after the fleets are separated they put into practice what they learned in the seeding races.

The idea for this regatta started with RC Laser class secretary Nick Mortgu, asking the Sun Coast Commodore Jack Ward if there were any open days on their pond when some Snowbirds from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Jersey Boys could tune up before the Mid-Winter Championship on Marco Island. With the support of Dave Brawner, who has been Race Director for the past three years, and the super regatta team from Sun Coast Model sailing club this is now part of the “Snowbird Southern Circuit” and has grown to a 30 boat event. Thank you DB and Sun Coast team of, Paul Newfield, Howard Means, Eric Miller, Joe Hitchings, Jeff Hawley, Frank Richards, Paul Brewer, Gib Loesel, and Art Hawes! A special thanks to Beth Lippincott who handles the registration, gifts, and food for the event.

Gold Fleet Race winners: Jim Kaighin 4, Nick Mortgu 2, Alan Perkins 2, Janice Anderson 1, Al Dion 1, Jim Karr 1

Silver Fleet Race winners: Larry Lefczik 2, Jack Ward 2,

Gold Fleet
Place Sail Number Skipper Points
1 75 Jim Kaighin 16
2 14 Alan Perkins 18
3 93 Dave Branning 23
4 30 Al Dion 34
5 68 Janice Anderson 35
6 79 Bill Ewing 36
7 00 Nick Mortgu 40
8 41 Jim Karr 47
9 21 Frank Vella 47
10 91 Frank Steffens 48
11 732 Hank Buchanan 49
12 33 Richard Flach 52
13 01 Doug Hawksworth 60
14 218 Theresa Rae Gay 66
Silver Fleet
Place Sail Number Skipper Points
1 123 Larry Lefczik 30
2 4035 David Horthrop 31
3 148 Jack Ward 32
4 94 William Bentz 32
5 95 Steve Lippincott 38
6 12 David Martens 41
7 43 David Shaw 45
8 112 Jim DeSeno 50
9 80 Len Redon 54
10 02 Joan Lefczik 55
11 28 Ray Szulczewski 56
12 99 Roger Baldwin 58
13 1015 Bill Coppage 59