Day Three – US Champs - CAN 225 wins
written by David Baum on September 20 of 2021 and read by 284
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High pressure set into the SE Wisconsin area allowing a familiar SE lake breeze with leftover swell from the preceeding NE. RC determined to complete a full array of seven races setting one final race consisisting of a six mile legs into a gently building breeze of 6 to 8 knots to 10-12 knots. The Milwaukee Bay was full of activity with a benefit for children occurring along with a final club race on Saturday. It a was a neat showcase for the Solings.
RC set a 140 meter starting using a robotic mark for the pin which could maintain an extremely square starting line. The marks were 4 feet in diameter. Most started on starboard tack looking to a stronger wind.
The light conditions suited local favorite USA 832 with Ashley Henderson at helm. Crossing the fleer with ease the remaining fleet looked for stronger air. As the race continued, USA 808 kept right on the course and found fresher breeze ultimately leading the pack of six boats to the final mark. Meanwhile, with third place in contention both USA 768 with Tom Elliot at helm and USA 845 with Dave Baum at helm did their best to wiggle through the waves with sail power to best each other. In the end, it was USA 845 meeting USA 808 at the leeward mark able to gybe inside of USA 808 to take third place in the race and event. USA782 with John Walton at helm took the win almost from the beginning of the race with seeming ease. The team's deep downwind sailing technique was impressive. CAN 225 finished in second place which became their dropped score. Peter Hall at helm showed unique understanding of the Soling and wind and water. His leadership and skill was appreciated by all Soling sailors.
In retrospect, this week would have provided world class racing conditions for the Soling class and its World Championship. Excellent race committee. Two days or 16-18 knots with relatively calm water. Two days of 12-15 knot wind and waves and swell. One light day of 6-10 knots with leftover swell. 77F degrees. Sunshine.
Please come to Milwaukee in 2023 and try for yourself! The Milwaukee Bay Soling Fleet thanks all of the terrific volunteers, family, and mentors who helped make this event held during a pandemic. We couldn't do it without you. We hope for easier times in the future. Happy sailing.
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