Mutineer 15
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Mutineer Championships


1972 - Texas

May have not been an official MNAC.  It was won by Bubba Miller.

MNAC 1973 - Orchard Lake, MI, September 8-9

A total of 18 boats competed in 4 races.  In first place was won by John Strawbridge of Brooklyn, MI.  In second place was Jerry Meach of Pine lake, MI followed in third place by Alan Smith of Westlan, MI.

Click here for the Crews Nest recap of the regatta.
Click here for a Cannonball write up of the regatta.

MNAC 1974 - Wamplers Lake, MI, September 7-8

No record of the number of boats.  There were 6 races.  Won by Ron Blair (of Vector Sails!) and Jim McCreary.  John Strawbridge and his wife were the regatta organizers, and John and his son took 2nd place.  Al Smith was elected Commodore for 1975, and Vern Umstead, Secretary/Treasurer in what we believe is the first appointment of Mutineer Class Association Officers.

MNAC 1975 - Cass Lake, MI, September 5-6-7

A total 21 boats competed in 6 races.  Won by Hal Adams and Dave Schoene.  Al Smith and Nikki Shelly took 2nd place with Rob Tanick and Dave Hartwell in third.  Rob Tanick also won the Best Junior Trophy.  Other awards included:  Old Timer's Trophy won by Ralph Holzhauer and the Out-Of-Town (furthest travelled) trophy wond by Tom Gutzke of Stewart, Nebraska.

Click here for a Cannonball write up of the regatta (sorry, in pretty rough shape).

MNAC 1976 - Lake Carlyle, IL, July 16-17-18

The 1976 Mutineer North American Championship, held at Carlyle Lake saw eighteen teams from seven states participating.  Four races were held.

The first race Saturday morning was an immediate battle between Al Smith and Jerry Meach but unfortnately they sailed into a hole allowing the fleet to cath them.  Ernie French sneaked through to take first place followed by Bob Storwick with Jerry Meach taking third.  The rest of the fleet finished all together giving race committee a challenge to score.

In the Second race Bob Storwick found the wind first and sailed away from the fleet never to be seriously challenged.  Stacy Eagle and Ernie French battled the entire race but finished in that order, second and third.

In the third race Stacy Eagle made a good start and stayed out in front despite constant challenges from Ernie French and Jerry Meach who finished second and third respectively.

The fourth and final race Sunday morning saw very light conditions, 0-5 knots.  After a disasterous start, Ernie French worked his way from the back to the friont of the pack.  The entire last leg had Ernie French and Jerry Meach neck and neck.  Ernie managed to drift away and win by almost 4 lenghts at the finish.  This was a superb performance by Ernie and Carol French who won the championship aboard their Mutineer Huggy Bear.

The rest of the top finishers were 2nd - Stacy and Kathy Eagle, 3rd - Jerry and Barbara Meach, 4th - Bob and Susan Storwick, 5th - Al Smith and Nicki Shelly and 6th Bill and Marlys French.

Click here to see the 1976 Mutineer Nationals Instructions.

MNAC 1977 - Lake Carlyle, IL, July 18-19

A total 22 boats from 7 states competed in 5 races.  Races were sailed under a wide variety of conditions ranging from 6-18 MPH on Saturday and 2-8 MPH on Sunday.

There was quite a scrap for first place and when the dust had settled, Ernie and Carol French reinged as National Champions.  The rest of the top finishers were 2nd - Al Smith and Nikki Shelly, 3rd - Stacy and Kathy Eagle, 4th - Larry Dashiell and Darlene Aubuchon, 5th Andy Wedaman and Richie Kirk and 6th Bob and Susan Storwick.

Click here for the Crews Nest write up of MCA 1977.

Click here to read the awesome letter of congratulations Roy Bacon sent to Ernie and Carol French.

Click here to see the 1977 Mutineer Nationals Instructions

MNAC 1978 - Sherman Reservoir, Loup City, NE

A total 14  boats representing 9 states competed in 6 races.  First place went to National Champions Ernie and Carol French, in second place was Earl and Dianna Olson and third place went to Skeet Ready and Bill French.  In fourth place was Beetle and Karol Baily.

Click here for the official regatta results.

MNAC 1979 - Sherman Reservoir, Loup City, NE

A total x boats competed in x races.  First place went to Ernie French and Jay Sawyer,  in second was x and in third was x.

