Velocitek traveled to Madison, WI, last week for the 2012 ILYA Championship. On Friday, we ran a very fast and exciting $1000 Speed Challenge for the E-Scow fleet and on Saturday we hosted a “ProStart Demo Day” for the C Fleet.
We had plenty of wind for Friday’s Speed Challenge. 36 E-Boats did their best to record the top ten second average speed in what began as a steady 17 kts of breeze, but quickly built into an adrenaline pumping 23 kt blow.
I was fortunate enough to be on the race committee boat for the start of the second race. With a minute to go, 44 boats lined up at the start and luffed their sails. The noise was incredible. It was at that point that the gale seemed to reach its peak. Keeping an eye on the wind meter, I read puffs of 23…24…26! A bit too much for some – 4 boats completely flipped over, one boat’s rudder was knocked out of commission after running over another boat’s mast, and 5 boats were OCS. The efforts of the race organizers and the volunteer safety boat were commendable, however, and after one general recall, the RC got off a start.
The theme of the upwinds was “Hiking-P-90X,” as crews did their best to balance out their enormous rigs. The theme of the downwinds was “Hang on!” as the entire fleet threw up its chutes and blasted downwind in speeds of 22+ kts. The below video of E = mc2 having an action-packed downwind leg serves as a great demonstration:
At the end of the day, survivors checked in their Velocitek devices to have their max speeds recorded. It turned out to be the second fastest Challenge we’ve ever run. Every boat’s average was in the high teens and we saw some amazing instantaneous speeds of 24 and 25 kts. When all was said and done, Jon Schloesser and his crew on Whiteaway were crowned “Speed Challenge Champions” - taking home the $1000 gift card to Summerset Marine with the top average speed of 18.3 knots.
All in all, we had a great time at Madison and we’re glad we were able to add a bit of fun to the weekend’s events. We were also very glad to see that the regatta was a Sailors for the Sea certified Clean Regatta. As proud sponsors of Sailors for the Sea, it was great to see their activism in action. Finally, we’d like to give a big thanks to Mendota Yacht Club, the race organizers, and the legion of volunteers. Together, they ran a very smooth regatta and helped us tremendously with putting on the Challenge.
…on Highway 12 on the way to the lake.