‘Meerkat Conditions’ close out Verve Inshore Regatta

Published on August 23rd, 2015

Chicago, IL (August 23, 2015) – There was no shortage of competition in the smaller fleets racing the Chicago Yacht Club Verve Inshore Regatta. After a brief onshore postponement in the morning allowed storms to roll through, the breeze filled in allowing the Race Committee to run two races completing the Verve Inshore and J/70 and Etchells Great Lakes Championships.

Reach Around won the J/70 Great Lakes Championship despite a third place finish in the first race, and a tie moved Norgirl, the only all-female team, from fourth to fifth. Despite the heavier conditions for a lightweight crew, Norgirl was able to remain consistent rounding out the day with fourth and fifth place finishes. One of the all-star females crewing was 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble, who was trimming main. “We were really aggressive to depower the boat and the flat water helped a lot. We knew it was going to be a really shifty day — we call it a meerkat day, where you just have to be propped up like a meerkat looking around.”

Overall, there wasn’t much movement in any of the fleets except an upset between Rhodes 19s Zephyr and Nirvana. Saturday’s leader, Nirvana, fell to second after third and fourth place finishes. “The boats don’t accelerate quite like a Viper or a J/70, but we were able get good starts and keep flat sails,” said Culler. “It was a very mysterious series. The breeze was going east, so of course everyone was going left but Nirvana went right and stayed right to the layline.”

In the Etchells Great Lakes Championship, Craig (Donald) Mense continued the five boat fleet, but only won the championship by a narrow margin of two points over Mark Teborek. “The fleet may be small, but everyone turned up for the competition,” said Mense. “After we didn’t do so well in the first race, I doused the windbreaker and took the gloves off.”

The Colgate 26s had an exciting day in the upper extremities of their limits. Newcomer Michael Leslie was able to enjoy a weekend full of first place finishes aboard his recently purchased Colgate 26. Although he is new to the boat and the fleet, prior dinghy experience helped him take first in each of the five races. “I’ve sailed on a lot of little boats with just a jib, and all of that is pretty translatable to a Colgate,” says Leslie. “I think what separated us from the others is that we could adjust to the conditions more quickly.”

Verve Inshore Regatta Winners

Etchells: USA 1280, Craig (Donald) Mense
J/70: Reach Around, Thomas Bowen
Colgate 26: Cretin Hop, Michael Leslie
Viper 640: Preflight, Jacob Karlin
Rhodes 19: Zephyr, Marc Culler

Event detailsJ/70 resultsOther resultsPhotos

Source: Morgan Kinney, Chicago Yacht Club

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