Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Wrap-up & Future Resolutions

2017 was a great year for M-Scows.  At least it started out that way.  So far, I have sailed in 47 M-Scow races.  I got in 9 out 10 races for the MRYC Spring Series.  We started out with 8 boats on April 30 under some tough conditions.  We’re usually lucky to have 8 boats in great weather in the Spring!  The next day we sailed had 13 boats!  A record for the Spring Series.

I have sailed in some BBYRA races in the past, but I never qualified for the BBYRA series until this Summer.  It was a lot of fun, with one race including 16 boats on the race course!  We also had 3 new Junior sailors, with Barron Cohen BH-9 qualifying the series!  In total, 20 boats races with 14 of those boats qualifying.  That’s 5 more qualifiers than 2016!

One of the best things about sailing the M-Scow is sailing in the Lavallette Yacht Club Sunday Series!  We had a total of 14 boats with 11 boats sailing in one race.  John Applegate won the Series, but it was much more competitive.  We had 6 different race winners!  I found out this Summer,  on 2 race dates, all of the M-Scows from all of the other Yacht clubs can sail with us on those Sundays. But it hardly ever happens.  Very few people make it.

We won the Callahan Regatta this Summer.  We won the first race, and Susan Rogers won races 2 and 3.  It’s a Friday Regatta, which is great for boat traffic, and if you happen to be a retired sailor.  So it looked like every Sandpiper and B Cat was there, and we had six boats.  We always have a very good BBYRA race on Saturday, and the prospect of sailing three days in a row is very hard to pull off from a family perspective.    I think we should notify them, and tell them the M-Scow will not sail the Callahan Regatta in 2018.  Most of the younger sailors just can’t make this regatta.

The highlight of the year was the North American Championship Regatta at Pigeon Lake Yacht Club!  It was a very competitive regatta with 5 different race winners in this 8 race regatta. I even won a race!   Bobcageon Ontario was such a wonderful place to visit!  Mike Burton Davies bought Ken Ingles’ beautiful Pegel M-Scow!  But their fleet numbers are down.  They are having trouble finding younger sailors in the third best community to retire in Canada.   We changed the timing of the regatta into mid August which lost us three boats from the East.  Tried something different; didn’t work.  There were several people that I believe could have done a better job as Commodore.  They were offered the job and didn’t take it.  I was voted in as Commodore of the North American M-Scow Association so quickly it was scary! I was told by Susan Rogers that it’s a two year term. 

By the time the Easterns came, I had already sailed in 42 races, and most of my crew choices had dwindled.   We had a good regatta at Seaside Park YC with only 8 boats.  It has long been believed that the optimal total crew weight on an M is around 270 lbs.  This year, we had the opportunity to test sailing an M-Scow with a combined crew weight 200 lbs higher (470 lbs).  We didn't win any races, and although John Applegate helped us tune the boat, the boat felt sluggish.  The boat appeared to be floating below her lines.  My crew was 6'3" and 250 lbs so the cockpit looked smaller, even though he is pretty athletic.  His whisker pole work was very good.  When the wind died, and the boat would come to a stop, the boat felt like it was sinking.  We finished the Regatta in last. 

Hopefully this will give everybody an idea about just how many opportunities we have to race an M-Scow.  Maybe by late August or early September, the majority of M-Scow Sailors have had enough and kind of need a rest.  For 2018, we need to schedule accordingly.  But we need your input.   For the Easterns, we have had a long history of sailing it as a one day regatta in the Fall.  It started out in 1984 as a Fall regatta on the 3rd Saturday of September.  Probably 10 years ago, we moved to the second weekend of September, mostly because it is the only weekend in September that doesn’t have an E-Scow regatta.  There are a lot of M-Scow sailors that also sail E-Scows, but many are making the decision to not sail in the regatta.  The second weekend also is the A Cat Worlds.  This is one good reason to move the regatta back to the third weekend of September.

So three things:
1.  We are looking at opting out of the Callahan Regatta
2.  We should move the North Americans back to the last weekend in July of 2018 in the Midwest.
3.  I would like to move the Easterns which we are working on running out of LYC back to the third weekend in September, 2018.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Thank you,

Tom Welsch