37th Annual Des Plaines Invitational
By Mark Quiniff
Des Plaines Rebel Fleet 23 hosted its 37th annual Invitational and District IV Championship Regatta on August 11 and 12, 2007. After a relatively pleasant summer, weather in the couple weeks before the regatta became somewhat problematic, with high temperatures, high humidity, lots of rain and little wind. As guests Neil Robb and Scott Wright arrived on Saturday morning, they were dismayed to see Lake Opeka looking like a still life painting, reflections of the sky on the water and all. The weather forecast was no better and everyone took a deep breath to see what would happen. Finally, out of nowhere (actually the southeast) some wind started to appear and after a half hour delay, the boats were out and running. As the afternoon progressed, the wind clocked to the southwest and blew almost all afternoon from 10-15 MPH. So much for the weatherman’s ENE at 5-10 MPH! The fact that it was hot and humid was pretty much ignored by everyone as race committee Bill Hanson and Diana Kremen ran four great races.
In the first race, guest Neil Robb, with Theresa Stoodley crewing, showed everyone how it is done by overcoming an individual recall and convincingly winning the race. Joe Stoodley with his nephew John Paez crewing, used a boat donated to the Park District. A side stay broke on the first windward and they were out for the rest of the afternoon. Joe managed to get a replacement and was set for Sunday. In the second race, Mark and Peggy Quiniff got off to a good start in the other Park District boat and held on to win the race. Apparently, they began to figure the “Gina B” out as they managed to win the third and fourth races. Meanwhile, Scott Wright, with his friend Ann Markaity, continued to improve and moved up to a close second place finish in the fourth race. Neil Robb was up and down after the first race, but managed to be up at the end of each race when it really counts. Jim Quiniff and Mike Stoodley had one bad race, but otherwise sailed really well in “Afterburner”. Wayne Rathbun, switching between Renee and daughter Kristen as crew was very consistent. In the fourth race, he made it a three boat race with the Quiniffs and Scott. John and Judi Washburn were right in the mix, but ended up not starting the fourth race so they could get home to set up the party. Needless to say, this affected their final score. Phil and Irene Faulkner have had better days, but their second in the third race was a thing of beauty and Tom Laskowski with John Ciborowski and John Vandenbrink with Dick Carlson showed some real flashes of brilliance. In fact, it is a credit to the fleet that the racing was consistently very close, with tactics rather than boat speed being the deciding factor.
While the rest of the fleet missed the Washburns on the racecourse, they were universally pleased with the results, because John and Judy hosted a phenomenal party at their beautiful home. The large turnout, which included Jim and Joan Leeney, was surprisingly chipper considering the hot and humid weather. The casual dinner of Italian beef and bratwurst with several excellent desserts made for a great evening after a day of great sailing.
Sunday was another story. It was supposed to be hot and humid. It was. It was supposed to be 10-20 MPH. It wasn’t! The lake was as calm as it had been on Saturday morning, and when it hadn’t filled in by 11 AM, the race committee called it a regatta and everyone brunched on the leftover salads and desserts from the night before in the air conditioned clubhouse. For what it’s worth, many thought it would fill in like Saturday afternoon, but it never did, so getting Neil and Scott on the road by 1 PM worked out for the best. Final results are as follows:
Des Plaines Invitational Aug 11 & 12 2007
Back Row: (left to right) Diana Kremen & Bill Hanson (Race Committee), Wayne Rathbun, Tom Laskowski, Irene & Phil Faulkner, John Ciborowski, Jim Quiniff, Rene Rathbun, Mark Quiniff, Mike Stoodley, John Washburn, Neil Robb, Ron Reading, Dick Carlson
Middle Row: John Vanden Brink, John Paez, Joe Stoodley, Kristin Rathbun, Judi Washburn Teresa Stoodley
Front Row: Peggy Quiniff, Ann Markaity, Scott Wright
Photo by Barbara Paez