Class News

“Get Yer Kicks on Route 66”

By Dave Ryan

When it comes to making the decision to participate in your class’ National Championship Regatta (or any out-of-town regatta, for that matter), what are the most critical elements to consider? Desirability of the destination? Prestige of the event itself? Talent level of the co-competitors? Travel expense and budget? Organizational and logistical capabilities of the hosting club? While all of these are valid considerations, I would argue that none of those parameters have any bearing ultimately on the value of one’s overall experience.
As I sit in the DFW airport waiting for my connecting flight back to San Diego, I’ve been reflecting on the recently-completed 2017 CR-914 NCR on October 21-22, hosted by the Greater Tulsa Model Yacht Club and billed as “Heeling in the Heartland”. For me, it represented a welcome return to “tornado alley” three years after Charles “IV” McNamara, Tulsa’s CR-914 “head honcho”, stepped up (on rather short notice) to fill the void left when a certain unmentioned club, that was scheduled to host that year’s NCR, flaked out at the last minute. That inaugural event for Tulsa was universally lauded as a resounding success by nearly all who made the trip from the far reaches of our country. Well, once again, our gracious mid-western hosts did not disappoint, overcoming challenging weather conditions and seamlessly running another great regatta.
Largely a thankless job, the small collection of RC sailing clubs around the country, that are part of the unofficial rotation volunteering to host the annual CR-914 NCR, have the vision and dedication, as well as a sense of responsibility in understanding the importance of preserving and promoting the health of the fleet on a national level via this annual event. While various hosting clubs have come and gone through the years, Annapolis, Marblehead, San Diego, and now Tulsa have become reliable destinations for the event year after year. And now to my point. It’s a given that every one of these host cities is unique in every aspect, from racing venue to style and local culture, but the one universal constant is the People. There’s nothing more valuable and eternally memorable than the rewarding camaraderie and friendships established, both new and old.2017CR914NCRPond
Marblehead has its awe-inspiring history and tradition. The Annapolis region is indisputably one of the top two or three yachting “Mecca’s” in the country, and San Diego, well, there’s a reason the Beach Boys wrote a song called “California Girls”. All kidding aside, the SoCal vibe and weather is special in its own right. So what’s Tulsa’s intrigue, you may ask? Well, at the risk of sounding like I’m working for their Chamber of Commerce, Tulsans are about the most affable and transparent folks you’ll ever meet. They make my fellow laid-back SoCal citizens appear tightly-wound. The city itself has a surprisingly eclectic vibe. With a rich, but declining history as a booming oil industrial hub, Tulsa has developed a growing arts culture and top restaurants that will impress even the most discerning “foodies”. And it’s not just Barbecue, although you can’t go wrong there either. Everywhere you look, the landscape is filled with scattered abandoned industrial reminders of the booming past adjacent to the latest hot-spot eatery. It’s like blue-collar meets hipster. With the city’s image in a constant state of evolution, one thing that stays constant is the eternal hospitality of the locals. And this “Tulsa style” comes through in the “flavor” of the regattas they host. It’s not about some over-the-top glitz and glam, trying to impress they’re out-of-town comrades. Rather, there’s a comfortable, seat-of-the-pants approach to things; a congeniality and flexibility that sets a relaxed tone for the whole event.
It seems part of the reason Tulsan’s appear to “ride loose in the saddle” may be the fact that living with potentially extreme weather conditions tends to facilitate a certain spontaneous approach to life, especially with regard to planned outdoor activities. This year’s NCR was a perfect example of that.
Saturday’s racing was scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, but got moved up to 8:00 am due to an approaching front of dangerous weather, with strong thunderstorms, hail and risk of a tornado later in the day. That’s right...a tornado. By the way, I learned first-hand about the first thing most Oklahomans do when they hear the tornado horns go off. Naturally, they run outside to see if they can spot it. Oh, really? That reaction seemed a bit odd to me, if not completely insane. It wasn’t until “IV”s surprising revelation that, despite being a native, he had never really seen a live tornado; only the destructive aftermath.
After a brief skippers meeting, where self-proclaimed rookie PRO, Mary “Skeeter” Chilton was introduced, the 15-boat fleet took to the water around 8:30. Now how can one not help but have a great time when a wonderful lady named “Skeeter” is in charge. As it turns out this terrific little venue, Carol Williams Pond, located just a few blocks from the iconic Route 66, is a flood-control reservoir with a rather checkered past. Apparently, some time ago a sunken vehicle was found in the pond with a decayed body inside, later identified as a long-time missing person. Is this where the term “body of water” originated? Probably not, but it makes for great historical lore.
A fresh breeze filled in quickly at around 6-8 knots and slowly began to build as the forecast had predicted. By race number 5 we were seeing gusts to 15+ kts, and by the start of race 7 there were so many boats nosing-in to full “pitch-poles” that the down-wind legs looked like a flock of feeding ducks, bobbing their heads under water, with only their tail-feathers sticking up. Race 8 turned out to be the final race of the day, as the wind was continuing to build from a steady 20-25 kts, with boats finding it hard to tack except in a rare, brief lull. So Saturday’s racing was postponed a little after 11:00 am, with Dave Ryan leading Dave Ramos by a slim margin in raw score, but with Ramos toting a couple of likely, future throw-outs. The blustery conditions made perfect college football-watching weather back at the hotel, and left plenty of time to “primp” for the delicious, Asian-fusion competitors’ dinner that evening. Returning from dinner to the hotel saw the first rain drops of the advancing front. With reports of several tornados sighted to the southwest, and the TV Doppler radar showing the imminent arrival of the front, I looked out my window to see the deluge of “side-ways” rain in buckets and wind likely in the 50-ish range. Then, as if a switch was thrown, the storm was gone in a little over 30 minutes.
Sunday’s forecast was for much tamer, yet fresh conditions, and once again the start time was moved up. However, this time it was to make up for lost racing on Saturday and to finish the regatta by 2:00 pm. As racing resumed around 9:00 am, the wind was already filling in at 6-8 kts, and the “Dave and Dave” battle resumed. Ramos got down to business, winning 5 of the first 6 races. Then Ryan strung together a series of bullets, as the breeze had freshened to around 10-12 kts. Meanwhile, local talent, Greg Gerondale, proved it was no fluke in winning the regatta’s first race by a sizable margin. Having already expended 3 of his 4 throw-outs, he was forced to pick up his game, and did just that. Greg notched mostly top-five finishes the rest of the way and vaulted past his streaky-fast brother, Grant, to secure 3rd place overall, after the 17th race of the day (fittingly won by regatta-organizer, “IV” McNamara) put a cap on this 25-race regatta. In the end, it was a “bookends of bullets” day for Dave Ramos, winning the last 5 of 6 races, just as he had started the day. For Dave Ryan, who has been in this situation innumerable times before, being out-lasted and out-blasted by his good buddy, Ramos, there was no shame in claiming a close 2nd. Incidentally, Ramos flew straight to Atlanta from Tulsa the next day to eventually beat 25 other skippers and secure the EC-12 National Championships as well. Maybe there should be a new verb coined to describe this phenomenon. “You’ve just been ‘Ramos-ed’.”
The top 3 skippers received clever and certainly fitting trophies; classic, giant, silver Western belt-buckles. Also, the sterling-silver scale-sized America’s Cup class NCR perpetual was once again awarded to Dave Ramos. Maybe I should try and save some money on the engraving cost and make plaques that just say “Ditto”. I’m only kidding, of course. Finally, thanks go out to “IV”, “Skeeter” and the gang for hosting and running a fantastic National Championship regatta; one that was definitely filled with plenty of “Heeling in the Heartland”, as well as “kicks on Route 66”.