MNAC 1980 - Highland Park, IL. July
Hosted by the North Shore Yacht Club

A total of  15 boats from 4 states competed in 6 races.  Doane “Beetle” Bailey of Sharpsville, PA with Mike VonGodanyi crew came in first and were crowned National Champions.  Dave Weglicki and Al Verele came in second and third place went to Tony and Ginny Fuger.  The Race committee PRO was Jim McCreary who was the winning crew at the 1974 MNC.  He was then a TMI representative.

Click here for the Cannonball write of MNC 1980.


MNAC 1981 -  Highland Park, IL, July 16-18
Hosted by the North Shore Yacht Club

A total 17 boats competed in 8 races.  First place went to Ernie French and Jeff Calvin, in second was x and in third was x.

Click here to see the Race Instructions.


1982 - 2001 - No Mutineer National Championships


MNAC 2002 - North Shore Yacht Club, Highland Park, IL June?
Hosted by the North Shore Yacht Club

 A total of 5 boats from 5 states competed in 8 races.  First place went to Gib Charles and Ken Miller, in second was Michael Connolly and third was Rey Garza.  2002 was the first Mutineer Nationals since 1981.  Interestingly, in 2002 we were back at the North Shore Yacht Club on Lake Michigan, north of Chicago, the site of the 1980 and 1981 MNACs.  21 years later the scene was very much the same with Mutts in the parking lot being rigged, sailors inspecting each other’s boats and talking about the weather.  This was also the Buccaneer Nationals.  They had organized the event and invited the Mutineers to come join them, using the same race course but with separate starts.  It was largely from the Bucc’s initiative and inclusion that the “modern” era of Mutineer Nationals got back on track.

Click here for pictures and more information.

Click here for Gib Charles Memoirs of an Unlikley Champion.


MNAC 2003 - Ware River Yacht Club, Gloucester, VA DATES?
Hosted by the Ware River Yacht Club

A total of 8 boats from 6 states competed in 7 races.  First place went to
National Champion Gib Charles and Dale Leidheiser, in second was Bob DeRoeck and in third was Ian Wells.


MNAC 2003 has to be characterized trust, adventure, and revival.

There were 8 Mutineer boats in the races, and 10 Mutineer owners and 1 Bucc owner involved as skippers or crew - which more than doubled our involvement from last year. Over 350 Mutineer owners monitored the event through our Yahoo elist. Of the 10 Mutineer owners, probably none had met more than 2 of the others in person. Add to that the fact that less than half of the fleet would consider themselves “racers”, and it becomes a small miracle that 10 Mutineer owners traveled to Virginia to race each other.

Except that isn’t why we came. We came to meet each other. We came to see other Mutineers, to study the repairs and changes others had made to their boats, and to show off the repairs and innovations we had made. We came in the trust that the spirit and character of the person we had been reading notes from on the internet would be the same in person. We came because of the enthusiasm of the 5 who had a blast in Highland Park last year, and we trusted the same would happen this year. We trusted that our Bucc brothers and sisters would be as welcoming in person as they had been on-line. None of us were disappointed. We all had a great time and are already looking forward to Texas next year.

Each of us has a story to tell. Mine is simple. Get the boat as race-ready as time allowed, find great crew, sail focused, keep learning. It worked and I happen to win. I think a much more interesting story is that of the revival of the Mutineer Class. Representative of that larger story, read the experience of my neighbor, Ian Wells.

I really enjoyed meeting the Mutineer families who, like Ian, trusted and came. Experienced or not, excited or nervous, updated boats or 1970 classics, we came. Connected by the internet, but bonded by a passion for sailing a fun little boat and sharing a common respect for the spirit of community, helpfulness, friendly competition, adventure and trust. I loved testing skills on the water, seeing spinnakers fly on 6 Mutineers at the same time, watching the Bucc A fleet battle from a front row seat, living and breathing the Mutt/Bucc culture for a week. It was great.

The Mutineer community is growing, bonding, and it is full of classy, talented people. 5 days wasn’t enough time to get much past sailing discussions and into more in depth personal and professional discussions. For me, that is the news of MNAC. Not that there were 8 boats in the water and I happened to win. The real news is that this band of Mutineers are finding each other, enjoying each other, and are enjoying racing as a means to interact with each other.

Look for 20 Mutineers in Texas. We are defying our original Mutinous tendency, and banding together.

Gib Charles

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNAC 2004 - Fort Walton, FL, June 21-25
Hosted by the Fort Walton Yacht Club

A total of 7 boats from 5 states competed in 9 races.  First place went to National Champions Gib Charles and Page Dinsmore, in second was Ernie French and Adam Smith, in third was Gordon Brookfield and Bob DeRoeck.

