Although formally canceled due to logistics concerns, thank you CYC club member, Sean Busby, who summarized the member-organized Moonlight Race (see the summary below). The CYC will work hard next year to make it an integral, and larger, part of the 2022 Lake season.
From Sean - The 2021 Moonlight Regatta included three San Juan 24s and two J-24s. The five boats and crews participated in a single class distance race for bragging rights and beautiful views. The competitors in the event were Fancy, Sweet Jesus, Crazie Cadie (Lake Union), Wild Rumpus and Irrational.
The race began with a meager Southern breeze making for a challenging downwind spinnaker start in light air of 2 to 5 knots. Sweet Jesus hoisted their spinnaker early and built up some speed at the start line and took a substantial early lead on the course. Crazie Cadie had missed the start and was coming in from the North so she jumped into the pack to join the fun. It is an “unofficial” race after all!
Shifty winds and big waves from large power boats slowed the fleet as the sailing fleet fought their way up the lake. Some talented spinnaker trimming kept all of the boats moving and thankfully the wind picked up along with the racing as the boats clumped closer together.
Fancy decided to take a unique route up the Western end of the lake while the two J24 boats and Crazie Cadie chased Sweet Jesus up the Eastern shore along Mercer Island. Before the fleet could see Bill Gates house, Irrational had glided ahead of Sweet Jesus teaching them a lesson in walking on water. The fleet approached the 520 bridge and Crazie Cadie expertly navigated the 520 underpass as they buried Sweet Jesus and set their sites on chasing Irrational. Beyond the bridge, the wind picked up with big gusts from the Southwest which tossed a few of the boats around while the crews scrambled to adjust. Wild Rumpus sailed well through the conditions and started to catch Sweet Jesus and Crazie Cadie while Fancy was not far behind, all boats being within a minute of each other.
As the boats made their way to the rounding mark, the wind took a dramatic shift and clocked due Northwest. Irrational did not have their jib rigged so the one-man crew tied down the tiller and stumbled up to the foredeck to hank the jib. Fortunately, no sandals were lost, nor a drop of beer spilled as Irrational pulled it off and managed to get around the mark with a nice lead! Meanwhile, Crazie Cadie fought off a final prayer from Sweet Jesus as the two boats rounded the mark in close succession. Wild Rumpus had passed both SJ24s but then appeared to overstand at the rounding mark dropping them back into fourth place. Fancy continued to catch up with the fleet and was now closer to the other SJ24s and Wild Rumpus.
On the windward leg headed back to the 520 bridge Wild Rumpus made their move and passed Sweet Jesus, catching up with Crazie Cadie. Irrational continued to build on their lead as none of the boats could match the single-handed skipper on this night.
The final stretch through the finish sailed like a victory parade as the wind steadied and became a consistent 8-10 knots. Fancy put up a fight and came within 10 boat lengths of Sweet Jesus, but otherwise the boats held their places.
It is unknown whether Crazie Cadie or Wild Rumpus finished the course in second place. The respective skippers and crews were not available after the race to finalize the results, but Crazie Cadie had not completed the start to the race so they were ruled a DNC. Crazie Cadie still deserves an honorable mention as they sailed brilliantly. The race committee are a tough bunch and require lavish bribes for a favorable ruling. The final finish order is as follows; Irrational, Wild Rumpus, Sweet Jesus, Fancy, Crazie Cadie.
The 2021 Moonlight Regatta is in the books. Congratulations to Bill Vlases and his impressive single-handed campaign of Irrational for a deserving win. Many people contributed time and effort to successfully coordinate and execute this informal Moonlight Regatta. A hat's off thank you to all the skippers for rounding up crew for the event. Thank you to Jeff Kendall for creating the NOR and SI while also providing awards to the top three finishers. And finally, a special thanks to the crew of Crazie Cadie for making the trip from Lake Union.