2005 Santana 20 Western Regional Championships
Report by Andrew Kerr
This year’s Western regional Championships were held at the annual SOCKS regatta (Seattle One Design Centerboard and Keelboat Series) in Seattle over the weekend of May 14th & 15th.
Ten boats were entered in the event – six from Fleet 16 and four from Fleet 19 (Eugene, OR). Fleet 19 travelers included SOCKS veterans Ron Fish and his team on Giddy up, Doug Smith and his team on one eye Jacq, Jerald Skeen and his team on Atomic Punk, and Brian Genovese and his team on Wing and a Prayer. The latter team are Eugene YC juniors and it was their first SOCKS regatta - it was great to see them compete at this event.
Fleet 16 was represented by Fleet Captain Derek Hardy and his team on Already Gone from Olympia, Barry Williams and his team from West Sound CYC, Kevin Swackhamer and team from WINSA, Steve Orsini and his team from Anacortes YC, Matt Wallis and his team from STYC, and Chris Winnard, Andrew Kerr and Bill Ramaciotti on Disaster Area - representing Corinthian YC and Southwestern YC.
Seven races were completed by the super efficient Seattle YC race committee who do an outstanding job of setting marks in very deep water with strong current. The race management is top notch at SOCKS and is one of the many reasons competitors come back every year for this excellent one design event.
Saturday saw a light southerly wind with an ebb current that built all day. With the current against the fleet, the wind oscillating 10 degrees, and the velocity very patchy, the key was to be in good current and sailing in the velocity as much as possible. The general trend was to head left for current relief but also to take advantage of some of the right shifts which occurred later in the afternoon.
Another important element was management of the other fleets - particularly finding lanes of clear air and avoiding the crowd (sometimes not possible!) at mark roundings. Just about every S20 team experienced a congested mark rounding that they either negotiated well or got tangled up in.
Team Disaster Area won race # 1 and #2 with Steve Orsini (Anacortes YC) and his team on Inferno applying plenty of pressure. Ron Fish and team and Jerald Skeen and team were also going very well and there was good competition through out the fleet. Race # 3 and # 4 were won by Team Inferno. In race, # 3 Team Inferno took advantage of a 25 degree right shift off the starting line and lead from wire to wire with team Disaster Area climbing through the fleet and applying pressure. In Race # 4 Team Disaster Area was in the lead only to relinquish it at a leeward mark rounding having been boxed in by two Melges 24’s - allowing team Inferno to get by at the finish.
After sailing, the fleet enjoyed Pizza and refreshments at the Corinthian YC. It had been a full day of sailing with intense concentration and the teams were tired but psyched about at all the racing they had done.
Sunday was the windier day – a front had come in bringing a little rain to start with and then a glorious day of 10 to 20 knots with a strong ebb current and short chop. Three races were held in quick succession with the majority of the fleet opting the sail with jibs while Disaster Area used the Genoa to get through the chop. On this day Disaster Area led from wire to wire in all 3 races and consequently won the Western Regional Championships. Team Inferno sailed very well with three 2nd places for 2nd overall and Ron Fish and his team on Giddy up just pipped Jerald Skeen and team on Atomic Punk by a point for 3rd overall.
The fleet racing was very competitive with and every team had a race where they either had a good race or simply went faster. The young team on Wing and a Prayer should be congratulated for their persistence and participation; they sailed hard in every race.
This was another great SOCKS regatta; come and join us next year for this really fun event. Until then, hitch up you trailers as there is plenty of good S20 sailing to be had all over the country with plenty of good local sailing and good regattas to attend leading up to the National Championships at Cascade Locks , Oregon August 8th to the 12th.