District 4  Regatta Report

Sat Oct 4th, 2014 through Sun Oct 5th, 2014

2014 Icebreaker


The Detroit River Star Fleet, in conjunction with the Thistle Fleet at Crescent Sail Yacht Club, held host to the 2014 Detroit Ice Breaker and Rolland Vortiede Memorial.

What has become the season finale for the 4th District, has also become one of the more competitive and challenging races of the season. Brad Balmert, Thad Brej and Victor Sergent all came from the Southern Lake Erie Fleet traveling the farthest, followed by Rick Rundle from the Chicago Harbor Fleet, then Neal Turluck from Paw Paw Lake - St. Joseph River Fleet, rounding up the competition were the boats from the Detroit River Fleet including Fleet Captain George Macon, Terry Gibney, Dr. Bob Teitge, and first time helmswoman Kaite Potter. Katie recently purchased hull number 7008 and in doing so joined in with the highest ranks of the sport of sailing.

Everyone pulled into town between Friday night and Saturday morning to rig their boats, get tuned, to get ready to go sailing. Our hopes of racing were dashed as the winds were carrying a steady 20 kts with gusts peaking over 40 kts.

Relentless, and without fear, Victor Sergent and his crew Neil Cooper went to show the rest of the fleet that sailing was possible and took a relatively short pleasure cruise to Canada and back. They came back with the report that the conditions were tough, but that they had managed them either way.

Race committee abandoned racing for the day and the party began! Food was brought out, the keg was tapped, and the band started playing a series of classic hits, sailor's songs, and dance music. The people of Crescent Sail Yacht Club and the those who participated in the race came together in food, dance, and song for a very pleasurable evening resulting in many fond memories.

Sunday started with less pressure and everyone was geared up to race. The Stars started launching and we went out being met by the race committee shortly thereafter. They set a course with 3/4 mile legs in wind conditions that included gusts in upwards of 28 kts, with a steady breeze of 16-18 kts.

With blustery wind conditions the race committee started our first race. Shortly thereafter two boats dropped out due to mechanical failures with broken outhauls and main halyards, among other things. Kaitie Potter finished her first race successfully navigating near survival conditions.

The second race started off with building winds and growing seas bringing in turbulent conditions which drove the fleets through the race course. With one more boat dropping out with a broken jib halyard, several Thistle's capsizing, including 2 Thistle's sinking, the Race Committee decided to bring the 2014 Detroit Ice Breaker to a close to avoid any further carnage or mayhem.

Coming out on top was the skipper and crew consisting of Brad Balmert and Thad Brej, followed by Terry Gibney and Mike Lorenz in second, and George Macon and Charlie Koules in third place.

Rounding out the bottom half was first time helmswoman Katie Potter with her well seasoned crew Jim Weitzmann in fourth place, Neal Turluck and Andrew Kelly in fifth, and tied for sixth were Victor Sergent and Neil Cooper, Robert Teitge and Tom Kennedy, and finally Richard Rundle and Kyle McVane.

This year the traveling Rolland Vortiede Memorial trophy will be going to the Southern Lake Erie fleet in the grateful arms of Brad Balmert only to come back to be contested for next year in the 2015 Detroit Ice Breaker/Rolland Vortiede Memorial.

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 Total
1 8187   Brad Balmert   Thad Brej   8187   SLE   1.0 1.0 2
2 7894   Terry Gibney   Mike Lorenz   7894   DR   2.0 2.0 4
3 6730   George Macon   Charles Koules   6730   DR   3.0 3.0 6
4 7008   Katie Potter   Jim Weitzmann   7008   DR   4.0 9.0 [DNF] 13
5 6280   Neal Turluck   Andrew Kelly   6280   PPL   5.0 9.0 [DNF] 14
6 8077   Victor Sergent   Neil Cooper   8077   SLE   9.0 [DNF] 9.0 [DNF] 18
6 7078   Richard Rundle   Kyle McVane   7078   CHiH   9.0 [DNF] 9.0 [DNF] 18
6 8084   Robert Teitge   Tom Kennedy   8084   D   9.0 [DNF] 9.0 [DNF] 18

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