At Mother Nature’s beck and call |

At Mother Nature’s beck and call

ANDY FRAMEsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk The crew sailing on Pinotage try to make ballast on the starboard side while competing in the J-24 class Saturday during the Fourth of July Open Regatta. The regatta continues today at noon.

DILLON – Sailors love wind – consistent wind.As 24 sail boats tried to tack back and forth Saturday at the north end of the Dillon Resevoir during the Dillon Yacht Club Fourth of July Open Regatta, typical Summit County weather conditions wreaked havoc on any sort of prepared game plans.”From wind to rain to no wind to white caps,” veteran Basalt skipper Margot Pendleton said. “If we had a consistent day, we wouldn’t know what to do with it.”The two-day regatta completed three races on Saturday and finishes today with two more beginning at noon. The races feature two divisions: a J24 class made up of eight boats, and a PHRF class that had a mixture of boat styles and is judged on a handicap formula. The PHRF class included 16 boats.After Saturday, Tom Keesling, the helmsman of the Ensign boat Christopher C, is in first place in the PHRF fleet, while Pinotage, skippered by Greg Johnson, leads the J24 class.Each race featured a different course depending on the direction the wind was blowing before the start. In the first race the boats were sailing east to west and back. By the end of the day, the boats were sailing more north to south. Dave Gerich, of Louisville, crewed a Star class boat on Saturday. This is his first year sailing in Colorado, and the shifty winds didn’t go unnoticed by the newcomer.

“You’re just floating along very peaceful, then all of a sudden the wind comes up and knocks you on your ear,” he said. Dillon Yacht Club (DYC) vice commodore Scott Snyder and his crew also struggled with the wind.Snyder’s boat Severance Check, in the J24 class, strangely tipped windward causing a crew member to fall overboard for a short time before being picked up by a chase boat. The crew member was not hurt.The Severance Check also suffered a torn sail, forcing Snyder and company to drop out of the third race. Severance Check is in fifth place heading into today’s competition.”It’s unfortunate that it happened, but sometimes Mother Nature can do anything she wants,” DYC commordore Frank Keesling said. Meanwhile, Keesling captained Mashamuka on Saturday, a boat with an interesting past.The Holder 20-style boat was only the second of its kind ever built out of about 400 in the world. The first was sunk, making Keesling’s the oldest in the world. Three years ago, Keesling sailed the unique boat to a national championship, but hadn’t skippered it again until yesterday.

“We did relatively well,” Keesling said. We beat the other Holder 20 all three times, but we’ll see how we did with the handicap.”Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at of July Open RegattaDillon Yacht ClubSaturday

PHRF Class1. Tom Keesling, Ensign2. Frank Keesling, Holder 203. Bill Darling, J22J24 Class1. Greg Johnson, Pinotage2. Blue Side Down, Mattie Weiler3. After You, Tim Pluene

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