Click here for pictures and more information.

Click here for the MNAC 2004 write up in the Cannonball by Gib Charles.

Click here for a MNAC 2004 write up by Gordon Brookfield.

MNC 2005 - Branched Oak, Lincoln, NE, July 14-16
Hosted by Ernie and Carol French

A total of 10 boats from 5 states competed in 8 races.  First place went to
National Champions Gib Charles and Dale Leidheiser, in second was Bill Swearingen and in third was Pete Dix.

This was the first year we held our Nationals separate from the Buccaneers since resuming Nationals in 2002. Also the first year we called it the “Mutineer National Championship” (MNC) instead of MNAC, which was done to match the BNAC. Also probably the first year we had high wind limits for racing: no start if 22mph steady or continuous gusts over 25mph. Ironically, it was a very light air regatta.

Click here for a MNC 2005 report by Gib Charles, Commodore.

Click here for a report from Vince Bobrosky.

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2006 - Kenosha, WI, August 12-15

A total of 11 boats from 8 states competed in 12 races.  First place went to
National Champions Ernie and Carol French, in second was Bob DeRoeck and Mike Angell and in third place was Gib Charles and Page Dinsmore.

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2007 - Lake Carlyle, IL, September 13-16
Hosted by the Carlyle Sailing Association

A total of 8 boats from 7 states competed in 7 races.  First place went to
National Champions Ernie and Carol French, in second was Gib Charles and Page Dinsmore and in third place was Rey Garza and Brad Osborne. 

Recap by Rey Garza:  This year's participants started arriving on Tuesday, and most of us decided to campout this time because the sailing club is right in Eldon Hazlet State Park and they had some great sites.  All of the campers were within the same area so we were able to visit whenever we found some time.  There was a great camp breakfast on Thursday morning, and the First Annual MCA Campers Pot Luck on Friday evening.  The image below is of the southern edge of "Camp Mutineer".  Those are Brad, Vince, and Rey's tents on a little area right at the edge of the lake.  It was great!!  On Thursday we spent the morning and early afternoon rigging and working on the boats.  This is one of my favorite parts of these events because of all of the sharing that goes on. People share tools, parts, and lots of information.  Later in the afternoon we launched the boats and headed out for a couple of practice races to tune the boats a bit.  After the races we headed in and held our annual "Cheeseburgers in Pradise" dinner, and once again a good time was had by all that attended.  On Friday it was game-on as we headed out and held our first real races.  The winds were up a bit, probably in the 15 mph range, and we were able to get 4 races in.  Even with the winds as they were we only had two capsizes, and only one of those was while we were racing.  Brad and I went over when I got over confident and deployed the spinnaker on a reach only to get caught by a gust that we could not handle. We did get the boat back up but we were unable to complete that race. Luckily we were able to throw that one out.  David and Vince went over while heading in at the end of the day, after the final race.  They had relaxed and got caught off guard by a gust and went swimming.  Saturday dawned with much lighter winds.  We were only able to get one race in, and that was a bit of a drifter.  That evening was the Whale of a Sail dinner and dance, so we all joined in and had a great time. On Sunday we also had light winds but at least they were a little more steady. This made for some really interesting races, I like to call it puff management, you have to find the puffs and make the best of them.  

Fun Awards:

Flash in the Pan - Gib Charles

Tail Dragger - Jim Davis

Farthest Traveled - Sandy Morrison

Worst Breakdown - Mike "Gramps" Kerper

Best Restoration - Vince Bobrosky

Garza Award - David Zale (with the help of Vince Bobrosky)

Oldest Team - Gordon Brookfield & Tim Roraback

Youngest Team - Nate Burger & Jef Alback

Oldest Sailor - Gordon Brookfield

Youngest Sailor - Nate Burger

Top Junior - Nate Burger

Top Female - Carol French

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2008 - Union Lake, CO, June 26-29
Hosted by the Union Sailing Club

A total of 8 boats from 6 states competed in 6 races.  First place went to
Ryan and Jen Flack, in second was Ernie and Carol French and in third was Bob DeRoeck and Rey Garza.

When we had wind, we had too much.  When we tried to race, the conditions were more typical for July in Colorado, very still, irractic thermals coming from any direction.  It was the first MNC with a Nickels Mutineer.  Two competed, Gib Charles and Ryan and Jen Flack.  Ryan and Jen were a factory team from Nickels Boat Works.  Jen is the daughter of Hugh Armbruster, the owner of Nickels Boat Works.

