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The Year of the 16

The Year of the 16

November 21st 2016 

This has been quite an incredible year to say the least, and I wanted to take a moment to thank our 2016 Hobie 16 members. It has been an honor to server as your fleet captain for the past two years. My decision to move to the F18 fleet came with a heavy heart. Ever since I joined CRAM I have looked with envy to our bigger catamaran brothers, but with my opportunity to move up it was difficult thinking about the fleet I was leaving behind. It’s not all about the competition, but the friendships forged that mean the most.

It amazes me what we have done in the past two years with our motley collection of 30 to 40 year-old cats. We have come so far from the 4 boats who showed up to make a fleet at Caseville 1-2015. This past season looked promising from the beginning, and I made sure every Hobie skipper in Michigan knew that 2016 would be the year of the 16. Hobies were at nearly every regatta and in great numbers! I can’t thank you all enough. The racing was great, but the skippers and crew is what will make it unforgettable. We made 2016 something to remember. That something isn’t just about the 16s, but something more. This was a turning point that made it obvious CRAM is for all beach cats no matter the type or age and is for all sailors no matter their skill level or budget. We did something great, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. 

While I may no longer be part of the Hobie 16 fleet, being within CRAM, and our great collection of people and catamarans, I get the privilege of still being around all of those who started as competitors that I now call friends. I hope to continue seeing more faces and Hobies at regattas. To new and current sailors my advice is always free, and my suggestions on how rig a 16 in an obsessive overkill manner are always available. 

Thank you,
James Derck

2016 CSYC 1 Writeup

The 2016 CSYC 1 REGATTA

written by Uli Gollwitzer

CRAM Season Opener –May 14th/15th 2016

CRAM typically starts the season in mid May at the Crescent Sail Yacht Club on Lake St. Clair near Detroit. Every year the organizers stay in close touch, anxiously watching the weather. In past years we’ve had to cancel the regatta the day before it started – especially because wind, air and water temperatures were matching. Think about that… ☺ This year’s forecast was not quite drastic enough to do so.

In keeping with the growth we’ve seen over the last few years, we had a really good turnout. Friday was a fun night with many teams we haven’t seen in a while and others even longer (6 F18s, 3 F16s, 3 Hobie 16s and a Hobie 17). Dan Borg and Chris Molder from Toronto were here and so where John Bauldry and Matt Bounds. Kelly and Joe Buchert are trusty guests, who pulled their boat all the way from Kentucky. It was a nice boat rigging party in a decent, warm late spring evening.

However, the next morning was completely different! A cold front came through and the temperature dropped drastically overnight to high 40s and the winds were in the 20s gusting over 25 combined with a water temperature of 50F. CRAM commodore Jeff Rehm spoke to the teams and had to make the difficult call in the first regatta of his season – no racing for the day.

To keep everybody entertained, we went to church. Well, it was a church and is now one of the local’s favorite breweries (Atwater). Thereafter we visited a local museum about the history of the Great Lakes, learning about many fascinating and grueling stories about storms and lost ships. This worked great, as we wanted to offer something for our out of town guests. We rounded off the day with a delicious barbeque back at the club assembled by Christy Higgins.

Then it happened. The next morning I looked out the window I saw it snowing! The thermometer in the car showed 35F and it still seemed quite breezy. After a fairly quiet discussion and some concerned faces, we decided that we needed to at least give it a shot to race. A few boats went out while other teams stayed on shore to watch the ones braving cold waters, winds and everything else cold.

Joe Buchert was able to resolve the issue that his wife Kelly did not want to go out, simply by single handing his F16. While the offshore breeze on the way out was quite acceptable, fast moving clouds and showers with actual snow flurries brought gusty conditions once out on the water. You had to be on your toes to not to get tossed into the cold water. My thoughts went shortly towards the dangers of hypothermia, but I decided to think warm and pretend that I am sailing in Florida.

The F18s and 16s started two races. Both were won by Frank and me, despite being over early in the first race and overstanding the gate in the second race. None of the F18s or F16s took a dive. Two Hobie 16s where battling it out in 3 races. They both flipped – one of them several times, but got back up and asked the race committee for another race with smiling faces. James Derck with crew Nikolai Hedler won in the Hobie 16 class.

Despite not racing on Saturday it was a great weekend, especially as we did pull off 2 races on Sunday. When we saw kids going out in their Optimists in the afternoon, a comment was dropped: how embarrassing it would have been otherwise. Even those who did not sail had a great time meeting sailing friends again after a long winter in Michigan.

2014 Icebreaker Writeup

 
The CSYC ICEBREAKER REGATTA

Icebreaker Regatta 2014 - written by Uli Gollwitzer

For a whole week I had been checking the weather every day - sometimes even multiple times. Jody, who was heading the organization of the 2014 Icebreaker, was getting tired answering the primary question of all participants: “Hey, with the weather forecast - are we sailing?”.

