Rob Hill Wins EC-12 Regatta

Thanks for the congrats. It was a great event.

The Stowe Yacht Club hosts two events, back to back, in early June – Region 1 J Boat
Championship followed by the Green Mountain EC 12 regatta which has become the Region 1 EC 12 Championship. They have been doing this one for many years, and I’ve done it maybe 12 years including traveling from Chicago to attend.  It’s a great time in a beautiful location.
The regatta location is the pond behind the Commodores Inn in the valley below the ski resort. The hotel hosts us, handles food and serves as regatta central. The owner of the hotel is a well recognized blue water big boat racer.
Stowe is renowned for light air which frustrates many first timers. But it’s a good learning experience and the racing atmosphere is decidedly relaxed.

This year was very unStowe like. Heavy air and cold. The J’s were first up, Thursday and Friday. Cloudy, rainy and 10 to 12 wind. We used full A rigs in day 1, barely under control. Most of us reduced sail on day 2. I used a B+ main and a full size jib which proved to be very fast but still mostly controllable. At one point, my boat was leveled by a gust, sails underwater, and I feared my 65lbs of ballast would dislodge inside the hull and sink the boat. A long minute and the boat slowly righted. Also dismasted in a collision near the end of day 2. Managed to put things back together and finish the regatta. The other boat weighs 100 lbs.
AMYA President Chuck Millican took 1st. I took 2nd.

The Green Mtn was held Sat and Sunday. More of the same weather. Cool, a little rainy and 12ish wind. A rigs Saturday. 12 races. Some breakdowns as the rigs overpowered the boats. Saturday night, temps dropped to mid 40s in the valley, snow showers on the mountain. Sunday morning, very brisk temps, NW wind 12 to 15 with higher gusts. Lots of black holes on the pond. Mostly B rigs which still over powered the boats in the gusts. The day was a real battle up wind to keep the boats moving. Lots of knock downs. Nine races on Sunday.
We had 13 boats both days. I used new sails both days from Ct. sailmaker Brian Kerrigan.  They worked superbly. The fleet was not as strong as is usual for Stowe, so the start line was a little soft allowing me to get my preferred pole position most of the time. Being windward boat gave me a huge advantage in the gusts both days. Off the line quick and in clear air, I could feather the boat upwind at will to keep it upright and driving. The boats below me generally didn’t have the room to deal with the gusts. Of the 21 races, my three throw outs were a 12, 5 and 3. I won 16 of the 21 races. A real testament to Brian’s sails. They just powered the boat forward both days. 
I stayed with pretty much the same track both days, trying to be windward boat throughout. Paid off handsomely. Dominic Bonanno from NJ took 2nd, 40 pts behind and Chuck Millican took 3rd, 9 pts behind Dom. You walk the course at Stowe, and I figured we covered 15 miles up and down the pond during the 4 days. A real treat and a good time for all.
As I write this, I’m on my way to Chicago for the Santa Barbara Nat’l Championship Thur and Fri and the J boat National Championship Sat and Sun. Certain to be a competitive 4 days.
See you next week.

Judy Bonanno photo