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2009 - Lake Guntersville, Al, October 10-17
Hosted by Mutineer Fleet 34
"Battle in Bama"

A total of 18 boats from 10 states competed in 11 races.  The was the first Mutineer Nationals with two scored fleets:  A Fleet - First place went to National Champions Gib Charles and Mike Ruwitch, in second was Hunter and Suzanne Riddle and in third was Ernie and Carol French.  B Fleet - First place went to Martin Casanova and Marvin Jensen, in second was Jerry Thompson and Greg Parker and in third was Bea Picou.

Alabama's Mutineer Fleet 34 hosted the event and they taught us all how to do it right.  The venue was great, parties were great, and the racing was the best; the only thing that left anything to be desired was the weather, but then that is just part of the sport.  The fun started on Monday and continued all the way through Friday.  If you missed this one I can only feel sorry for you.

There were a few firsts this year; the biggest one was the number of boats on the water.  There were eighteen boats on the water for the first race of the regatta and fourteen for the last race.  The boats that were not on the water at the end were not out due to breakdowns, but rather because they did not feel comfortable with the heavy winds on the last day of racing.  Another first was the two fleets.  This is the first year that we had the boats divided into A and B fleets, which I think we can credit for some of the turnout.  This year the skippers were allowed to choose which fleet they wanted to sail in.  We ended up with 7 boats in A fleet and 11 in B fleet.  When the dust had finally settled Gib Charles with Mike Ruwitch as crew had won the the A fleet and is therefore our new national champion, and Martin Casanova with Marvin Jensen as crew had won the B fleet.  With his win in B Fleet Martin is now banished from B Fleet and must compete in A Fleet in future MNC events.

There are lots of stories from the event and I would never be able to do them justice, so what I have done is added links to a few stories from others below.


Commodore's Report:
Ernie French's report on how it all went down.

Gib's Story:
Our current champion's story on the racing.

Click here for Martin Casanova's regatta recolections.

Pictures of the event:
Over 700 pictures from the event.


MNC 2010 - Lake Carlyle, IL, September 16-19
"Cannons at Carlyle"

A total of 11 boats from 8 states competed in 5 races.  First place went to
Dave Chadwick and Kathy Pegion, in second was Ernie and Carol French and in third was Gib Charles Phil Pegion.

We have a new Mutineer National Champion! Congrats to Dave Chadwick and Kathy Pegion for a great regatta!

We managed to get in one more race today, although the day did not start out promising.  Rain, ugly red and yellow blobs on the radar, just sitting on top of Lake Carlyle.  The postponement flag was a flyin' (or, lying limply on its flagpole) again.  I don't think I've ever seen that flag so much before in all the regattas I've been to!   At any rate, it started clearing up, and just as we were resigned to not sailing (we knew that a third mutiny sail just wouldn't work today, with lightning around), we heard that they were ready to get a course ready for us.  The boats were already in the water in a show of pure optimism, so once again we trooped to the boats and sailed out to the start line.   This time there was enough wind and other boats to actually do three starts on that course.  The wind was great getting out to the race course; as we sailed around, though, it started dropping off. The
first fleet (Melges 24 & E-scows) were able to start; the second fleet of Flying Scots, Lightnings, MC-scows, and miscellaneous monohulls got started - or, well, the flag came down - and they bobbed gently in place pretty much right on the line.   We had kept the start area clear and all of us turned toward the line, but none of us made it over before the horn went off.   Ernie told me he'd timed it and one whole minute after the horn blew, he was still sitting only a few feet from the committee boat! It was one of those races where the wind was up, down, and all around.  At times there was NO wind at all.   The upwind leg turned into a reach, the downwind leg was a reach until about half way, keeping the spinnakers flying was a challenge, especially since we were sharing the course with so many other boats, all competing for that small breath of air!   But we finished and the 2010 Mutineer National Championship was completed!

It was a frustrating weekend for sailing but a great weekend for the camaraderie typical of Mutineer gatherings. 
Jim Davis and Dave Rowe had done a great job getting sponsors and there was quite a bit of swag handed out, including a new spinnaker pole from Nickels.  Thanks to Harken, SailCare, SailRite, APS, Kent Sails, Schurr Sails and Nickels for all the really cool stuff.   The trophies were beautiful, thanks Jim Davis for the design and follow up!  Thanks to Gib Charles for working so hard behind the scenes to make this regatta happen.  Gib the matchmaker put together three skippers with crew just in the last two weeks before the regatta: Kathy Pegion with Dave Chadwick, me with Pete Dix, and Brent Mueller with Brad Osborne.  We are already looking forward to next year!

