Gamecock claims IC37 Winter Series #1
Published on November 21st, 2021
The three event IC37 Winter Series got underway on November 19-21 with seven teams in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Persistent storms throughout the event made for challenging conditions, and while co-skippers Steve Liebel and Ray Wulff’s team New Wave won the lone race on Friday and dominated the first half of the regatta with a string of firsts, it was Peter McClennen’s Team Gamecock that walked away with top honors, having sailed a most consistent event and winning the final of four races run on Sunday.
Most teams arrived a day or two early to take advantage of Thursday’s practice session with Class Coach Moose McClintock. In addition to daily fleet briefings, McClintock helped teams with set-up prior to going out on the water and worked with boats on the water to optimize set-up and sail trim before races. The Class goal is to get all teams up to speed, especially those who are new to the class or chartering a boat.
Storms around the area made conditions on day one highly variable. After considerable pre-race tuning in light wind, the breeze filled in just before the starting sequence making it difficult for some teams to change gears.
The shorter course length, set for the light wind, made racing tight around the course with Bob Hesse’s Youngstown, New York team Zing leading the first lap. However, a strong counter current along the coast pushed teams below the leeward mark as they rounded, and New Wave was able to round tighter and pass Zing to windward, taking the lead for the rest of the race.
The second race on Friday began with black clouds in the distance. The majority of the fleet started and went left as proved to pay in the first race, but a big left shift caused the majority of the fleet to overstand and reaching to the first mark in rapidly building breeze. Gamecock rounded first and was the only boat to set their kite, but the angle to the mark proved too tight to carry a chute in the newly built breeze.
By the time the fleet approached the leeward mark, the Race Committee abandoned the race. Wind and driving rain forced the Race Committee to cancel further racing for the day.
Saturday ushered in even more wind and a wild sea state, so that races were canceled on shore for day two.
Wind decreased by Sunday and Clyde Wright and his Committee were eager to give sailors four good races, thereby setting the start time an hour earlier. The wind fluctuated vastly during the day between six and thirteen knots.
Race two, the first race of the day, was sailed in nine to thirteen knots with four to five foot waves, which made for some glorious downwind sailing. Hesse’s Zing led for the first half of the race, but it was New Wave that crossed the line in a tight finish with Zing and Gamecock.
New Wave continued its winning streak for race three, but in race four, Alexis Michas’s Midnight Blue started at the boat end of the line and held the fleet on starboard tack all the way until the port tack layline. Midnight Blue led wire to wire in the windiest race of the day.
With New Wave having a difficult fourth race, Peter McClennen’s Gamecock, which had been sailing consistently in the top three, became the boat to beat in the fifth and final race. Conditions proved most tricky in race five, with the breeze tapering off to about 6 knots during the first leg.
Teams that started and continued the farthest left were able to take advantage of a cloud line with more breeze and were able to maintain their speed and sail a better angle through the large chop. By the second lap, the breeze built again into the teens. There was quite a bit of mix up on the downwind legs and by the end of the race, Gamecock narrowly beat Phil Lotz’s Arethusa for the race win, pushing Gamecock ahead of New Wave by a point to take the regatta.
McClennen, a native of Fort Lauderdale, enjoyed Sunday’s breezy conditions and waves and was thrilled with his first regatta victory. “I was super excited that team Gamecock won the day and won the event. My squad, we have been working hard for three years in the IC37, sailing together in the boat for about 70 days this year, and it’s great to break through in the Fall Cup here at Lauderdale Yacht Club.”
Final Results (5 races)
1. Gamecock, Peter McClennen , USA – 3 -3 -2 -2 -1 ; 11
2. New Wave, Steve Liebel / Ray Wulff , USA – 1 -1 -1 -6 -3 ; 12
3. Midnight Blue, Alexis Michas , USA – 6 -4 -3 -1 -4 ; 18
4. Zing, Robert Hesse , USA – 2 -2 -6 -3 -6 ; 19
5. Arethusa, Phil Lotz , USA – 5 -6 -5 -4 -2 ; 22
6. Ticket, Whitmore / Greenhouse , USA – 4 -7 -4 -7 -5 ; 27
7. Next, Jon Desmond , USA – 7 -5 -7 -5 -7 ; 31
Winter Series 2021-22
November 19-21, 2021
February 4-6, 2022
March 18-20, 2022
Source: Kathleen Tocke