Southeast Regional Championship #2 won by David Loring

Posted November 10, 2018

Southeast Regional Championship #2

Reported by Alex Dean, Southeast Regional Representative 

The Southeast Regional Championship #2 was held November 3 and 4, 2018 in Columbia, SC, in conjunction with the Columbia Sailing Club’s 58th Annual Midlands Regatta. This was a big, fun and lively event with over 100 sailors and 88 boats: 19 Sunfishes for the Regional, 19 Lasers, 27 Optimists, 15 Bic O’pens, nine Y-Flyers and nine Lightnings.

Held on Lake Murray, the regatta provided authentic lake sailing. Frequent shifts and puffs gave the sailors plenty of opportunities to demonstrate their skills and understanding of the wind. Although the traffic of the larger Midlands Regatta boats on the course added to the challenge, it also gave Sunfish skippers a chance to search for clues about the favored side and other critical data.  

Figure 1. The winners on the podium: David Loring (1st, center), Sonya Dean (2nd, left) and John Butine (3rd, right). Photo: Alex Dean.

The overall winner of the Southeast Regional was three-time Sunfish World Champion David Loring (center left), with three bullets and one third. The winds on the first day fluttered and faded, allowing only one race, though with plenty of time to strategize and no chop to manage. Paul Welles took the bullet, followed by Sonya Dean (far left) and then David Loring. The second day had three races thanks to stronger winds (10-17 mph). Variable winds (especially at the windward mark) combined with bad air from traffic confronted all, but rewarded the sailors who anticipated the changes and responded quickly and smoothly. David Loring took first in all three races, followed by Sonya Dean (two seconds and a third) and John Butine (one second and two thirds - Near left).

Right:  Henry John Meyer Jr. aboard Argo. Photo: Meyer Family.

The awards ceremony included a recognition of the late Sunfish sailor Henry John Meyer (#117), who passed away January 7, 2018. He joined the class in 1967 and was a regular participant in regattas with his Sunfish “Argo.” John sailed in the Midlands Regatta regularly, winning 1st place in 2010 and 2011. His son, John Meyer III, and granddaughter, Sage, brought “Argo” to sail at the regatta to remember and honor him.

Left: Boats on the beach, tents under the trees, and plenty of sunshine! These are just a few parts of a great weekend. Photo: Walter Everett.

The Columbia Sailing Club really knows how to host a regatta: continental breakfast, sub sandwiches and burgers for lunch, dinner with pulled pork barbecue, burgers, fried chicken, mac and cheese, and adult drinks. Kids were also taken care of with pizza, snacks, an Italian Ice truck, a movie night, and adult supervision. Many sailors took advantage of the free on-site waterfront camping, next to the large bathhouse with endless hot showers. Volunteers from the club and the USC sailing team pitched in to make the event a tremendous success.

The CSC has been successful in building a junior sailing program to strengthen the next generation of sailors, led by sailing director David Van Cleef (a Sunfish alumnus, 4th in the 1998 Sunfish Worlds), Chip Horton and others. The CSC offers youth programs for learning to sail, summer sailing, and high school sailing. In fact, the 2019 summer sailing program is already full. CSC also hosts the University of South Carolina college sailing teams.

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