Breezy and beautiful fall weather was on hand all weekend for the 49th annual Indian Summer regatta held at Waccamaw Sailing club October 6 & 7. This year’s turnout of 20 boats heavily favored Catamarans, with 9 Isotopes; holding their nationals, 3 Hobie 16 and 5 Open Multihulls. Only 3 mixed monohulls competed in the Open Monohull category.
Most sailors arrived on Friday and were able to pick up their race packets, rig their boats and secure their preferred beach-launch spot prior to the start of Friday evening’s welcome party which gave sailors and club members a chance to meet, greet and eat. A crew of club volunteers were on hand to coordinate incoming rigs, move trailers to back lot parking, direct car traffic and coordinate food service.
Saturday’s weather was beautiful with blue skies and temperatures topping at 80 degrees. Race conditions were quite sporty, with wind blowing 12-18 mph and some gusts over 20mph. The race committee set up and racing started promptly at 1:00pm. The windy conditions made for some very fast racing, but also proved challenging to some equipment. Of course, anything that can go wrong, will especially on a catamaran. One Isotope suffered a broken side stay, and had to be towed in after capsizing, and an F18 had a partial mast collapse. Although they were able to sail back in, they were out for the rest of the regatta. 3 races were completed and tired but happy sailors were back in by late afternoon in time to get warmed up and have a hot buffet style meal.
Waccamaw Sailing Club was pleased to welcome Meldau family, Isotope designers and builders, as their guests. The Isotope catamaran fleet honored the family at their nationals and rechristened their perpetual trophy, first awarded in 1974, as the “Meldau Cup”. Frank Meldau II designed the Isotope catamaran in 1964, and the family continues manufacturing at their shop in Henderson, NC. Joining him at the celebration were his wife Rhoda, their son Frank Meldau III, their Grandson, Wilder Meldau, Their Son-in-law David Brice and Nephew John Kirles. Brice and Kirles competed with the Isotope fleet and placed 6th and 4th respectively.
Sunday started out overcast with a passing sprinkle just before the race committee left the dock, but the sky had cleared by the time set up was complete. Racing started right at 11:00 am with 12-15 MPH winds which stayed steady throughout the 2 races. A broken forestay caused one of the 3 monohuls, (the Tanzer) to capsize. After spending over 30 chilly minutes in the water unsuccessfully trying to right the boat, it was a long slow tow back to the dock with the boat on its side. Once back in the shallows, leverage and extra muscle were able to right the boat and recover it to its trailer. All sailors were back at the club by 1:00pm for food and awards. The race committee scored the races and the winners were honored in a small ceremony after lunch.
Waccamaw Sailing Club would like to thank all the participants, Paul and Karol Leonard who traveled from Florida to head the Race Committee and to rest of the 20+ person volunteer army who made this event a success!
2023 Indian Summer Winners:
Isotope Class: Eric Rasmussen
Hobie 16 Class: Mark Williams
Open Multihull Class: Ron Walters
Open Monohull Class: David McLamb