Last weekend three of Corinthian’s finest Vanguard 15’s ventured down the Nashville for the Vanguard 15 Nationals. Val Smith with crew Heidi Rittmeyer, honorary Corinthian Scott Eisenhardt with crew Theresa Trejo, and Andy Camarda with crew Markell were there to represent the Yacht Club. The event was held on Percy Priest reservoir, a small lake just outside of downtown Nashville.
The event was advertised as a warm weather, light air event, but we got anything but. Scott and Theresa ventured out for the practice race Friday in big breeze, while the rest of our sailors decided to save the boats and new sails and go for a swim in the warm waters instead. When racings started Saturday morning, the breezes had increased with puffs nearing 30 knots. Two races were held in the big breeze that turned into a swimming contest for about half of the fleet and the RC sent everyone back in while the breeze simmered down. Val and Heidi came out of the box swinging with two straight bullets. Andy and Markell won the Corinthian wipeout of the weekend when the hiking strap gave way, sending Andy overboard while the boat flipped the other way.
After a brief break on land, the winds had calmed to a much more manageable 15-20 with some bigger puffs. Despite some complaints about putting on wet gear, most of the boats headed back out for 3 more excellent races. Val and Heidi kept their winning ways up with 2 more race wins, while all 3 of our boats scored some top 3 finishes.
On Sunday, the second and final day, winds looked to be a bit lights. The first start saw only 8-10 knots of breeze with some big shifts rolling in. The tricky conditions mixed up the fleet a bit and saw some of the locals come back for strong races. The winds picked up as the day went and were a familiar 20 knots plus with big shifts by the end of the day. All 3 boats saw some up and down finishes, but all managed a few flashes of brilliance for top 3 finishes. Val and Heidi managed another race win, putting them in strong contention for the overall win. On the final race, Val and Heidi managed to hold off a pack of 5 boats for the tightest finish of the event. An overall win looked to be a lock until they discovered they were over early and did not go back! Now the final results were uncertain.
The race committee let them sweat it out for 2 hours before finally announcing the winners. When the results were finally tallied, there was a tie for the Championship! Fortunately Val and Heidi’s 5 race wins gave them the tie breaker and the National Title! Andy and Scott continued their tradition of finishing next to each other with Andy and Markell in 7th and Scott and Theresa in 8th.