The E-Scow Nationals at Crystal Lake Yacht Club

The 2014 E-Scow Nationals at  Crystal Lake Yacht Club convened on September 6 under blue skies and on the very blue Crystal Lake, near Traverse City.  It had been over 10 years since the Nationals took place on Crystal Lake, and enthusiasm fairly radiated off the approximately 50 volunteers, and 300 competitors as mother nature provided the perfect weekend for lake sailing.

Check out this video of the perfect day on the water at the E-Scow Nationals on Crystal Lake. Then keep scrolling for the rest of the story.

 As a steady west wind blew, 79 E-Scows lined up east of a buoy on Crystal Lake. At the blast of the signal horn,  the E-scows sliced closely into the wind, sails taught, and heeled over at an unnerving degree. Typically there is three to four crew on each 28 foot boat. A skipper, one or two middle men/women, and one working the jib. Two operating sails are used while sailing into the wind, and three while running downwind. After literally chasing them to the other side of the lake, the buoy indicating to “come about” brought up the level of intensity. A quiet competition quickly turned into a heated intersection, where skippers gave orders, crew adjusted sails, and gracefully each team avoided collision.

 Enjoy photos of Race Weekend, then read on for her wrap-up of the regatta’s finale!

The last race, on Sunday, was fierce. Only 69 out of 79 E-scows made it till the end due to collisions, man/woman overboard, and technical issues. No one was hurt, and it seemed like nothing new to the participants who understood it’s just part of the game. By afternoon, boats were getting hauled out of the water, placed on their trailers, beers were flowing, and the fabulous scent of Elberto’s Burritos wafted through the premises. High spirits were held as nearby trophies awaited their owners.

3rd place: T73 “Limelight” Jeff Bonanni / Mike O’Brien / Matthew Goetting / Maggie Condon

of Little Silver, NJ

2nd place: I-1 “White Heat” Harry Melges 4 / Andry Burdick / Mya Burdick / Monroe Melges

of Zenda, WI (The Melges Dynasty, creator of the E-Scow)

1st place : M42 “Madame” Sam Rogers / Christy Hughes / Tony Jewett / Lynn Jewett

of Greenwood, MN

The winning participants shed tears of joy and led the crowd in applauding everyone involved in the event.The Crystal Lake Yacht Club did a fabulous job of hosting the Nationals this year, and are already looking forward to having everyone return. Crystal Lake itself, is once again proved to be one of the greatest inland lakes in the country for sailing E-scows.