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EC12 National Championship
October 27-29, Tred Avon YC, Oxford, MD. By Dave Branning

The 2016 EC12 National Championship brought 36 boats from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 as well as from Canada and New Zealand to the Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford, MD. The best decision was to hold it at a real yacht club with a full bar and kitchen staff to spoil everyone. The fleet, guests and committee were well fed and were able to enjoy each other in a relaxed atmosphere. We, in Oxford, are fortunate to have a full scale racing yacht club from PHRF to one-design to include our RC fleet as a one-design component of our annual racing program.

After right-sizing the fleet with seeding races that were quite breezy, the Bronze, Silver and Gold Promotion/Relegation fleets were on their schedule and we were able to get in two cycles before RD, Dave Brawner shut it down for the day. It was a bit windy with the crash boat quite busy. Alex Ramos caught his back stay on Mark Rinehart’s boat and when Mark spun Alex around backwards he pulled the boat stern down and it sank in seconds. Of note, one should mention the absence of a hatch cover that was omitted in haste to launch. A spare boat was deployed and Alex was back in business nonetheless shaken at the vision of his boat sinking in 30 feet of water. This was a very windy regatta and, if you had a class approved “C” sail, you were able to drive comfortably through the chop and stay upright. The “B” sail was a struggle over 22 knots but several skippers were able to deftly negotiate the chop of the Tred Avon River and handle the boat. There was a rare occasion in this regatta where “A” sails were the proper choice but not for long.

Day one was to shape the regatta as Dave Ramos and Alan Perkins were close at the top with Danny Thomas, Ricky Gerry, Reichard Kahle and Mark Reinhart following.

Day two was even more wind (puffs into the 30’s) and Dave Brawner gathered a heat of volunteer Bronze/Silver enthusiasts to launch, making one fleet. After that exciting heat, Brawner ordered a 3 hour wind delay....waiting for it to subside. Starting up again at 3pm we were able to achieve a four race day in reduced wind pressure. After 2 days, Alan Perkins, now leading, gave us some thought that 2016 would be Alan’s year to grab the championship. He was going so well in conditions Florida sailors do not see, a testament to his skills as a top sailor. Ted Flack rose to 7th (from 10th), Jamey Betz to 5th (from 8th) and Ricky Gerry fell from 4th to 10th. Jarl Wathne worked the 3+ year rust off to sneak from the teens to 11th while Reichard Kahle, Mark Rinehart, Jamey Betz, Chris Harmer and Skip Allen stayed in the top ten.

On the final day, five races were sailed in building winds from the teens to the low 20’s. Dave Ramos just punished the fleet right out of the chute with three top three races while Alan Perkins, although winning a race today, spent some time in the B fleet, mainly due to a radio glitch that had him miss the start of a race. The big shifts in the day were Detroit’s Ted Flack moving from 7th to 3rd, capping a terrific regatta. Reichard Kahle nailed two back to back wins today to move to 4th from 6th.

Since we had P/R Silver Fleet and a Bronze fleet, we added carvings of a Chesapeake Log Canoe as prizes in those fleets. In a completely arbitrary decision, Don Ouimette and Skip Allen were the top two in the Silver Fleet and Frank Vella and Dick Reinke were the top two in the Bronze Fleet. To Liz Perkins, who was eagerly grabbed and kissed by Donald Trump (played wonderfully by Frank Vella), at the skippers meeting, was awarded the First Woman prize. There were six former National Champions competing, some with multiple championships. Five of them left with a glass bowl trophy. This is a very competitive class and Dave Ramos is our 2016 National Champion, a repeat winner.

RD, Dave Brawner added Skip Hall, Ken Shaw and Bob Roe to his RC team and Harry Mote, Roger Baldwin, Roger Vaughan, Claude Maechling, Roger Compton, Elaine Hepkin and Desne Roe all supported Dave Branning, Regatta Chairman, in perfect order. Thanks to the Tred Avon YC for hosting a fantastic event. I’m sure we’ll be back again.



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