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2011 - Grapevine, Texas, June 28 - July 1
"Bring em' Back to Texas"
Hosted by the Grapvine Sailing Club

A total of 13 boats from 10 states competed in 11 races.  Gold Fleet – 1st place went to National Champions Ernie and Carol French, 2nd Gib Charles and Michael RuWitch,  3rd Bob DeRoeck and John Allison.  In the Silver Fleet first place went to  Brent Mueller and Scott Queen, 2nd Brad and Cameron Osborne, 3rd Chad Harris and Martin Casanova.

Thirteen teams from 10 states participated.  Five teams competed in the Gold Fleet with eight teams in the Silver Fleet.  The Mutineer Class Association celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Mutineer at this event.  The theme was “Bring em’ Home to Texas”.


Participants started arriving on Monday, June 27th.  Things started moving rapidly Tuesday with measuring/weighing and afternoon practice races.  The Skipper’s Meeting was held Tuesday night followed by the traditional Cheeseburgers in Paradise cookout.  Rey Garza was the Grill Sergeant.


Wednesday was the first day of racing.  The PRO got off five races.  The winds started mild but built into a fantastic sailing breeze as the day went on.  The temperature was hot hovering around 100 degrees, but so was the racing.  After a full day on the water the teams returned to shore for a Texas BBQ.  Again Rey ruled the grill preparing Texas Style BBQ Brisket, BBQ Chicken, Beans, Slaw and the list went on and on.  All participants shared a great meal and fellowship.


Thursday’s conditions were a repeat of Wednesday’s – hot and breezy.  The PRO got off six races.  The teams were tired but very satisfied after this fine day of competition.  No official social events were planned for Thursday evening and some participants (me) called it a very early night.


Friday the teams were refreshed and back out on the race course early.  Unfortunately the fine sailing conditions that had been enjoyed all week were gone.  The flags fell limp as the teams bobbed searching for wind.  Finally at 12:30 P.M. the PRO abandoned racing and the teams were towed in.


The teams spent Friday afternoon packing up their boats and trading stories. 


The awards ceremony kicked off Friday evening with a traditional Tex-Mex meal which was delicious.  Then it was time for the awards.  First were the special awards:


Rear Admiral – Dave Rowe

Farthest Travelled – Dave Rowe

Oldest Sailor – Fred “Silly Boy” Madden

Youngest Sailor – Garrett Bell

Most improved – Charles Bell

Best Restoration – Jim Davis for Radio Flyer

The Garza Award – Chad Harris – you must to MNC to learn about this award

Sportsmanship – Lisa Adams and Helena McDonald – Lisa and Helena abandoned a race to lend assistance to a capsized boat


Congratulations to all of the sailors who participated.  


All agreed it was a great week of learning, racing and socializing.  The folks of the Grapevine Yacht Club did an outstanding job and we heartily thank them.  And a special thanks to the PRO Mark Smith.

Click here for pictures and more information.

MNC 2012 - Gloucester, Virginia, August 1 - 5
"Ware River Rumble"
Hosted by the Ware River Yacht Club

A total of 6 boats from 5 states competed in 11 races. First place went to
National Champions Ernie and Carol French, in second was Gib Charles and Jerry Thompson and coming in third was Martin Casanova and Lisa Adams.

Thursday Day 1 was practice racing.  I left my house at O Dark Early in order to arrive at WRYC at 0900.  Gib was already there and anxious to rig RJ and get in some practice.  As I was crossing the James River on the Surry Ferry I noticed that one of my trailer wheels had no cotter pin, crown nut or bearings!  I have no idea why the wheel did not fall off.  I had a spare hub greased and ready to go, but I did not have a spare crown nut (now part of my trailer emergency kit).  I made a call to Brett and Justin who saved me by finding and bringing a crown nut to me.  Meanwhile I had to get off the ferry - I installed a cotter pin and creeped off the ferry and into the parking lot at Jamestown Visitor's Center.  Brett and Justin arrived with the missing crown nut and all was well.  That is until 30 miles down the road when the bearings on the other side blew up.  I had already used my spare hub.  Thankfully Brett and Justin were following and Justin had spare bearings.  Another quick fix and I finally arrived at WRYC at 1200.  Moral of this paragraph - check your trailer bearings before you head out.

