2015 Lightning Invitational in Augusta
Posted by on September 16, 2015
Augusta Sailing Club Never Disappoints!
Bill Wiggins recaps the 2015 Augusta Lightning Invitational
This past weekend ASC hosted their annual Lightning Invitational. As per usual, teams were welcomed Friday evening by the “Cheeseburger in Paradise” cookout and cocktail party.
After a quick breakfast on Saturday morning, teams rigged and hit the water in brisk westerly breeze. As the race officials prepared the course, many teams did their homework by sailing up both sides of the course to see how the breeze was affected by the islands on both sides and at the top of the course. There were certainly a good bit of opportunities to gain and lose on this course.
The first start was pretty tame for the fleet of 12. There did not seem to be a highly favored end and the fleet was spread out down the line. 2 boats were called over early and went back immediately. As the fleet made its way up the course, the two sides began to show favoritism to the middle. In the end, the left side gave a slight advantage and shot the 4 boats on that side to the front.
At the end of the run, most boats hit the favored left gate and tacked right away to make their way up the middle-left side of the course. Lenny Krawcheck jumped into the lead over Henry McCray at this point and led to the finish.
The start of race two saw a bunch-up at the pin end as most teams wanted to get to the left side of the course. Team’s Pelosi and Wiggins (Sr.) stayed the course and hit the left side very hard. After tacking on the port layline, it was obvious that this had paid. Wiggins rounded the top mark first with Pelosi hard on his transom. The two teams split on the run after Wiggins jibed for more pressure. Both teams came together at the bottom gate once again and Pelosi edged Wiggins out. Both teams went up the left side once again with Wiggins tacking shy of the layline. On the 2nd run, Lenny Krawcheck and Eric Oetgen slipped into the mix. Wiggins was able to hold the two off until the top third of the last beat when Krawcheck jumped into the lead with Oetgen close on his heels.
The Race Committee shifted the course before race three as the breeze began to subside a bit. The fleet continued to play the pin end at the start with a few OCS. A majority of the teams played the middle/left side and were extremely close throughout the first and second beat. The final weather leg came down to inches between the first six boats with Oetgen taking the gun, Marcus Moehlman in 2nd and Wiggins in 3rd.
Sunday morning brought bright sunshine and a brisk North breeze. The teams hit the lake early for a 1000 Warning signal. Unfortunately, the breeze dropped significantly just before the first start. The light-shifty race was slightly right dominant and was led pole-to-pole by Eric Oetgen followed by Bob Harkrider and Lenny Krawcheck.
Race four was sailed in a steadier 4 knot breeze and was a four way duel between Krawcheck, Oetgen, Wiggins and Stanton Bost. All four boats had their time in the lead and it was anyone’s race through the last leg.
North Sails were the choice for the majority of this fleet. In fact, when you add in the Dieball (DSD) designs, you would have 100% of the fleet.
I for one, always look forward to racing at Augusta Sailing Club. The SE Lightning District has the opportunity to sail there twice per year between the Invitational and their Annual Multi-Class Halloween regatta.
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