Mid Continent Regatta September 17 & 18, 2011
Carlyle Sailing Association – Carlyle, Illinois
Mississippi Valley District – Fleet 266


Position Sail Skipper/Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total
1 14834 Matt & Patrick Burridge, Ian Moriarty 1 1 2 4
2 15390 Todd Wake, Kristine Wake, Nick Beckman 5 3 1 9
3 14901 Ian, Roselyn & Titu Schillebeeckx 2 4 3 9
4 15364 Dan, Tobi & Alina Moriarty 4 2 4 10
5 14766 Terry & Bryan Burke, Joe Quick 3 5 5 13
6 14614 John Folwell, Howard Harris, Kevin Budd 7 6 7 20
7 14015 Doug Seffenson, Bradon Holion, Jonas Anderson 6 7 8 21
8 14705 Mike Reed, Keith Vidal, Lnda Faterling 8 8 6 22
9 12707 Keith, Andrew & James Pace 9 9 DNC 30
10 12541 Art Graves, Mike Steinhous, Matt Moliton 10 10 DNC 32
11 14798 Rick, Kyle & Jacob Bernstein DNC DNC DNC 36

Family teams at the 2011 Mid Continent Regatta help raise money for Leukemia Research

The Mid Continent was a strange event this year as we moved away from the traditional end of April due to the Easter holiday. When the great Midwestern flood occurred in late April it washed out 2 months of our sailing season we then decided to share a date with all of Carlyle Sailing Association’s annual regattas; the Leukemia Cup, Flying Scot “Egyptian Cup” and Y Flyer “Beer and Boats” regattas which all moved to the same weekend. This caused a lot of friendly elbowing at the beer trailer. An intense group of Lightning competitors were vying to win the Augie Paoli Memorial Trophy including 4 time MC champion Team Wake from Sheboygan and 3 time champ Team Moriarty from 2 parking spots down and longtime friend Doug Steffenson with teammates Brandon and Jonas from Chicago, plus the usual suspects from CSA.

“Advanced Training” describes approach of Team Yeti team for the entire 2011 season with rising Lightning ace Ian Moriarty and the quick study Patrick Burridge on board. The chance to sail with my son and friend Ian placed me in the role of “player /coach / ATM / fossil”, which has been a great learning experience for me. I am really impressed with their development of skills, attitude and drive. This regatta also made it obvious that Ian Schillebeeckx is a top Lightning skipper after many years of seasoning and learning from professionals, his dad, peers, mentors and brothers. With all of this obvious stuff, I was probably a little over anxious. In hindsight, tamping down my natural intensity was a challenge, while putting up with it definitely was a challenge for the rest of the team.

Besides these great teams there was another dynamic at work; the competition was also stacked with family teams that all our close friends. Competing against and fraternizing with the Wakes, Moriartys, Schillebeeckxs, Burkes and the Bernstein boys (Rick, Kyle and Jacob running the RC) made this event truly special.

The racing – Analysis? We do not need analysis! - Before the first start we did our usual strategy session, this regatta was supposed to be all about raising the level of our game and being more analytical, not sailing by the seat of our pants. Patrick was brow beaten into reading my old school “round, red, liquid filled thingy up front which we never use” and write compass headings all over the boat with a pencil. The prospect of nautical graffiti was novel as we’d spent hours with me making sure the hull and foils were as near to perfect as 14 year old equipment can be. The irony was not lost on him as his look clearly said “ Dad, so the part you can’t see is perfect but the part everyone else sees is like the inside of a old school bus? “ Yup, that’s right.