We got RJ rigged and sailed out to the practice course.  The tide was going out and the wind was blowing in so 2-3 foot rollers had developed.  Gib was having a ball surfing the waves.  We raced Ernie a couple of times and headed in.  Martin and Lisa were on the water but they headed for the mouth of the river and Mobjack Bay.  After racing we all went to our hotel for free sliders and beer!

Friday Day 2 was the first day for racing.  The wind stated off in the 10 MPH range with some unusual holes here and there.  However by race 5 the wind had piped up to 15-20 and opposing the outgoing tide which combined to create a 2-3 foot rollers that were memorable.  Ernie and Carol were on their game although they were pushed in a couple of races.  The rest of the fleet sailed well and the competition was close.  I think I can safely say that we were all pretty tired after 5 races - 3 of those races had 6 legs!  After racing we had the traditional Cheeseburgers in Paradise meal and I don't think a cheeseburger ever tasted so good.  Thanks to Jim Champange for picking up the ingredients and cooking the burgers.

Saturday Day 3 was our second racing day only this time we shared the race course with the rest of the Governor's Cup Fleets.  We had the third start so there were plenty of boats on the course by the time we took off.  I forget which race, but I recall Ernie and Carol getting tangled up with a Hampton at the windward mark.  As with Friday, the SE wind continued to build as the day progressed and by race 4 the rollers were marching down the course.  We saw several Lasers go over but their crews were young and had them back up in a flash.  A Force 5 with a couple of young people lost their outhaul which holds the boom to the mast, but being young they were not overly concerned.  Watching the Moth boats climb up on their hydrofoils and literally scream around the course was exciting.  Again Ernie and Carol were in command with the remainder of the fleet finishing about the same as Day 2.  After racing we all enjoyed a great cookout that was a fundraiser for the WRYC Youth Sailing Program.  And what a program, I bet 30 Optimists were in the Governor's Cup.

Sunday Day 4 - last racing day.  We arrived to find a stiff breeze out of the SW - 15-20 MPH.  The breeze caused the entire Hampton fleet pulled out.  The Mutineer fleet moved to the second start.  This new direction meant no rollers as the wind was abeam of the river.  The windward mark was close to land and some tall trees so we all sailed with caution while under the influence of the funky shifts caused by the trees.  I think it was race 2, Gib was willing to sail to the edge to beat Ernie.  We rounded the windward mark with Ernie and we headed towards the reach mark, up went the chutes.  I figure it was blowing 15-20 with swirly air near the windward mark.  We were neck and neck with Ernie just able to carry the chute - pole all the way forward.  What happened next I'm not entirely sure - a gust hit and really caught hold of the chute.  I felt us head up as I eased, no released the sheet.  I heard some giggling just before I hit the water!  We turtled in a flash and the centerboard disappeared as it was half-way up.  Gib dove under and up and pushed the board up, I grabbed it and we both applied our weight.  Within a minute she was back on her feet and we climbed back in.  I started bailing and Gib started sorting stuff out.  Before long we were back in the race.  One more race after that and the regatta was over.  Then we cleaned up a bit and had our awards ceremony.

Awards and placement:

Martin Casanova received the Great Guy award for always being so friendly and courteous.  He saw us capsize and just so we would not feel alone, he capsized his boat - what a guy.

Carol French won the Best Crew award beating out her own son Noah who crewed for Jim Champange.  Carol is proof that in front of a least one great man is a great woman.

Brett Auer and Justin Medock won the equipment award (a busted tiller) for taking my lake boat and beefing it up to stand up to the breezy conditions we experienced.

Click here for pictures and more information.

 MNC 2013 - Johnson Lake, Nebraska, July 23-27
"Pirates on the Plains"
Hosted by Ernie and Carol French

A total of 14 boats from 6 states competed in 10 races. First place in the Gold Fleet went to National Champions Gib Charles and Mike Ruwitch, Second place went to Ernie and Carol French and Third place to Bob DeRoeck and Jerry Thompson.  In the Silver Fleet, first place was taken by Peter Way and Greg Larson, Second place went to the father and son team of Brad and Jordon Osborne and in third Randy and Valerie Polson.

This was an exceptional regatta.

Ernie and Carol did an outstanding job of organizing and hosting. As much work as they did off the water, it's remarkable they raced with such focus. The last time I tried to organize and host an MNC I came in 4th place.

