2010 U20 Colorado Governor's Cup Report

Complex, intertwined, disputatious yet civil; that's how I would describe the 5 hour, three boat, 4 protest marathon that ended with nothing being changed and with no one disqualified or penalized in any way.

The racers at the 2010 Colorado Governors cup were greeted with very pleasant weather on Saturday morning. A mild breeze filled Cherry Creek Reservoir and only improved as the day progressed. Race committee set a somewhat short start line for the 7 U20's in attendance. While the line was crowded at the starts I don't think that anyone was over early in any of the 4 races held on Saturday.

Peter Muller threw down the gauntlet with a bullet in race 1. Always up to the challenge, Mark Allen grabbed the next two wins and Jim Ulatowski finished the day by winning race #4. In all of these races, the rest of the fleet was never far behind and going into Sunday morning there was only one point separating each of the top 4 boats.

Denver Sailing Association hosted a well attended party on Saturday evening with a roasted pig taking center stage on the buffet table. Beer was on tap, but for many the highlight of the party was the bottomless rum barrel. For a measly $10, patrons were transformed from sailors into drunken sailors. I can see why rum is such a popular drink, it appears to be a "happy" drink. While there were many "happy" sailors on Saturday evening, they may not have been so happy on Sunday morning. I don't think it was so bad that any one was missing in action on Sunday. I had as much fun watching the drinking as those doing the drinking. ( a few of us had to stay sober to sit through the protest hearings) As was forecast, the wind on Sunday was minimal and before the first race could be completed it timed out at 90 minutes. Marty May was less than 100 yards from the finish line when the abandon flag was flown. Had Marty finished in time, the final results would be quite different. Racers and committee waited patently for the wind to fill-in but we were unable to get a single race completed on Sunday.

Saturdays results would stand with Mark Allen in 1st, Jim Ulatowski in 2nd and Cliff Begnaud in 3rd. Sitting in protest hearings can be quite educational. It's a sure but sometimes stressful way to learn the Racing Rules of Sailing. When racers go into a protest hearing we have a good idea of what happened out on the race course. Unfortunately, the reason that we're in a protest hearing is because some other racer doesn't agree with that view. No matter how convinced we are about the facts, it's the job of the protest committee to determine what "they" believe actually happened based upon all the testimony. Sometimes those facts just don't quite line up with what we remember. Even if our version of the facts are generally accepted, there are often surprises in how the judges interpret the rules. This is where the real education comes in.

The 2010 racing season is winding down with only one regatta left in our series, the Columbus Day Regatta at Chatfield on October 9-10. Below are the detailed results of the Governors Cup and the fleet standings for the season. After the final regatta there will be one more throw out. The final score will be based on the 7 best races. As close as the scores are right now, anything can happen. No one has a lock on the season Championship at this point which makes the Columbus Day regatta an event not be missed.

Story by Cliff Begnaud