After a long postponement we finally got onto the water and in the first 10 minutes of head to winds, tack headings etc., revealed a pattern of immediate 20 degree right shifts in every puff slowly moving back left to the base breeze every 3-5 minutes. The fact that it was also clearly visible on the water made the previous “analytical pep talk” a total waste of time. The only analysis we’d need was on a shrink’s couch if we screwed this up. We needed to be “masters of the obvious” as Betsy Allison once described it. The winds were 8-12 mph and teams Wake and Moriaty led at the first windward mark. The Wakes and Yeti gybed to port immediately and played the left of the run which had a touch more pressure it seemed in hindsight. We were thrown a fun curve ball by sailing WL courses and starting first on our course of the multiclass regatta this had become. This led to the situation where the rhumb line run (during a hard right shift) would place you in a position to bisect the starting line most probably during the final minute of a starting sequence for 470s, Comets and / or E-scows all moving at different speeds and angles (Murphy’s hydraulic law). This was perversely entertaining as we snuck through a hole in the picket fence just outside of the starting line at the comedy boat end. On the entry to this curious navigation maneuver I ate a snack and banged the deck with the tiller extension to alert to those who may have been asleep at the helm in the other boats. What do you know? A meal and a show. Due to these conditions, no lead was ever safe and no competitor was ever out of it until the finish line. Race one was Yeti first, Ian Schillebeeckx sailing with his elder brother Titu and his mother, Roselyn, 2nd having sailed through the peloton by catching a private shaft of puff / lift on the final beat and Terry Burke sailing with his son Bryan and Joe Quick 3rd. The Moriartys and Wakes followed just behind and overlapping in 4th and 5th place.
Race 2 – The breeze is very unstable - After a prolonged wait to allow the other classes to finish we noticed that the puffs were no long fanning out on the water but were moving in long, narrow columns downwind but still with the hard right shift. This must have been Ian Schillebeeckx’s invisible conveyor belt in the first race. I got a bit amused about the mental image of sailing through a horizontal tornado although with only 10 mph of breeze and suddenly found us poorly positioned in the pre-start and had to do some quick scrambling to find a slot on the line. The Wakes proved they could gybe set much better than anyone else with Nick Beckman crewing and led the first WL. Later in the race one of the rolling skipping puffs on the left of the 2nd beat allowed us to pass into the lead as we were on the lucky side of a big swirl. Somehow we shimmied our way downwind a bit faster and hung on to win with Team Moriarty 2nd, Wakes 3rd and Ian Schillebeeckx 4th. With the long delay in the morning we would only get in 2 races and Yeti led with 2 pts, Teams Schillebeeckx and Moriarty tied for 2nd with 6 pts with Teams Wake and Burke tied for 4th with 8 pts. The next day promised to be exciting with tight standings, an earlier start time and one of those “orange & red on the Doppler radar” Midwestern frontal passages forecasted.

Saturday night was supremely entertaining with a beer trailer, Mt. Gay Rum party, a silent auction and buffet dinner planned as a Leukemia and Lymphoma fund raiser. As a result, the 4 host yacht clubs on Carlyle Lake with 135 boats participating in multiple fleets raised over $40K this year for this worthy cause. Multiple nocturnal shenanigans were reported (but none were confirmed) as the designated drivers were working overtime and no one met the sheriff or a worse fate.

The hope was to get 3 races in on Sunday but the weather forecast and complications of 4 fleets sharing the one design course made it look like 2 would be the limit.

Series race #3 - Damn, those Wakes are fast and smart – A drag race without many features from our point of view. They were faster upwind by a half a step per parsec and we were the same margin faster downwind but could not get by despite being as deep and heeled as I can ever remember sailing to project a wind shadow. We followed The Wakes to the finish and then watched as Ian Schillebeeckx and Dan Moriarty were neck and neck coming to the line. Ian took 3rd in this race which broke his tie for 3rd overall and put him in a tie with the Wakes for 2nd.

A fourth race was started but the sky turned purple and lightning flashes were seen in the distance causing the race to be abandoned and a mad dash to the harbor before the fireworks began. Frantically rolling sails before the squall line hit was also entertaining, it was just that type of weekend.
The top 5 teams all had at least 2 family members on board and made for a tremendously fun regatta and productive fundraiser.

Next year we will be debating if the Mid Continent should return to a late April date or shift to the Memorial Day Leukemia Cup regatta date. Either way, make plans to join us and check the ILCA calendar.
Matt Burridge 14834 – Yeti