International 14 US Class

International 14 US Class

Midwest Skiff Sailing - Madison Skiff Weekend June 1-3 Report

For those of you in the Midwest that didn’t make the Madison Skiff event this past weekend, you missed a great one! Here’s the quick summary but more importantly make sure you make the 9th Annual Madison Skiff Challenge Jul 13-15th and you’ll experience it first hand.


We lucked out and had great sun and breeze (10-20) all weekend blowing onto Robert Krebs’ Madison Sailing Center. Robert has built the facility up from nothing and we owe him thanks for giving us a place to meet.  His sailing ctr. now includes mast-up boat storage, sail storage, launching beach, carpeted dressing rooms, café style seating, refrigerator, grill, chase boat, buoys and he kindly turns on the dehumidifier for our gear every night. The usual suspects participated: Robert Krebs, Scott Earnest, Toby Lunt, Charlie Goehring, Jake Skala, Allen Rech and Jay Cox-Chapman flew in from D.C. We missed Gerry Lampert and others but made best of the numbers we had. The fleet definitely isn’t the fasted group of sailors or boats (my B3 in the only self-tacker, our masts are CST11, Bieker 1s & 2s and Willetts and all the foils are low aspect) but we think we are having just as much fun.


It was a typical Madison sailing weekend: Friday night rush to rig and make it to 6:30 MYC buoy race (Robert and Jay took the gun) then we all stayed out too late at a Local Unniversity Bar. Saturday we went out for two session of tuning in the morning and early afternoon, broke for lunch on the clubhouse grill and then took in a late sail until the sun went down. After Pizza, anyone over 40 went to bed and the twenty year olds did what 20 year olds do in a college town. Sunday there was a 0930 start which was going fine for Scott and I until my trapeze bail blew out. I had always thought I would be quick enough to let go of the tiller and NOT snap my CST extension but apparently I am sloth slow. It snapped enough to make pushing the tiller an ordeal so we bailed on the race. The rest of Sunday, everyone got out on one boat or another a few times and enjoyed the gusts and great runs. Finally at 5 PM the fleet was dog tired and the out of towner’s packed up or flew home.


The highlights of the weekend:

1)   First time seeing the Midwest fleet all together this year!

2)   Two boats committed to going to Toronto Worlds Sep 2013.

3)   Reviewing the weekend over Toby’s professionally cooked lunch on the grill.

4)   It’s not installed yet but I got to bring and show a gybing box Kris Henderson just mailed me. The box is as slick as his B6 hull and along with a high aspect daggerboard, will be a really cool, go fast addition!

5) We have 3 different guys looking into taking the plunge an buying i14s!


Low Lights:

1)   One lost GoPro camera, and visor.

2)   Nearly all of us realized we are out of i14 sailing shape!

3)   We still haven’t mastered the gybes in 17 knots gusts! NUTS!!!!!!


Lessons Learned:

1)   Get in Shape,

2)   Foot for speed first and then follow the apparent wind for pointing.

3)   Check ALL your hardware over the winter and replace items routinely.

4)   Have a sleeve on the boat for your tiller extension.

5)   Everyone has Vang issues which shb sorted out before we each hit the water

6)   Speed pucks are cool.

7)   The older boats B2, B3, Morrison 8s always have a problem justifying buying expensive new mainsails for less expensive boats. We laid out a bunch of mainsails and all got a better understanding of sail luff curves for different masts. This knowledge may help some of us buy some used sailed from the Coasts and adapt them to the older boats. Maybe not the fastest solution but certainly less expensive.


Going Forward:

1)   Our next event is the 9th Annual Madison Skiff Challenge July 13-15. Anyone  that can come is welcome. We have 5 new rules 14s, OD, 2 Vectors and LaserII on hand and spots available.

2)   If you want to buy an I14 for he Madison Skiff Challenge this week is a KEY TIME TO BUY! Tons of great deals on boats. A few boats for sail locally and we have someone driving west and another to Toronto that could possibly bring back a boat for you. Contact or


Thanks again for a great i14 weekend and Happy Birthday to Robert Krebs!



Jake Skala


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Comment by Stephen Shumaker on June 5, 2012 at 4:15pm

Sounds like a great event! Almost makes me want to move to the midwest. Great to see you guys putting in the energy to build your fleet.  As Jake said, NOW is the time to buy a boat.  You can buy a competitive boat in great condition with all the extras for the price of a fully outfitted new laser.  You just have to ask yourself, "which is more fun to sail?" 

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