04 September 2013

The Bear Posts - "MASKWA kicks a** on the Tri-State, and the season as well

Foreboding skies part to leave good strong winds and following seas
Bear figurehead

Maskwa Crew and Friends,

What a great weekend.

The fleet was spanked for a short period of time with severe winds (50 knots +) and rain just as the start sequence began leading to a postponement, but the starts resumed after the bad weather moved South. A fast and furious reaching ride over to St Joe (no tacks, no gybes, but several flawless sail changes in the middle of the dark  night.) We arrived earlier than ever while  chasing one of our competitors right up to the finish line.  Only later did we find out we were third for the race and a flag would be presented later at the party.  Then a great day of relaxing, beaching, and then partying at St Joe YC.   It was a fun time for all.  Scott was not successful in riding the whale, but future attempts will probably take place  (the blow-up whale brought to the boat by Kate.)  The new inflatable bear head was properly installed on the bow pulpit for all to see as we were the boat tied up on the wall at the St Joe Yacht Club.  Thanks Kate,  great addition to the bearaphanalia.

Inside boat can be a good thing!

The crew was in great form as we headed to Michigan City,  A little hung over, but still on the top of their game.  The usual decease in wind as we neared the finish line at Michigan City led to a grumpy skipper remembering all the times we sat and waited for hours to finish the MC Race, not to  mention
the recent hours at the end of the race to Mackinac this year waiting for wind as well. As we finished I thought we were not in contention for any award, but entering the harbor, there appeared to be a  only a few boats tied up on the wall. Since several of the missing boats were from Michigan City, I thought they were tied up in their slips and could not be seen.  However,  only one boat from our section finished ahead of us by a few seconds and they owed us time.  Hey, another flag and this time for First!!!  Dinner at Matey’s was not the best food or service, but David managed to be distracted as we departed (of course!).

Love the Palm Tree, First time with 1st!   
The forecast for the ride  back to Chicago did not look promising. Luckily, the winds were not as strong as predicted, but were strong enough to keep the fleet moving.  The moderate North wind with the 2-5 foot waves made for a fast and wonderful ride back to Chicago.   We finished ahead of everyone in our section, ie another first!!!

Several crew could not make the weekend.  However I know where your hearts were for the weekend.  You can be assured you were part of our success this weekend.   Winning requires lots of hard work, practice and commitment.  Everyone works to create support for sailing Maskwa as fast as possible.  Everyone contributes to every success, regardless if they are on board or not.

So Thank You to everyone.   We missed those who were not able to sail, we enjoyed the company of those who were part of the sailing (and partying).

Everyone’s work this year probably has earned us the AREA III Boat of the Year Award for the Port to Port Series.   It is not official, but consider our finishes  this year in the races,   Chi-Waukegan  1st, Waukegan to Chi 6th,  Chicago-MC-Chicago 2nd,    PHRRFection to MC and Back Two 1sts, Chi to St Joe, 3rd, St Joe to MC 1st, MC to Chi 1st.  (Five firsts, one second, one third and one sixth).

A special thanks to Scott who has been instrumental in keeping everything organized.   Everyone knows his unbelievable efforts to coordinate three races in three different places far from Chicago (and it all worked exactly as planned).    He also scrubbed the bottom to keep the bottom smooth and fast (ably assisted before the MAC by Kristin—the keel keeps crying for another massage).  

Steve also deserves a special thanks,  he has been there for me every race humping sails and providing me support to prepare the boat, scrubbing, adjusting the shroud tension, cleaning the deck, anything that required attention (The boat and I are very needy).  The case of Guacamole he bought just before the MAC was also very helpful for me to have nourishment throughout the season.  Only one box still remains.

Kate also deserves special recognition, giving up her spot in the Port Huron race to manage the transportation between the races and the final compilation of all the costs looked like an experiment in high energy physics.   Don’t worry Kate, My voice is getting softer as you work to keep the main in control.  I only had to repeat your name twice in a row once on the way back from MC.

Carly,  your spot on the tactical team at the rear of the boat is secure.  We miss you greatly.

Mary Ellen has done a great job of taking control the foredeck. And whipping it into compliance.

Kristin, Kristie and Mary, you are all becoming essential pieces of the Maskwa racing machine.

George and David,  your sailing smarts (George) and strength (David, "I work out" guy or is it" I wiped out" guy?) and the efforts to train the newbies  are greatly appreciated.

It is always great to have the Whale on board.

We miss the presence of  several others (Ute, Nicole,  Ryan, Andrew) as new opportunities have taken them away from us this season.

It was great to have Jean and Doug return for the Pt Huron (and Ryan) and Harbor Springs regatta.    

No one in the fleet can compare to the consistency of our boat during this season.  

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this effort.

We still have some Wednesday night races remaining and the MORF open if anyone wants to continue racing.    Who is In???
The Maskwa Team ROCKS.

aka The Bear!!