as seen by the USWA Skimmer

The U.S. Wayfarer Association and the Tawas Bay Yacht Club of East Tawas, Michigan, hosted the 1980 Wayfarer Class World Championship on July 19 thru 25. Thirty-one boats competed, representing England, Scotland, Denmark, Canada and the United States. The U.S. was represented by Skip Remter, Jim Heffernan, Joe DeBrincat, Gary Warner, Dick Rothery, Nick Seraphinoff, Dick Socha, Gerry Lieberman, Dick Lupa, Hugh Dauch, Jay Gregory, Don Parker, Doug Houston and Warren Hirshfield.

The weather was typical for Michigan with rain, sun, strong winds, calms and cloudy sky, all in one week.

Race l was sailed in overcast weather, with light rain, winds 5-10 knots, light chop, waves 1 foot. The first boat over the finish line was manned by Al and Julia Schonborn of Toronto, Ontario, but unfortunately they were disqualified for being over the starting line after a second general recall. (ed. note: Uncle Al actually crossed 4th in this race!) First place honors went to Geoff Hodshon and Neil Harvie of London, England.

Two races were scheduled for the next day, which began with a postponement due to lack of winds and ended with the second race being abandoned due to heavy storm warnings given by the Coast Guard. Race 2, sailed in winds beginning at 5 knots and increasing to 10 knots, light chop, waves 1 foot, again featured a first place finish by Al and Julia Schonborn, but this time it counted.

The third race was won by Linda and Pat Sweet of Toronto, Ontario, under sunny skies, choppy conditions, waves 1 foot. During the last leg of the Olympic course, the wind did a 180º shift, favoring the boats which were trailing, but Sweets still managed to hang on to their lead at the leeward mark to win by a hair.

Race 4 followed immediately after Race 3, with victory going to Chris and Carolyn Kofler of Toronto, Ontario.

Races 5 and 6 were sailed back to back on the following day under sunny skies, winds 17-20 knots, heavy chop with waves 2-3 feet. Keeping the boats upright was a major undertaking. 

Race 5 was won by André Laframboise and Peter Rahn of Montreal, Quebec. Increasing winds caused several boats to drop out of Race 6. Two boats capsized, the team from Denmark righting promptly and going on to a 14th place finish, and the other not finishing. This race was taken by Geoff Hodshon, with Alan Neville and Brian Dodd of Scotland close behind for a second place finish.

Going into the last day, overall victory could be had by a first place finish on the part of any one of the top six boats, under the Olympic scoring system with one throw-out. 

A course was set with a 1.7 knot windward leg for the deciding heat. Winds were 14-18 knots, light rain, moderate chop, waves 1-2 feet. After the boats rounded the windward mark on the first leg, there was a major wind shift, so the course was changed in accordance with the racing rules, shifting the mark 25º to the east. No sooner was the mark re-set, than the wind shifted right back. The shifts did not fool the top contenders, however, as they were all on the right side of the course. Chris and Carolyn Kofler held on to win, rounding each mark first.

Culminating a week of not only racing, but social events, the awards banquet was held at the yacht club on July 25th, with many Wayfarer sailors from throughout the United States who did not participate as competitors attending. The Ian Proctor trophy was presented to Chris and Carolyn Kofler as the winners of Wayfarer Worlds IV. This husband and wife team has been sailing the Wayfarer for only five seasons, and definitely were surprise winners inasmuch as they had never before won a Canadian or North American championship. Consistency, as is so often the case, was a major factor, as they never had a finish lower than 12th.

Also winning trophies for over-all finishes were: 2nd, Geoff Hodshon and Neil Harvie, London, England; 3rd, Alan Neville and Brian Dodd, Scotland; 4th, Skip Remter and John Weiksnar, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan; 5th, Al and Julia Schonborn, Toronto, Ontario.

It was a week of keen competition and friendly associations. One of the highlights was a front page news story in the local paper and a 45 minute radio interview with Dick Rothery and Graeme Hinton, two of the skippers. Television cameras covered the last race on Friday. At the close of the banquet, everyone watched TV to see the last race replayed on the news.

Complete standings are as follows:

1980 Worlds
1980 Worlds overview
1980 Worlds results
1980 Worlds: CWA view
1980 Worlds: UKWA view
1980 Worlds: USWA view

return to Worlds index
Shore pics - 1
Shore pics - 2
Shore pics - 3
Shore pics - 4
Shore pics - 5
Race #3 - 1
Race #3 - 2
Race #3 - 3
Race #4 - 1
Race #4 - 2
Race #7 - 1
Race #7 - 2