The weather was fantastic. A bit cool and wet for some, but the winds were stellar. So many times we lose an entire day to too little or too much wind, or spend hours bobbing in the hot sun hoping for a breeze, and afterward you wonder why you spent the time and money to drive out of state. Not this year. The sailing was wonderful. I was grooving on it so much I could have kept sailing for the shear joy of sailing. On top of that was the great competition. Many boats got better every race. Good sparring at the start, at the marks, many tight crossings... all evidence of the Class improving our racing skills. The better any of us get, the more it challenges the rest of us to keep getting better. This really is a life-long learning sport.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip. It was great to reconnect with old friends, and great to meet new ones.

Do we have to wait a year to do it again?!

Gib Charles

What a fantastic week of sailing!

Many thanks to our hosts Ernie and Carol French.  They planned and executed this event while at the same time sailing extremely well.  How many meals did we all enjoy at their home?  This was definitely a well organized event that everyone enjoyed.  And how Ernie and Carol got the weather to cooperate is a mystery.  We had mild temperatures and great wind for the entire week.  Only two races were briefly postponed due to thunder in the area, but it quickly moved on and we sailed on.  Thanks to Bob DeRoeck for measuring boats and offering safety and speed tips to our competitors.  Thanks also to Gib Charles and Mike Ruwitch for measuring sails.  And thanks to all the skippers and crews who came and enjoyed a week of sailing and socializing. 

Texas lead the way with five teams.  Greg and Joan Reed are doing a super job growing Fleet 2.  Chad Harris and Ghost Dog sandbagged everyone by showing up after stating that he could not make it this year - nice surprise.  Rich Webb, a very accomplished sailor who grew up sailing with and against Ernie, crewed for Chad.  The remaining Texas teams Uwe and Coleen Hale, Sonny and Kathy Koerber, Randy and Valerie Poison (all husband and wife teams) all performed exceedingly well.  Congratulations Fleet 2! 
Fleet 15, Colorado, had boats 3 boats (one skippered by Bob DeRoeck and crewed by me) on the course.  Gib and Mike had a super regatta as reflected by their first place performance.  Peter Wray and Greg Larson (thanks for loaning us your truck Greg so that we could haul a boat from Colorado) impressed everyone with their sailing skills. 

Charles and Garrett Bell hailing from Missouri always show very well on the race course.  We didn't have any protests, but Brad Osborne's crew, his daughter Jordon, is a lawyer whose services we thankfully didn't require.  We all hope to see Jordon again next year as this was her first time competing.  Sandy Morrison and her patriot crew Dan (who flied from Rhode Island to California) drove all the way from California to join the good times.  Ricardo Casanova and his very light crew Ileana, showed innovation in freeing their mast from the mud.  I don't know what led to the capsize, but it occurred in fairly shallow water resulting in a full turtle with the mast stuck in the mud.  Ricardo realized that if he asked the crash boat to pull with the mast in the mud it was very likely that the mast would break.  So Ricardo dove under his boat and released the rig tension just enough (2 feet I believe) so that the crash boat could gently pull the mast out of the mud without danger of breaking.  Finally, a couple of great Nebraska sailors, Bruce Smith and Gene Hinrichs, filled out the field of competitors. 

A few of us had black and blue marks, sore muscles, wind and sun burns, etc. - but what a small price to pay for great Nebraska hospitality and the great sailor's fellowship we all enjoyed. 

Hope to see you in 2014!
Jerry Thompson

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MNC 2014 - Lake Grapevine, Grapevine, Texas, October 9-14
"Boogie back to Texas"

Hosted by the Grapevine Sailing Club

A total of 19 boats from 5 states competed in 16 races. First place in the Gold Fleet were National Champions Gib Charles and Mike Ruwitch.  In second place was Ty Mcaden and Taylon Starr and finally third place went to Uwe Hale and Coleen Nowlin.  Ernie and Carol French are conspicuously absent from the top 3.  This is because Ernie decided to watch the regatta from his hospital room window!

In the Silver Fleer in 1st place was Michael Glanton and xxxx, second place went to Randy Polson and his son xxxx, and third place went to Jason Stevenson and xxxx.

