Snipe USA

2016 Riff Raff Regatta

2016 Riff Raff Regatta
September 23
15:56 2016

The third weekend of September has been the gathering time for District 3 Snipe sailors for many years. Could this gathering possibly be happening for over 50 years? No historians are around to protest.

The third weekend of September 2016 was no different than the past events.It was time for the Cowan Lake Riff Raff Snipe Regatta. This year was a special 3 for 1 regatta: 1) the annual Riff Raff was the main draw, but we also held the District 3 Championships as well as the wrap up to the District 3 Traveler’s series.

9 boats gathered on the lawn in front of the Cowan Lake Sailing Association’s club house on Saturday morning to rig boats and renew friendships. All eyes were on the weather radar. 10am found beautiful sun and a good breeze, but of course, we weren’t scheduled to start racing till 1:00pm. As the morning progressed, and more boats showed up, so did the clouds. By the 12:00am skipper’s meeting the storms were definitely brewing in the distance and the RC decided to postpone for a 1/2 hour to see what Mother Nature had in store for us.

By 12:30, the storms seemed to be breaking up and the RC sent us out. Only a 1/2 hour delay to the start of the races.

The initial plan was for 3 races on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Sunday’s forecast was for 0 wind with gusts to 2. Not enticing.

Saturday afternoon brought us glorious winds (more than we’ve had in seemingly months.) RC quickly scrapped their plans for 3 Saturday races and set their sites on 5. The midwestern winds were consistently 10-14mph with gusts and wind bombs (if you’ve never experienced a wind bomb, you haven’t sailed in the midwest enough) in the low twenties.

5 races were eventually contested. 3 Olympic style courses with screaming fast broad reaches and 2 final WL courses just to change things up. I heard from the RC that they were trying to make the courses longer, but the wind and boat speeds kept all the races to under 45 min. A couple sailors ended up in the warm water of Cowan Lake (those dreaded wind bombs struck hard and fast) and one boat had mechanical problems and was forced to retire.

Catered dinner and a keg of Dayton’s own Warped Wing craft beer met the tired sailors at the end of the long day.

Sunday’s breakfast of home made egg sandwiches greeted the bleary eyed sailors the following morning. Breakfast, but no wind. After a couple hours of waiting, the RC did what every RC hates to do – they cancelled the sailing for the rest of the day. Tear down, lunch and awards finished a great weekend.

The top 3 boats in the Riff Raff and District 3 Championships: Jno and Karen Disch finished with 3 bullets, a second and 1 thrownout 7th. Mike Stark and Brian Goldberg were hot on their transoms every race with 2 bullets, 2 seconds and 1 thrownout second. Mike O’Toole and Howard Miller tied for 3rd, but Mike got a lift on the last upwind of the 2nd race and stole a second place – he rightfully picked up the  3rd place water bottle trophy.

Only 3 boats were able to do all three races in the District 3 Traveler’s Series, but when you add up all the boats that participated, we probably had close to 30 total boats. First Place went to Mike Stark (sailing all 3 events), Second to Jno Disch (sailing 2 events), Third to John Crookston (2 events), 4th to Matt Heywood (3 events) and 5th to Howard Miller (3 events.) Complete, final results will be posted on the District 3 Facebook page.

Midwest sailing wraps up at the end of October. North Cape still has a 1 day regatta scheduled for the second weekend of October. There are opportunities to sail every weekend till the leaves are off the trees.

Please come out and join us.

Howard Miller

Cowan Lake Sailing Association Snipe Fleet Captain


About Author