Thanks to Park McRitchie for this report: The 2022 Great Lakes Championship, September 17-18, was successfully hosted by the renowned Sandusky Sailing Club located near Sandusky Bay, which is just inside the boundaries of Lake Erie. SSC has hosted this event prior to this time, as well as many National Championships and US Sailing events throughout their 90 years of commitment. Commodore Wes Blazer, PRO Jay Austin and their extensive team hosted a picture perfect weekend with warm days and westerly 7-10k on Saturday and 12-15k on Sunday. In total, 6 races were run with one throwout. The competition was fierce from all competitors participating from 5 different clubs. Even the lower placing boats showed the way in a commanding position at times, so therefore covering just a few competitors wasn’t possible, as everyone was fast. Damages were at a minimum except for one boat being dismasted. Port Clinton Yacht Club had the largest contingency with 4 boats racing, PCYC is the newest J-24 Fleet with 7 boats racing on most Thursday evenings. The J-24 Team “NoBS” with skipper Park McRitchie, foredeck Brian Goldberg, trimmer Jeff O’Connell and tactician Steve Spitler finished with an accumulated score of 10 points after the throwout. Steve and Park (both almost 70) have sailed with and against each other for more than 50 years, so communications were always easy. Jeff and Brian have also raced for many years with Steve and Park. Upwind speed is paramount in this class, and Team NoBS attributed this to the wonderful genoa (G-String) created by the famous Greiner sail loft in Point Place (Toledo), Ohio. Ryan Lashaway and his team, who won the D-12 event last year at PCYC, finished with a close second and 11 points. Dean Reidy and Team Hall Pass, also from SSC, finished third with another SSC boat with Louie Palmer aboard Boo-Yah in fourth. Team “Menace” skippered by Drew Blackburn from PCYC finished 5th, even with a broken mast. 3rd place had a 3 way point total tie of 18 points. Many thanks to the professional teams at the Sandusky Sailing Club for hosting this event, providing food and support for all the competitors.

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