2006 El Toro North American's Report

Clearlake, CA

Short version, great weather, good venue, fantastic committee work, all came together for 25 lucky El Toro sailors. Clearlake came thru with six good days of sailing, and our race committee chairperson Jocelyn Nash had us on the water and sailing on time every day. Races all came together thru the hard work of our class president Gordie Nash providing the r/c boat ARENA, setting marks, and arranging two good dinners. Jocelyn Nash, Chris Nash, Dawn Nash, and Joe working hard on the Arena getting racers off on good courses for five tuneup races and eight championship races. Support boat was provided by Andrew Minkowitz with his crew Mary Tara, moving marks, getting finishes, having water available after each race and just being there in case someone needed assistance.

Racing was intense with two races each day, and most sailors having at least one good race out of the eight race series. Any of the top ten sailors will tell you that if you were in 15th place it was just as hard keeping your place there as it was being in 2nd. Very little shouting and yelling, just a bunch of sailors having a good time racing as hard as they could. Just 13 points separated the top six boats, and with a three way tie for first place and the winner decided in last 5 feet of last race cannot say it was not exciting. The winning formula was getting a good start, hitting the first 10 shifts and working the left side of the course just not to far left. Paul Tara is our new champion, his three firsts broke the tie, followed by Will Paxton getting second with two firsts and Gordie Nash in third with five second place finishes including the last race where he needed five more inches to beat Paul.

Bruce Bradfute was only six points behind to come in fourth, and won the 7th race, Art Lange was three points behind for fifth place and had two first place finishes. Sixth place was four points behind Art, and Fred Paxton was happy to be that close.

Patrick Tara is our Junior National champion and finished 11th overall in the senior fleet. Please note that this may be the first time father and son both won! Our most senior member Pete Blasberg finished every race and at 84 that gives the rest of us hope that we all have a few more years to keep sailing.

Pat and Marilyn Brown had the entire fleet over to their new house for the Thursday evening awards dinner, and a good time was had by all.

Next year back to Pinecrest for the first week of August 2007, mark your calendars.