Thirty different sailboats took to Lake Wawasee and participated in the weekend’s activities, but 18 of these sailboats weren’t members of the Wawasee Yacht Club. Visiting crews came from a variety of other locations, most commonly Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois.
“We really work hard to be good hosts,” said Kelly Queisser, 2015 Race Commodore. “We have a reputation for that.”
In order to keep up their reputation of being good hosts club member starts planning for the yearly E-Scow Regatta in February. The planning includes finding homes or cottages for all the guests to stay in for the weekend, planning meals and coordinating the weekend’s schedule. Many people are responsible for the planning, but most notable are Bob and Tammy Herdrich. This year’s regatta was sponsored by Mercury Wireless.
Many other aspects of the regatta can’t be planned ahead of time, including the race course and the weather. The race course is usually planned about 10 minutes before a race starts and changes depending on the direction of the wind.
The weather is the hardest aspect to work around because the racers can’t change it. Saturday had very light winds while Sunday had stronger winds. Both days tested the skills of the sailers, and Sunday resulted in two tipped boats and one foul protest.
These weather conditions caused an interesting weekend when it came towards scoring.
“The fleets jumped around a lot,” said Bob Herdrich. “We had scores ranging from seven to 70.”
Rob Terry, of Crystal Lake, won the title of first place at this year’s regatta. Casey Call took the top place for Lake Wawasee coming at number six on the leader board. Bob Herdrich and JB VanMeter also claimed top spots for Lake Wawasee.
In order to complete a race the sailboats run the length of the course between 5 to 7 times, depending on the distance of the particular course. According to Herdrich, most sailboats averaged a speed of 6.5 knots and reached maximum speeds of around 14.5 knots.
The E-Scow Regatta isn’t the only event that the Wawasee Yacht Club hosts throughout the year. The yacht club will hold other regattas, including Lightning and Sunfish Regattas. Every Sunday the Wawasee Yacht Club holds races among its members.
The Wawasee Yacht Club encourages people of all ages to join them and learn to sail. They host a Junior Sailing League for children ages 8 through 14. The Junior Sailing League lasts four weeks in July. The Wawasee Yacht Club also offers adult sailing lessons on Saturday afternoons.