A Mission Accomplished
While many of us can say we have done our best, many times our best gets us short of the goals we may seek. A year ago, a mission was started to win the 210 National Championship and after accomplishing that feat, here is the perspective of winning skipper, Tick Ticknor, from 452 – “The Band”:
The 210 Class asked me to write a recap of the 2012 International 210 National Championship Regatta and I am delighted to do so. Before I get started I would like to thank the Race Committee for their tireless efforts during what would turn out to be a very stressful regatta wind-wise. Head Pro Melinda Titus, Alec Borden, Patti Ticknor, Judy Maier, Max Doolittle and Jimmy Chadwick consistently set some awesome courses in difficult conditions throughout the week. Racing at Gull Lake can test any sailors patience and this week didn’t disappoint. The “Four Horsemen” as my team called them, trickled in from the East over the preceding weekend. Mark Deshong, Tom Lemaire, Greg Sullivan and Oakley Jones, all tested veterans, were all business about keeping the C. Raymond Hunt trophy in its travelling crypt and headed back East.
The practice race was sailed by the 4 East Cost boats as the locals had enough practice, so we all watched from shore as the fleet split into two groups of two and separated by a half mile. Welcome to Gull Lake! Our strategy from the beginning was to jump out to a lead before the Easties could catch their breath, especially the black boat, 444, named Quatro, sailed by Tom Lemaire. She is a beauty and is set up with the Quantum sails we also were sporting. We also knew that the wild card, 3 time National Champion Daver Johnson was in the mix as he shook things out sailing with his Dad. Our local group also had current DIstrict 4 Blue Star Champion Jon VanderMolen and past Midwest Champs Bill Uggen, Bill Klerk, Fred Einshpar and Joe Brogger looking to take the Hunt trophy home. Multiple Midwest champion Jim Babel was sailing #394, my boat from 1987, in which we won the Midwest Championship and then repeated exactly 25 years later in July. In fact, the name of Tom VanderMolen’s rocket. #452 came from a call he and my brother Steve, made to me in January to see if I wanted to put “The Band” back together and since I hadn’t touched a tiller in years I felt the itch only sailors know in the deep winter to get back on the water (Putney or Blackwood were apparently unavailable).
The biggest 210 fleet in years showed up the starting line Wed. morning as 15 boats rocketed off the line. I was wound up like a clock as the nerves started to work around my neck however I have the best 210 crew in the world who had been successfully campaigning a Star, and a quick pep talk ( a Putney might be available tomorrow) got me on track. Over the next 2 days, we accomplished our goal to get out front. Finishes of 13222 put us in a position to attack our competition on an individual basis. First up was the “Darth Vader” boat of Lemaire and Co. ( an inside secret of many crews- give the competition a nickname to keep things loose- We found out after the regatta they were calling us “Air Guitar.”
We kept a loose cover on them and posted a 4th to their 6th and put them in a tough spot. Next up was Pigpen, sailed by the venerable Oakley Jones and crew. Another 4th for us and a leeward bouy wipeout by the “Pen” took them out of the running. A late charge by Daver in Dad’s “Sloopy” was nullified by my most spectacular race of the regatta, a 7th as I did three 360 turns, went from last twice and drew some comments from the cheap seats up front that a Putney was sighted at the Doolittle Pavillion ready to go Saturday!! Anyway, we survived the Lake, and all the great sailing to win the regatta with a race to go. We look forward to making the trek East to defend and hope to bring some of our fellow crews with us.
Thank You again for a great regatta. Tick Ticknor, #452