Startling Finish to AYC Championship Regatta

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos: Mike Ferring

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos and Words: Mike Ferring

It was almost like an act of god.

Trey Harlow and crew Mike Hester went into the seventh and final race of the championship regatta ahead by one point and holding the tie breaker. They would be tough to beat. Martin Lorch and son Cedric would need to finish two places ahead to take Martin’s fourth club championship.

As usual, the wind had been mostly light and fluky on Tempe Town Lake, but ripples from the west suggested a nice, moderate air finale for the fleet champs in their Capri 14.2s.

The course: a simple windward-leeward. As the seven competitors swept downwind to the leeward mark, Trey and Mike held a small lead and the tactical inside rounding position. All it would take would be a smooth rounding and they could cover Martin all the way to the finish—and the championship.

The rounding went fine. Trey trimmed for the upwind finish, Martin chasing from a couple of boat lengths back.

And then it happened. On port tack, Trey’s boat suddenly skidded off to the right, as if the centerboard weren’t down—but it was—and he couldn’t hold the boat on the beat.

Martin looked around, amazed. “What happened?” he asked Cedric. “What happened?”

Trey still doesn’t know. When they tacked to starboard, the boat tracked true.
Back on port, it slid. And as it slid, so did the hopes of a second championship in a row. At the race finish, Martin and Cedric were in first place and Trey and Mike were at the back of the pack.

See the final results at the bottom of the page. Lots of volunteers made the day work, led by Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock, including the 14.2 fleet, JM Kiel, Mike Ferring, Diana Simpson, Dick Krebill, Steve Brown, Decker Williams, Cindy Pillote, Greg Fine, and Andrea Love.

 

Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the rounding. Photos: Mike Ferring

Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the critical final rounding in race seven. Photos: Mike Ferring

 

Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can't hold port tack close-hauled.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can’t hold port tack close-hauled.

There were certain distractions.

There were certain distractions.

 

Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Lorch 2 3 3 2 1 3 1 15
Harlow 3 1 1 4 3 1 7 20
Tingom 6 6 2 1 4 5 3 27
Sheller 1 2 5 6 2 6 6 28
Jackson 4 4 6 5 6 2 2 29
Davis 5 5 4 3 5 4 4 30
Anderson 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 47