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Local sailors fare well at Butterfly Single-Handed National Championships

(From left) The Texas Contingent, Geoffrey Nelson, of Heath, 2nd place; Paul Miller, of Plano, 4th place; Doug Peckover, of Dallas, 1st place, and Gary Eppink, of Dallas,11th place, celebrate together after the trophy presentation.

June 25, 2013 –Doug Peckover of Dallas took home the majority of the hardware from the 2013 Butterfly Single-Handed National Championship on June 19-21, 2013.Hosted by Spring Lake Yacht Club in Spring Lake, Michigan, the turnout was surprisingly light, with only eighteen boats registered. But the racers were treated to a full 7-race series, typical summer thermals on the first day, and nasty, shifty, puffy, strong winds on the second day.

The usual tune-up race the day before racing officially began was in bright sun and nice light-moderate winds, and was won by former Junior National Champ Geoffrey Nelson, from Heath, TX, as a way to celebrate his last day as a Butterfly class Junior (under 17 years).

The official racing began Thursday when, the Race Committee headed by PRO Peter Blacklock, managed to chase the wind shifts enough to get in four good races. Each race was won by a different sailor – Isaac Kremers from Grand Rapids, MI showed his speed with his win in the first race, with Paul Miller (Plano), Geoffrey Nelson, and Doug Peckover, each taking a turn for the finish honors. At the end of the day, Nelson was in 1st, followed by Peckover, past champ Jim Young from Colorado in 3rd, and Paul Miller in 4th.

On day two, the weatherman threw out the book and delivered nasty, puffy, shifty, strong winds (22 mph with gusts of 30 mph) that Doug Peckover completely dominated. His three bullets in very trying conditions sealed the championship for him. Geoffrey Nelson sailed solidly enough to hold on to 2nd by a point, over Isaac Kremers, who also had a great second day with three secon place finishes. Behind Kremers, Paul Miller also sailed very consistently, with three 4th place finishes, to hold his 4th place overall, while Jim Young slid to 5th overall with an unusual race 6 for him that featured two capsizes in the crazy puffs. Matching Young on points but losing the tiebreaker, was Top Junior Sam Ralston from Grand Rapids, MI. Spring Lake YC’s own Olivia Windemuller took the Top Woman position for the new Fighting Lady trophy.

Thanks to Regatta Organizer, Patrick Reeg, and all his staff, as everything went smoothly and left everyone headed home tired from good hard sailing.

 Written by Jim Young, National Butterfly Association. Submitted by Dawn Nelson of Heath. 

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