The 2014 MNC was one of the finest championship regattas the Class has had since its resurrection 12 years ago.  Greg and his Fleet 2 helpers had every aspect of the planning fine-tuned and ready to go before the first trailers pulled into the marina.  A gaggle of sponsors contributed many "prizes" to be won by the competitors.  Finding sponsors is usually hard work, and I suspect it was no different this regatta.  Ty did a great job making all the trophies.  Volunteers worked long hours organizing and serving lunches, the Cheeseburger dinner, and the awards banquet.  Special thanks goes to Rey and Debbie Garza for providing the BBQ dinner for the awards banquet.  Waking at 3 a.m. to start the fires for the smokers was just the beginning of a 12 hour slow-cook marathon that resulted in the mouth-watering brisket and pork that was heaped high on our plates. 

Maybe the biggest thanks goes to the wind gods.  Over three days the winds ranged from 10-20 mph with gusts approaching 25 mph on occasion.  This led to exciting, if exhausting, racing.  Sixteen boats competed, equally divided between the gold and silver divisions.  Mike Lipari, our PRO, and the rest of the race committee did an outstanding job, getting in 16 races in two and one-half days.  Mike juggled Windward/Leeward and Triangle courses nicely.  In the higher winds the Triangle courses allowed for lots of planing, especially under spinnakers.  As Gib mentioned, the quality of the boats and the skills of the teams competing at MNC have made dramatic improvements in the last 5-6 years.  There were relatively few boat breakdowns considering the hard racing and moderate to high wind speeds.  Of the dozen or so capsizes only 2-3 could not be self-righted and required assistance.  Many of the capsizes were due to teams pushing their boats and sailing skills to the limit, something that was sometimes missing in past MNC's but is a great indicator of the Class's progress. 

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MNC 2015 - Apollo Beach, Florida, October 19-23
"Florida Sunshine Nationals
Cheers, Beers, and Mutineers!"
Hosted by the Tampa Sailing Squadron

A total of 22 boats from 5 states competed in 15 races. First place in the Gold Fleet went to National Champions Ernie and Carol French.  In second was Steve Vincent and Ryan Hager,  And in third place Mathew Dalton and Dan Kresege.

In the Silver Fleet, first place went to Jim and Margaret Davis.  Second place Bill Cullen and Frank Reid and thir place went to Susan Wilson and Ed Hurst.

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2016 - Lake Pymatuning, September 6-9
"The Pymatuning Challenge"

Hosted by the Pymatuning Yacht Club

A total of 4 boats from 4 states competed in 8 races. First place went to National Champions Gib Charles and Ty Guthrie, second place went to Mike Sigmund and Dan Elliott.  In third place was Ernie and Carol French.  Jerry Thompson won the award for Worst Back.  Bob DeRoeck and Vince Jones were in the mix until Bob's cenertboard failed.

The regatta was referred to as an "intimate affair" with a just a handful of participants.  Regardless, with a welcoming host and perfect weather a great time was had by all in attendance.

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MNC 2017 -Lake Guntersville
"Battle in Bama - ROUND 2"
Hosted by Brown Creek Yacht Club

A total of 12 boats from 4 states competed in 10 races.  Click here for pictures and information.

Gib Charles Wins 2017 Mutineer Nationals

Gib Charles, a long-time Mutineer and Buccaneer sailor from Union Sailing Club in Colorado, won the 2017 Mutineer Nationals in his Nickels Mutineer “Blue Heeler”.  Gib out sailed six other racers to take the 1st place trophy in the Gold Fleet.  Dave Tonkin and his daughter Ava from Tampa Sailing Squadron in Florida took second place in “Kraken”.  Dave’s boat is the newest Nickels Mutineer in the world, having been manufactured in March 2017. 

The Silver Fleet winner was Chloe Lawson sailing Scurvy Dog out of Browns Creek Sailing Association in Alabama.  Chloe is also the winner of the “Bill French” Junior National Championship Award which is named after Bill French, and given in his honor by his son and daughter-in-law, and long time Mutineer racing team, Ernie and Carol French.  Chloe is the first recipient of this perpetual trophy.

The Nationals were held at Brown’s Creek Sailing Association on Lake Guntersville in Alabama and were attended by racers from Florida, Texas, Colorado and Alabama.  Racing was scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday but was cut short a day by Hurricane Nate, which blasted Guntersville with 25+ mph winds, and heavy rains on Sunday.  Four races were run on Friday amid light and variable breezes.  Six races were held on Saturday with medium and fairly steady winds, producing a slight chop and good competition.

The race committee presented challenging courses and a well-run regatta.  Special thanks go to the Brown’s Creek Sailing Association and to the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce for their support and southern hospitality.

The 2018 Mutineer National Championship will be in the fall of 2018 and will be hosted by the Grapevine Sailing Club on Grapevine Lake near Dallas, Texas.