raceless racine

raceless racine

The hospitality keeps on flowing from the members and staff of the Racine YC, with everyone on a first-name basis with the bar staff and the Anarchy crew treated like family.  While today was gorgeous –  white sand beaches, warm temps and bikinis making it look like an episode of Baywatch – we had no wind at all, and PRO Matt Bounds called it a day before 4 PM, long after the beer started flowing.  We’re really starting to understand why the Italians only race in about 8 venues – because they’re smart enough to sail with the wind blows every day!

I like to check out the local scene in different areas when I go to regattas, and Racine has not disappointed. Started in the late 20s, Wells Brother’s Pizza and our hottie waitress hooked us up. This place is classic, it’s in the hard part of town, but the pizza is great, and the legends of getting capped proved wrong (for us at least).

To show the hospitality of this place, our OTWA boat owner and driver Jeanné took us for a short powerboat drive to the wreck of an old wooden sailboat.  There are no known records of the boat, but she’s 100 feet long and was only recently uncovered, and lying just 8 feet below the surface in crystal clear Lake Michigan water, she’s quite the sight.

On the sailing side of things, the day started out foggy and we never really saw any wind to speak of. The fleet had a skipper’s meeting on the Beach under the Nacra Tent to discuss the day, and spent the rest of the day doing whatever they wanted.  Some watched movies, some took advantage of the ‘bottomless beer mugs’, some played Wii in the bar, and some gave back to the sport.  Specifically, former SCOTW Carrie Howe spent an hour talking to a huge crowd of young students (future sailor chicks) about pro sailing, the Olympics, the best gear to get, and a ton of other subjects.  Her better half Mischa Heemskerk did the same during the evening, with a standing-room-only, 2 and a half hour talk about tuning, rigging, starting, sailing technique, and every other go-fast solution he could come up with.  It’s just the kind of thing that makes people excited to be part of a class, and it’s a good example of why the F-18 Class looks so good right now to so many people.

Many of the sailors tried their luck at unlimited kinetic sailing in no wind on a half dozen Open Bics, on a short course set up just off the beach in 4 feet of water.  Everyone had fun, but there isn’t a soul here that is looking forward to more sitting around.  Fingers crossed for breeze, and don’t forget to check out the event site here, the full thread (with hundreds of pics and dozens of videos) here, and tomorrow’s live action video channel right here. Links are my photos, the attached one is the lovely and talented Meredith Block’s.

-Jeremy Leonard
Surf City Catamarans