Saturday morning came and the weather forecast was pretty accurate: Winds around 24 gusting beyond 30 knots! The start got postponed for two hours.

... Not everybody was ready to stay on shore all day. Our newest F18 owner Wayne Tetlow and son Austin rigged their boat to face the wind. They surely got tons of good advice of everyone standing around the boat. Hats off for your decision to go out, Wayne and Austin - nothing like doing something as first! A little later Jeff Glenn and his son Brian came out to try the waters as well. Both teams came back, shaking their heads that this was the windiest they have ever sailed in.

There was an attempt to start a race when the wind dropped a little, but as everybody got dressed, the wind was back to full force. Two boats each from the Thistle and the Star fleets went out - very respectable as well considering the strong winds. Everyone agreed that racing in these conditions would not have been reasonable.

After a very opulent dinner prepared by the Thistle fleet we listened to the live band of a friend and sailor Brian Brieden. I heard, that the night got long and even Christy Higgins has been seen/heard on stage!

Sunday morning we were still facing sporty conditions, however, there was no doubt that we would go out. The winds were 16 - 18 knots in the first and 18-22 in the second race, both with significant puffs. In both races were many lead changes between Jeff Rehm and John Bauldry, Kelly and Joe Buchert and Uli Gollwitzer (me) who was sailing with Crescent Clubmember Eric Brattinga (Prindle 16 owner). Unfortunately exactly those three boats missed the offset mark on the first round of the first lap and were out of the race for the podium. 

Kudos go to Brianna and Wayne Tetlow. Brianna sailed her first regatta ever that day and despite not admitting it, we think, she actually liked it. Favoured by the mistakes of the three fastest boats they ended up being the fastest F18, too! Jeff and son Brian won the regatta overall. Nice job of Ron Kramer and Steve Anderson also on going out and playing with the wind. The whole fleet got compliments from other sailors, how well we handled the boats in these windy conditions.

A special thank you to the Thistle fleet #2 whose guests we were on this regatta. They did an outstanding job putting together a really nice event!

This was the last CRAM race of the season. Hope to see you all at the CRAM banquet on 15th of November and for lots of races next year.


Icebreaker Regatta 2014 - written by Uli Gollwitzer

For a whole week I had been checking the weather every day - sometimes even multiple times. Jody, who was heading the organization of the 2014 Icebreaker, was getting tired answering the primary question of all participants: “Hey, with the weather forecast - are we sailing?”.

Saturday morning came and the weather forecast was pretty accurate: Winds around 24 gusting beyond 30 knots! The start got postponed for two hours.

Not everybody was ready to stay on shore all day. Our newest F18 owner Wayne Tetlow and son Austin rigged their boat to face the wind. They surely got tons of good advice of everyone standing around the boat. Hats off for your decision to go out, Wayne and Austin - nothing like doing something as first! A little later Jeff Glenn and his son Brian came out to try the waters as well. Both teams came back, shaking their heads that this was the windiest they have ever sailed in.

There was an attempt to start a race when the wind dropped a little, but as everybody got dressed, the wind was back to full force. Two boats each from the Thistle and the Star fleets went out - very respectable as well considering the strong winds. Everyone agreed that racing in these conditions would not have been reasonable.

After a very opulent dinner prepared by the Thistle fleet we listened to the live band of a friend and sailor Brian Brieden. I heard, that the night got long and even Christy Higgins has been seen/heard on stage!

Sunday morning we were still facing sporty conditions, however, there was no doubt that we would go out. The winds were 16 - 18 knots in the first and 18-22 in the second race, both with significant puffs. In both races were many lead changes between Jeff Rehm and John Bauldry, Kelly and Joe Buchert and Uli Gollwitzer (me) who was sailing with Crescent Clubmember Eric Brattinga (Prindle 16 owner). Unfortunately exactly those three boats missed the offset mark on the first round of the first lap and were out of the race for the podium.  

Kudos go to Brianna and Wayne Tetlow. Brianna sailed her first regatta ever that day and despite not admitting it, we think, she actually liked it. Favoured by the mistakes of the three fastest boats they ended up being the fastest F18, too! Jeff and son Brian won the regatta overall. Nice job of Ron Kramer and Steve Anderson also on going out and playing with the wind. The whole fleet got compliments from other sailors, how well we handled the boats in these windy conditions.

A special thank you to the Thistle fleet #2 whose guests we were on this regatta. They did an outstanding job putting together a really nice event!

This was the last CRAM race of the season. Hope to see you all at the CRAM banquet on 15th of November and for lots of races next year.