2013 Richardson Trophy Regatta

Published on September 17th, 2013

The Richardson Trophy was established in 1912. “Commodore S. O. Richardson, Jr., of the Toledo Yacht Club, Toledo, Ohio, donated a silver trophy to encourage match sail yacht racing between substantial yachts representing various of the Great Lakes”

Each year the Richardson Trophy is competed for by teams of sailors representing member clubs of The Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes. This year’s Richardson Trophy Regatta on September 14-15, 2013 was hosted by the Buffalo Yacht Club (Buffalo, NY), which last hosted the event in 2006.

The first day of racing was unusually cool, windy and rainy. If that was not enough that gusty winds of 15-20 were oscillating at ninety degrees from a northern direction. However, all seven competitors were eager to show their skills and prove themselves as robust challengers to the historic Richardson Trophy. With equality in the beginning, there soon started to show strength in the performance of James Barnash as he consistently scored points with every race being a victory over his competitors. He ended the day with a perfect record of six wins. Both Steve Lowery and Mark Johnson followed closely with four wins each.

Saturday morning proved sunny with adequate winds for the finishing of round robin one. Barnash continued his winning ways again with Lowery and Johnson hanging tough. As the day worn on, the winds faded demanding a temporary abandonment. With the winds picking up again in the afternoon, things got back on track. The day ended with the conclusion of round robin two. This set up Sunday for the semi finals. Barnash as leader would pick Holz leaving Johnson and Lowery to compete in the first round of the semi finals.

Sunday morning’s weather broke with mostly clear skies and a wind from the southwest at 12-15 mph. Barnash and Lowery initiate their battle as do Johnson and Holz. Holz secures a third place by beating Johnson. Barnash and Lowery continue to battle it out with a 1-1 count after two. In the third race Lowery with a good lead rounds the wrong windward mark and loses. Score 2-1 after three. The next race saw Lowery take a prestart penalty which he went on to scrub on the first windward leg. He continued on to hold a good lead to and past the first windward mark. Barnash overtook Lowery when he had a bad chute launch and Barnash maintained this margin of victory for the rest of the race.

So after 101 years encompassing 74 races, the 2013 Richardson trophy was awarded to James Barnash of Rochester Yacht Club representing Lake Yacht Racing Association. Crew members assisting were Travis Odenbach and Gunnar Richardson.

Final standings
1. James Barnash, Lake Yacht Racing Association
2. Steve Lowery, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation
3. Will Holz, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation
4. Mark Johnson, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation
5. Matt Graham, Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association
6. Spenser Colpaert, Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association
7. Nick Kroeger, Lake Yacht Racing Association

Submitted: Scott Spaeth, President, Yacht Racing Union Great Lakes

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