Lake Waccamaw, NC
Aug 10-11, 2002
by Kevin Swiger, Isotope 007.
The Waccamaw Yacht Club at Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, hosted
the 26th Isotope Nationals on August 10-11, 2002. Lake Waccamaw
is close enough to the North Carolina coast to benefit from an afternoon
sea breeze, and as competitors were setting up on the beach at around
noon on Saturday, a fresh breeze was blowing with whitecaps just
beginning to appear. This was to be the best wind of the weekend,
and by the start of the first race at 4 p.m., the wind had diminished
to less than 10 knots.
Committee on Lake Waccamaw
competitors were on the water for the Nationals. Competition was
excellent, characterized by the closeness of the finishes in each
race. In some cases, a few seconds was all that separated the winner
from fifth place after rounding a long windward-leeward course twice!
Three races were completed on Saturday, followed by a cookout and
social that lasted well into the evening.
start on Sunday was delayed onshore while we were waiting for the
wind to go from nothing to something that would move our boats.
Eventually, a few puffs were apparent on the lake, and we all headed
out. A light, but steady, breeze occurred and the starting sequence
for race number four was begun. For the moment, the line was heavily
port-favored and the mass of boats starting on the starboard end
found themselves on the wrong tack and in bad air. The port-starters
were pointing almost directly at the mark when the gun sounded,
and hoping not to get a header. Many boats changed position in this
crucial race on the downwind and upwind leg to the finish. The Race
Committee abandoned further racing, due to lack of wind, and we
all headed back to shore unsure of who would be the winner of the
Regatta. When the numbers were crunched, a three-way tie existed
for first place. Further number crunching settled the tie with Steve
Renner in first place, Tom Rummage in second, Kevin Swiger in third,
Frank Meldau III in fourth, Andrew Wooster in fifth, and Alan Wolf
in sixth. As mentioned, the competition was close, and it is interesting
to note that Eric Rasmussen would have made it a four-way tie for
first place had he not lost a protest in the second race.
Waccamaw is an excellent venue for any regatta and we owe a big
thanks to the Waccamaw Yacht Club for their help with the races
and the use of their facilities. We would also like to thank International
Fiberglass for making all of this fun possible with the Isotope