At the end of day two, after six races, the leaders are VIncent Porter by two points over Bobbie Koar, followed by Chad Hillyer.
Our competitors are from Wisconsin, New Jersey and New York, making a smallish (historically) fleet of 20. Our most senior competitor is Dick Turner, one of the founders of NCESA, still at it at 89.
Our first day dawned rainy with a light southerly running along the length of the lake We started at about 11am and by that time the breeze had built to about 12mph. PRO and Timer Bob and Sydney Stevens of Little Egg Harbor set a W5 with legs of about 1 1/4 mile. The breeze remained steady. Most found going to the right shore upwind and to the right downwind seemed to work best. After about 35 minutes six boats rounded the second upwind mark just about transom to transom. Boats with crews of three seemed faster downwind. The race took about an hour and in the end Chad Hillyer T-17, Bobbie Koar BH-22 and Vincent Porter I-2 came out on top.
Legs running east and west are necessarily short so PRO Bob moved us out to a W7. Westerlies typically have wide swings of direction and have short intense blasts, making them particularly challenging. This time Vincent was on top the first time up. As Vincent rounded a blaster came through giving him a quick ride on the layline and he seemed gone for good. The fleet seemed to separate a bit this time into A - a group of four, and B. Things stayed that way with a change of mix in fleet A, until the last time up as the breeze began to shut down for the day. Fleet A closed in and fleet B moved in closer. In the end Vincent held off John Brown SS-1 and Bobbie Koar in that order.
This second morning the harbor gun is scheduled for 7am and the goal is to catch the morning breeze and then the late afternoon breeze. The harbor gun has sounded. The air is stirring. It's time to go.
The New-Yorkers of Keuka Lake were joined by ambitious sailors from all over the mid-west and northeast. According to Bob Cole, the E-Scow Fleet Captain at the Keuka Yacht Club who blogged updates on the series each day, the majority of wind that swept over the lake during the competition was predictably westerly, but not without a fair share of surprises.
Day one at Keuka proved to be a tale of two troops, with a minority of four leaders in front, including Vincent Porter I-2, John Brown SS-1, and Bobbie Koar BH-22. After a morning of light rain and steady, southerly winds, the afternoon brought with it a slew of wind that lacked predictability. Sudden blasts from the west came early and often, nearly leaving Porter behind indefinitely.
Day two included three races that were rich with intensity and erratic wind conditions. Vincent Porter managed to take one of the three races while maintaining a two-point lead at the end of the day, just as storms seemed to be looming over the deep lake.
Porter celebrating a well-earned victory with RJ Porter and Colin Rowe
Congratulations to the 2013 Eastern Champion Mr. Porter and crew, and to all of the other competitors that concluded the championship series last Sunday with class and remarkable effort!