Joe Ewing won the first national calendar regatta of 2023 on Indian Lake, his home turf, May 27-28, but not by much! A powerful showing by Chautauqua’s Eric Hall introduced a new dynamic that could reverberate through the rest of the national calendar.
Hall’s second place finish was all the more impressive because he was working with a borrowed boat, borrowed sails and pickup crew. (Bill Monsuma’s hull and Ewing’s club sails and Peter Pietra of Virginia.)
Many downwind finishes decided by one or two boat lengths, with Ewing picking shorter lines that paid dividends on courses that rarely exceeded 30 minutes.
“I’ll say this, Eric Hall is a legit sailor,” Ewing said after the event.
The event “made me remember how much I always loved sailing the Inland20,” said Hall. “These are by far the best scows produced.”
The Indian Lake event attracted seven teams, including four out-of-town sailors from New York, District of Columbia and Virginia. The strong showing is a hopeful sign the class may be moving toward larger events with more competitors cross state lines.
The lineup also included three family teams, a hallmark of the I20 class. Ewing sailed with his son, Cole. In third was Jeff Patten with his son Alex. And, Tim Fate competed with his son Ian.
Competition was limited to five races on Saturday. Winds were too light to start during the first half of Sunday. Ewing crafted wooden trophies which were awarded at the Sunday ceremony presided by Jeff Patten.
|Joe Ewing (6)||1||1||2||1||1|
|Eric Hall (10)||2||2||1||2||3|
|Jeff Patten (17)||3||6||3||3||2|
|Justin Harler (19)||4||3||4||4||4|
|Tim Fate (26)||5||5||6||5||5|
|Andrew Tudor (27)||6||4||5||6||6|
|Mark Buchiet (36)||7||7||7||DSQ|
A special feature at Indian Lake is always the food. Jane Patten prepared dinner and lunch. Her son, Alex, contributed a wonderful lentil soup. Race Committee was led by Chip Wood with Dan and Marlene Graf, Becky Wade and Bill Young on support boats.
“I’d like to thank Indian Lake Yacht Club for a fantastic event,” said Eric Hall. “I look forward to coming back for nationals.”
Hall and the company he works for, Ready About Sailing, is promoting a national calendar event July 7-8 at Chautauqua Lake.