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.