The 2022 Inland20 championship would not be settled until the final races of the final day.
A daughter/father team from Lake Wawasee, Indiana had opened a lead of one, scant point after four starts at Pymatuning Yacht Club, Saturday, Sept. 17. Their chief competition? A father/son combo from Ohio’s Indian Lake. They had won champs the year before.
|1||ID-4||Joe Ewing||Indian Lake Ohio||1||(2)||2||2||1||1||1||8||1|
|2||WA-57||Emily Allen||Wawasee IN||3||1||1||1||2||2||(5)||10||2|
|3||PO-806||Stew Harris||Potomac River SA||2||3||3||(6)||3||3||3||17||3|
|4||WA-76||JR Kendall||Wawasee IN||4||4||5||3||(6)||5||2||23||4|
|5||PO-479||Tristan Wright||Potomac River SA||5||(6)||6||4||5||4||4||28||5|
|6||ID-16||Andrew Tudor||Indian Lake Ohio||(7)||5||4||5||4||6||6||30||6|
|7||FD-4||Tim Fate||Indian Lake Ohio||6||7||7||7||7||7||9DNF||41||7|
|8||01||Derick Fahnestock||Southern MD SA||9DNC||9DNC||9DNC||9DNC||9DNC||9DNC||9DNC||54||8|
Sunday, Sept. 18. Jabs of wind appeared as soon as the Inland20s glided onto the lake. The squirrely puffs had introduced themselves the day before, jumping tree lines and hopscotching across Lake Pymatuning in patchy shafts. It would be the same on Sunday, but with more pressure. Downwind, the blasters could pay handsome dividends. To weather, the shifts could pummel or lift.
The Ohio team Joe and son Cole Ewing got the upper hand in race five, the first event of the final day. That result tied them with the Indiana team of Emily and father Andy Allen. Both now with eight points.
Joe Ewing recalled: “Emily (Allen) did an incredible job steering in that stuff,” he said. “As my crew will tell you, I could not stop asking ‘Where are the Allens?!’ If they broke free, I could not reel them back in.”
Race six would be decisive. Heavy air descended on the start line during the sequence. With 45 seconds to go, the wind swung north, favoring the boat end. The result was a pile up when the Tristan Wright team from the Potomac shut the door on the scows rushing to clear the boat end. Several, including Ewing and Allen, circled back around. By the time they crossed the start line, the Allens were on starboard tack heading south; the Ewings swung to port going west.
“When we were coming into that (start) mess I said “Go below Stew (Harris),” Andy Allen recalled. “But Emily did not think she had room. We had pretty good air. It didn’t look like he (Ewing) had a lot of pressure so we stayed on starboard and went about 400 yards and went to port.”
Joe Ewing remembered separating from his competition. “I did not get more than 100 yards before the wind shifted, so we tacked over to starboard,” Ewing said. “But it was very shifty… We had about seven or eight tacks to get to the weather mark.”
Andy Allen watched his rival closely. On opposing tracks, the two boats approached the weather mark. Another shift.
“When Joe went to layline, a big puff came over the tree line and lifted him to the mark,” said Allen. Ewing finished ahead.
Race seven saw little change, with one exception: the JR Kendall boat Key Lime Pie, with crew John Grummie, scored a second, their best of the regatta.
Allen and Ewing would have a chance to unpack the day during the awards. Allen is class President and handed the top trophy to the Ewings during the awards ceremony.
“Joe has really worked hard; he has done a lot for the inland20 and his fleet. I’m very sincere about that,” Allen said afterward. “When I gave out the award I started choking up. It really was cool. I had to stop and regroup myself.”
Another tight rivalry unfolded deeper in the pack. The Andrew Tudor boat (Indian Lake, Ohio) traded leads with Tristan Wright (Potomac) with only two points giving Wright fifth place at the end. Wright alternated with Potomac crew Peter Pietra and Justin Harler. Tudor teamed with Geoff Rigney. Kudos to Tim Fate of Indian Lake, Ohio, sailing with his son first time in a national calendar race.