For those of us lucky enough to experience this year's running of Windermere Regatta, it will definitely go down in the books as one of Anacortes' finest. Competitors were met with perfect conditions on both Saturday and Sunday with temperatures in the 70's and consistent breeze from the Northwest at 12 knots that kept boats moving at a clip without a lull in the action. Race PRO, Charley Rathkopf (of Whidbey Island Race Week), put the courses far enough North of Guemes Island that he found the only patch in the entire area without an abundance of eel grass (I didn't see a single boat sailing backwards all weekend!). The racing was incredibly tight and the occasional downwind spinnaker finish kept Sean Kelly interested in the action as many boats passed within inches of catching their kites on his anchor windlass aboard the committee boat, Pacific Drifter.
Video by Brad Blymyer.
And now for the results...
While there were moments it looked like anyone's game, a strong Sunday performance by Vitesse, our friends from Bellingham lead by Dave Steffen, clinched the victory in Fleet 1. Local favorites Teddy Bear and Pangaea were both on the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The Vipers in Fleet 2 demonstrated how much fun you can have with 21ft of performance sport boat as they were often on plane. The team aboard Kaa showed their skill cruising to victory, followed by some of our talented local high school sailors helping out Rafe Beswick of Olympia into a strong 2nd place finish. Jim Bottles got to taste the fun without having a boat with an oven or liquor cabinet as he joined Steve Orsini who filled in as skipper of TimeLine as they raced to 3rd.
Windermere Regatta Race Chairs Scott and Vicki Ellis, along with their talented crew aboard HiJinks held off the Bellingham boats Rubicon (2nd) and Blackfoot (3rd) in Fleet 3.
In Fleet 4, the mighty San Juan 24 from Orcas Island, Ekono Juan, demonstrated their ability to get around the cans as they paced the fleet. They were followed by the Roethle father-son duo aboard Emoyeni (2nd) and local pickle dish collector Syndicat (3rd).
All of the many contributions and hard work of the volunteers that put the event on absolutely put the wind in Windermere, and I am incredibly thankful for all of you and your efforts. The crew on the race committee put on a first class event without dispute. The shore crew served the drinks (first 100 beers were on Charley and Whidbey Island Race Week) and hot food all three days that kept people at the club telling their stories and having a great time. I love and feel pride seeing the folks in our club come together to make it all happen. Thanks and hope to see you out there for the 30th anniversary running of Windermere Regatta next year.