An Alternative for the Casual Racer

Published on May 5th, 2016

Hatched over the winter, Ken Quant has been promoting an idea he hopes will encourage participation this season in Lake Michigan.

“We get approximately 80 boats out on any given Wednesday night, yet only 15 to 18 on weekends for our traditional three race per day Saturday PHRF fleet,” noted Quant. “That fleet use to have 50 boats racing just 15 years ago, so you can see the trend.

“In an effort to reinvigorate weekend sailing in Milwaukee Bay, a new plan is being organized for 2016 to offer a racing alternative for the casual racers.”

Called the Milwaukee Bay Saturday Afternoon Series (MBSAS), the new fleet is held concurrent but separate to the traditional three-races-per-day offshore PHRF fleet series that is annually held.

The MBSAS will have its own courses and scoring, with the 2016 season to start with a non-taxing schedule: June 4 and 25, July 16, August. 20 and September 10.

“Interest in the new Saturday afternoon racing fleet continues to be strong, with 30 skippers indicating their desire to race,” noted Quant.

The attraction is the format. Each race will start at 1:30 pm and have a two-hour time limit to get everyone off the water no later than 4:30, just in time to join the traditional PHRF fleet party. All races will use a fixed triangle course sailed the same way no matter which way the wind blows.

“Races are scheduled to go twice around, but quick consideration will be given to shortening course in light winds,” explained Quant. “We want to get everyone off the course in no more than two hours.”

The MBSAS provides a pathway for people interested in sailing with a purpose, providing them a taste of racing without getting overwhelmed. Additionally, by holding the MBSAS races alongside the more intense racing group, those wanting to test themselves among a more advanced fleet know where to go.

Additional details available on the South Short Yacht Club website.

Source: Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation

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