Annual regatta sails through Tahoe |

Annual regatta sails through Tahoe

Photo by Steve Lapkin/h20mark.comDick Ferris' J-125, August Ice, sails during the 44th annual Trans-Tahoe Regatta on Saturday.

Geoff Gardner of Olympic Valley steered his 20-foot Ultimate 20 Ricochet to overall victory in the 44th annual Trans-Tahoe Regatta this past Saturday.

The lightweight sloop has a sport boat style that features an asymmetrical spinnaker perfectly suited to Saturday’s wind conditions and racecourse. Ricochet also benefited from crisp crew work by Brian Plautz and Joe Moore.

Moore, 15, is an instructor in the Tahoe Community Sailing Program at Homewood.

Ricochet completed the 29.9-nautical-mile course in 5 hours, 45 minutes and won the regatta after application of a handicap calculated using the Performance Handicap Racing Formula (PHRF system).

The course begins off the shores of Tahoe City and goes around buoys located off Eagle Rock, Chambers Landing and Glenbrook and then back.

John Utter of Reno finished second in his 10-meter Tartan 10. True Luff was just 17 seconds behind Gardner, and Jack Tatum in the Sonoma 30, Arc Angel, finished third, 10 seconds behind Utter.

All three top finishers were in the Keelboat Division 2, which race co-chairman Jim Mullen noted “Did particularly well in the regatta because they reached Sugar Pine Point after the wind had filled in and finished the race before sunset, when the wind died.”

Division 1 top runners included Bryce Griffith, who placed first in the Antrim 27, Arch Angel, and Gary Redelberger, who was second in the Farr 36, Racer X. Richard Courcier placed third in the Farr 36, Wicked, and Dick Ferris finished fourth in the J-125, August Ice. Ferris also was the first to finish the keelboat, completing the course in 4 hours, 42 minutes.

Les Bartlett won the Division 3 race in the modified Venture 24, Groovy. Jim Mullen placed second in the J-24, Blue J, and Brant Hoffman was third in the Catalina 22, Bouta’ Doubt It.

A hotly contested Corsair catamaran division featured nine boats of identical design. First place went to Ross Stein in Origami, second went to Pete Adams in Gaigin, and third to Jerry Grant in Freedom Dance.

The multi-hull division winner was Bill Erkelens in a custom 36-foot multi-hull, Adrenaline, finishing the race in only 3 hours and 46 minutes, a record for the course.

The competitive Melges 24 Division was smaller than usual, having only four boats this year.

Tim Hawkins (Go Dogs Go) finished first and Dan Hauserman (Personal Puff) placed second.

The Cruising Class featured a face-off between two octogerians and longtime Trans-Tahoe rivals Dr. Frank Roberts and Bill Briner, both former commodores of the TYC.

Briner, who founded the Trans-Tahoe 44 years ago, finished sixth while Roberts came in third. The winner of the Cruising division, which raced a 19.5-mile course without use of spinnaker sails, was Chaco Mohler in the San Juan 24, Knot Bitchin’. Second place went to Randy Chitwood in the Catalina 30, Charisma.

Race committee members remained on station long into the night on board Jim Gregory’s Chris Craft Constellation, Another Summer, awaiting the last finisher ” Pat Colletti’s Olson 25 Eowyn, which came in at 10:05 p.m.

“The race finished late because it started about two and one half hours late due to the initial lack of wind,” said Principal Race Officer Dan Pavel, who just returned from Valencia, Spain, where he was one of the on-the-water race committee for the Americas Cup. “Once the wind came in, though, we had 15 to 18 knots ” a perfect day for racing on Tahoe.”

Sponsored by the Tahoe Yacht Club in Tahoe City, the Trans-Tahoe is the premier sailing event of the club and one of the major sailing regattas in Northern California. This year’s 44th running of the event brought 48 competitors from California, Nevada and several other Western States. Included was a large group of Corsair multi-hull boats that use the Trans-Tahoe as one of the featured fleet races for the summer. For complete results from the regatta visit

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