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District 2 Championships 2017

Steve & Andrew Klotz Win With all Bullets!

This year’s District 2 Championships were a great success with a competitive contest and a tremendous view of San Francisco Bay.  On Saturday, Sept. 23, we assembled at the Richmond Yacht Club (on the east side of the Bay) for the one-day District 2 Lido 14 Championships, which was held as part of the yearly Totally Dinghy Regatta held by the yacht club.  

We found the weather clear with a great view of the bridges, the City (San Francisco), Oakland, and the Bay, but with very little wind. The skippers meeting was informative and everyone was hopeful there would be more wind in the forecast. They had decided to conduct the races in Keller Cove, a little northeast of the club. I had sailed at the site before, but not in that area, so I was looking forward to something new and challenging.  The courses were to be windward-leeward, using a gate at the end of the downwind leg, something we have done at Lido Nationals, so that was reassuring. They had 70 boats ready to go in several classes, so the day looked to be exciting and crowded.

The Lido 14 sailors competing were Steve Klotz and his son Andrew, Josh Ott and Taylor Maurer, Richard Moser and Bruce Prickett, and me, Earl Thomas, with my crew Ann Seaton. We got ready on the dock with much anticipation about how to deal with the new venue, low wind, and trying to give Steve some challenge. The water was flat and deep, so our Lake Elizabeth experience with the flat water was helpful and we wouldn't need to worry about our centerboards. The wind was to be light, so again our Lake Elizabeth experience with light and flukey  was going to be helpful. We really only had to figure out how we all were going to be competitive with Steve and Andrew.
We headed out to Keller Cove and waited for the race committee to start, but the postponement flag went up.  Then they began to move the buoys. We waited some more and the buoys moved again, so we followed. Finally, we heard the horns, the flags started to fly, and the races began; the race committee had finally found some wind further out in the bay. The race committee did a great job on a challenging day with more competitors than anticipated.
Most of us started Race One with what we thought was a good plan for the course, but quickly found ourselves sailing slowly when we saw Steve heading out on the left side and pulling away. He had chosen wisely with his experience of local conditions. Race One went to Steve and Andrew with the rest of us chasing.  In Race Two, we had learned our lesson and we all headed left. With Steve in the lead, Josh and Richard kept up with him, but again the results were the same, but we were closer.  Race Three gave us our chance at the starting line when Steve was over early.  Finally we had an opening. We were all ahead of Steve and Andrew as they returned to the start line, which was the first time for all of us!  We thought: this is it and sailed off as fast as we could, but as I sailed away in 3rd place, I noticed Steve was catching up and then he passed us on the first leg. By the end, he had reeled in all of us and finished the day with three firsts. 
I found the day challenging, but a great learning experience dealing with the current and taking away speed tips from the other sailors. Everyone gets better when they sail at different venues and against other better sailors. 
All day Josh and Richard were close and trading positions in every race. The real excitement of the day was a very close finish between Josh and Richard in Race Three: it was a mere inches between them with Josh and Taylor squeaking out the second place finish. This score turned out to be the determining one that put them ahead of Richard with a overall second place finish. Richard and Bruce got third and we captured a consistent fourth place. The day concluded with drinks and a taco bar provided by the Regatta. It was a fitting end to a great day of sailing as we talked about the day while enjoying a sunset view of the Bay.
Congratulations to Steve and Andrew Klotz as this year’s Lido 14 District 2 Champions and a special congrats to Josh and Taylor as the top finisher in Fleet 62.
Sunday, October 1 at Lake Elizabeth will be Fleet 62’s last regular races of the year - along with a barbecue. Hope to see you all at the “pond” (Lake Elizabeth) then.
Earl Thomas #4562
Fleet 62 Captain

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