Tax Refund Regatta on 4/15/2023

Tax Return Regatta 2023 The 2023 Tax Return Regatta was held on April 15 at Wendell Falls Community pond in Wendell NC. It was organized by the Triangle Model Yacht Club (AMYA #28), and served as the Victoria Class Region 3 Championship. The small intimate pond had already proven itself as a great venue for model yacht racing in 2022 as the home for the Hangover and Tax Return regattas, and it lived up to its promises again for this event. The weather had threatened to be rainy and cold earlier in the week, but the forecast kept improving every day. On the morning of the event, the skippers were greeted by a slightly overcast sky with temperature in the mid 60's. But the sky gradually cleared up and the sky soon was perfectly sunny and the temperature eventually reached the high 70's. A perfect day for model yacht racing.

The start of the event was postponed by 15 minutes as the wind was initially rather light and unsettled. But a course was set quickly as the wind direction settled down a bit and its speed built up slightly. The skippers meeting was held at 9:15 AM and the countdown for the first race was promptly started 15 minutes later. The wind at the time was reaching 5 to 6 mph with occasional higher gusts. Although the wind direction kept oscillating slightly throughout the day, the course always offered a fair challenge to all.

This race director promised the skippers to have them race, not wait. And racing, they did. By the time the event concluded, 30 minutes ahead of schedule, 21 races were in the books. Three groups of three races were run in the morning and another 3 groups of 4 in the afternoon. The single adjustment to the course was made during the lunch break. The course angle was adjusted slightly and both ends were brought closer to the start-finish line. The shorter course did seem to make the afternnon races a bit more interesting and competitive even though the wind speed had dropped down a bit.

From the very beginning, last year's winner, Walter House of Martinsbug WV, established himself as the favorite for the day. He won the first race and 5 of the 9 races in the morning session. But Gerry Cobley from the host club, held his own all morning by winning the other 4 races and was less than 5 points behind at the lunch break. The afternoon session followed a similar pattern even though Gerry won the first race. Walter gathered another 5 bullets and Gerry, altogether another 4. The other winners were Rick Ferguson, Mari Spina, and Skip Allen. Although it was clear during the regatta and from the scoring sheet that Walter and Gerry were the class of the field, there was plenty of action among the rest of the field. Most races were very closely contested, not necessarily just at the top of the field, but all along the fleet.

There were lots of occasions where 3 or more boats were coming to the line in a bunch and would finish within inches of each other. The field was mostly well behaved with less than a handful of boats over early and a single general recall. In the end, Walter House won the day with a score of 32 to Gerry Cobley's 37.8 for second place. Michael Roberson, Rick Ferguson, and Tom Rummage all from the Triangle Model Yacht Club placed 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. Mari Spina from Reston VA, the only woman entered, rounded up the top half. Notably, Michael was sailing his boat for the first time on that day, having acquired it only minutes before the start of the regatta.

Some other notable events of the day:
  • A kid decided to reel-in the windward mark during the last race of the morning. Luckily, most boats had already rounded it and a call was made to only round the offset mark on the second lap.
  • The eventual winner of the regatta got a little too close to the fountain in the middle of the pond between two races and found himself beached there. Tom Rummage was kind enough to ram into his boat into Walter's bow "gently" to get him back on the right track!
  • We even got an instant video replay called by the race director in the middle of the afternoon. Oh the things you can do with a phone and a bit of imagination these days!

  • Many thanks must go to Tom Rummage for organizing the regatta and orchestrating the actions of all the players. Special thanks also are due to Chris Bock and Kelly Hall for taking care of the scoring and to Scott Allred for also lending a hand with scoring as well as with course management during the regatta. Thanks to all other members of the Triangle Model Yachting Club who contributed either by their presence on the course or by bringing any of the components needed for the regatta to run smoothly. Finally, if any of you reading this might one day drive by the area and want to check out the venue, make sure you take the time to go and enjoy a drink or a meal at the Farmhouse

    Cafe right next to the pond. They provided the lunch for the event and they were very tasty and certainly filling. And remember, next spring, when the anxiety is starting to get a hold on you as you are working on your tax return. The best antidote might just be to register early for the "2024 Tax Return Regatta" and, once this is all behind, come spend a day racing toy boats with friends, "just because".
    Jacques Rioux RD 2023 Tax Return Regatta
    Race Results for Tax Refund Regatta
    Type  Place  Skipper Sail#  Points  City  St  Home Club 
    Single 1 Walter House  302 32 Martinsburg WV NORTHERN VIRGINIA MYC
    Single 2 Gerry Cobley  5 37 Cary NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 3 Michael Roberson  94 72 Raleigh NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 4 Richard Ferguson  91 79 Raleigh NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 5 Tom Rummage  54 83 Garner NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 6 Mari Spina  32 86 Reston VA MARYLAND MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 7 Richard Azzam  (Dick) 62 95 Madison AL ROCKET CITY MYC
    Single 8 Skip Allen  21 107 Durham NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 9 Jason Troy  1404 129 Rougemont NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 10 William Pogue  33 186 Cary NC  
    Single 11 Robert Daubert  (Bob) 1440 197 Cary NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 12 G. Wilson Gunn  514 198 Durham NC TRIANGLE MODEL YACHT CLUB