Lake Lanier Sailing Club held the second annual Quantum Melges 24 United States Southeast Inland Championship on May 17-18 on Lake Lanier, Georgia. The event is an annual stop on the Melges 24 Southeast Circuit and counts toward the overall Southeast Circuit Rankings. After six hard fought races Team “Satisfaction”, USA 378, with Scott Gregory, Scott Nixon, Michael Schulz and Jeremy Tudor were crowned the Melges 24 Southeast Inland Champions. Current Melges 24 National Champion, Doug Kessler, “Liberty” USA 489, finished in second place and Gary Umberger, “Minnetonka” USA 108, placed a strong third.

The fleet enjoyed consistent pressure with several large oscillations on Saturday. Steve Jones and Eric Andrews on “Sick Puppy”, USA 90, sailed a strong first race by working the left hand side of the fleet upwind and sailing good downwind angles to win the first race. Team “Satisfaction”, with Scott Nixon calling tactics, won the next two races with solid boat speed and by taking advantage of a consistent left hand shift off Winder point to lead at the first windward mark. Gary Umberger won the fourth and final race of the day with great speed and excellent tactical calls by Dave Van Cleef downwind.

Saturday night the Melges 24 fleet shared stories from the days racing and enjoyed Williamson Brother’s Barbecue, beer and Mt. Gay Rum. The racing started early on Sunday morning with a consistent 10-15 knot breeze. It was excellent weather for Melges 24 racing. The racing was tight and positions were traded back and forth between the top four boats. Mark roundings and laylines were made interesting by large and isolated puffs and thirty-degree oscillations. You looked golden one minute and felt like a red headed stepchild the next. Team “Satisfcation” found their own private puff on the last downwind leg that allowed them to plane into the lead and win race five. The last race was made interesting by Gary Umberger’s attempt to approach the weather mark from the port layline. The entire fleet watched in awe as Gary managed (by the skin of his teeth) to avoid serious damage by ducking “Satisfaction” and “Liberty” who were set up on the starboard layline. Team “Satisfaction” enjoyed another good race finishing first with solid boat speed and excellent crew work. The boats were out of the water by 12:00pm and the awards ceremony was held shortly thereafter.

Dennis Slaton and the race committee did an outstanding job of setting the marks for the median wind all weekend. Thank you. Frank Vandal, “Bad Influence” USA 95, racing in his first Melges 24 regatta finished a respectable fifth behind the Road Warriors from Tennessee on “Sick Puppy”, Steve Jones and Eric Andrews. Scott Baker and his lovely wife, “Nobody’s Girl” USA 200, received tapered spinnaker sheets courtesy of VC PERFORMANCE RIGGING for traveling the farthest to the regatta. Scott Baker sails out of New Orleans, Louisiana. The primary sponsor for the regatta, QUANTUM SAILS, had a strong showing with “Satisfaction” and “Liberty” finishing first and second.

A special thanks goes to all of the out-of-town boats traveling to Atlanta for the regatta and Scott Nixon with QUANTUM SAILS and Dave Van Cleef with VC PERFORMANCE RIGGING for sponsoring the regatta. In addition, Scott Nixon and Dave Van Cleef put on an excellent speed clinic on Friday that was well attended by the fleet. Thank you for the continued support of the Melges 24 fleet and for sharing your knowledge with us.