by Al Struck
I believe this is the first time the Bud Lazott Memorial Regatta (BLMR) was postponed due to weather in the 10 years we have held it. Making the decision is an awful weight to bear. Fortunately, it was the right one, as there were thunder and lightning at 2:00 pm, and following that, a calm spread across the lake for over two hours. Folks said they hadn’t seen it that flat since it had three feet of ice on it in February.
On Sunday, July 30th, the conditions were perfect. Sunny, windy, low humidity — just everything a sailor could ask for. Though we did lose Camp Wigwam due to the change of schedule, Waziyatah, Birch Rock, and Fernwood Cove were still there to challenge for the Cup. We had a variety of camp boats: Qubas, Cats, and a Laser. The Open Class in the BLMR had two Sunfish battling it out. And there was a super Laser class, with two-time champ Glenn Haberbush present to attempt a three-peat!
Our thanks to Chris Searles and the Keoka Beach Camp Ground, who had the beach set up for us and allowed us to tie up to the gas pier. Then they opened the swimming area barrier so our boats could get to the start line. The registration went smoothly, thanks to Tom and Joann Aiello. Tom made sure that all boats were off the beach before the timing sequence started. As a participant, I think this was one of the smoothest starts in memory. Good loud signals, good breeze and safety boats to help new sailors right their craft before the launch signal. Thanks to Brenda Hambleton and her crew on the Committee Boat, and to all the Captains and crews.
At the final blast, we were off. Glenn Haberbush and Chris Struck got an excellent start and were the boats to beat. Fred Huettig, in his Sunfish, was right in the thick of it. Starting back in the fleet, as I did, it was thrilling to see the boats with their varicolored sails against the blue sky and breeze-ruffled water. A lot of boats were challenging each other as we made it to the first mark. As we all found out, though, it was the second mark that separated the wheat from the chaff.
Glenn and Chris had been trading tacks, stitching across the lake to the 2nd mark. Glenn made a move, tacking just in front of the mark and caught a zephyr that made the difference in the outcome. Chris was in irons watching Glenn sail away. Fred made up some time and I was able to close to within four boat lengths, but that was all. Behind me Catamarans battled each other for the honor of their camp. The remaining Quba stayed in the hunt, while the Laser from Birch Rock claimed the lead in the Camp Cup chase.
It’s funny how the downwind reach is so peaceful. The boats all have their sails way out to catch as much wind as they can. But since you are going with the wind there is no noise except the water slipping under your keel. It also gives you a chance to look around and see how others are doing. And there was a drone zipping around the fleet, whose pictures I look forward to seeing.
As the saying goes, it was all over except for the shouting. Glenn had crossed the finish line handily ahead of Chris, finishing 1, 2 in the Laser Class. Fred Huettig came in next, claiming first place in the Open class. Larry Griffin placed second. Teddy Brosnihan from Birch Rock was the first camper boat to cross the line, helping Birch Rock retain the Camp Cup for the second year.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet were involved in their own individual contests. The wind never let up and the seamanship of all the sailors was tested. As each boat crossed the finish line you could see —and in some cases hear — the excitement of each sailor completing the course. A lot of sailors from the camps were new to sailing this summer. I hope this experience has whetted their appetites for more challenges and a return next year.
The awards were handed out in a ceremony full of smiles and energy. A special thank you goes out to Sharon Harrison for creating the beautiful tile trophies for the 10th anniversary of the Bud Lazott Memorial Regatta (Glenn is her son). Also, each sailor received a memento of this anniversary — a ceramic medallion with the lake and BLMR on it.
The Camp Cup class winners:
Sunfish/Quba: 1st Olivia Prime and Eloise Roosevelt
Catamaran: 1st Miles Pastore, 2nd Stella Mueller and Taylor Fodiman
Laser: 1st Teddy Brosnihan (also Camp Cup Winner)
Please register for the Bud Lazott Memorial Regatta.
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Registration begins at Keoka Beach Campground 1:00 pm. (See above for route map.)
Questions? E-Mail: KeokaLakeAssoc@gmail.com