Notice of Regatta

“Heeling in the Heartland”


2017 CR914 Class Championship Regatta


Annual Class Association Meeting


1. Event: The Greater Tulsa Model Yacht Club will conduct the CR914 Class Championship Regatta on October 20th - 22nd 2017 at Carol Williams Pond (West side of Mingo North of 11th St) in Tulsa, Oklahoma USA

2. Rules: The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), except as any of these are changed by the sailing instructions, and by rules of the authority governing the waters on which the event is sailed. Sailing instructions will be available online at

3. Eligibility & Entries: Eligible boats are remote control wind-powered CR914 Class sailing boats.  Entry is $100.  Includes drinks & Meals pondside and Saturday Dinner

4. Schedule:

Friday, October 20: - registration and practice sailing.  02:00pm to 05:00 pm.

Saturday, October 21: Registration opens at 9:00am, Skippers Meeting at 10:50am, First Start at 11:00am.  No racing will start after 4 pm. Annual Meeting & Dinner 6:30PM.

Sunday, October 22: racing continues at 9:00am.  No races will start after 2:50pm. Go Cart racing to follow!

5. Registration: Pre-registration will be available online.  Visit for details.

6. Notices to Competitors: Notices to competitors will be made orally prior to racing that day. Notices may also be emailed to participants or sent via text message using info supplied by the participant during registration.  

7. Changes to the Rules: The sailing instructions may modify the rules.

8. Prizes: There will be some trophies and bragging rights are available.

9. Scoring: The regatta will be scored using the Low Point system of Appendix A, except as modified by the sailing instructions which may include HMS if the fleet is larger than 21 boats.  


Questions: Contact IV McNamara This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 918.978.4232


Spectators are welcome!

“Heeling in the Heartland” is a RC sailboat regatta, not to be confused with “Healing in the Heartland” a religious tent revival.  

Class Championship regatta was held in Queenstown, MD, a beautiful farm pond on the eastern shore of the Bay.  



Skipper Sail#


David Ramos 238 1st
David Ryan 973 2nd
Alex Ramos 1239 3rd
Dick Denzler 1734


Larry Adams 1411 5th







September 17th – 18th, 2016


Chesapeake Bay Model Racing Association is pleased to invite all registered CR-914 owners to the CR-914 2016 National Championship Regatta to be hosted at Warrington Farm Pond on Warrington Farm Lane in Queenstown, MD.


 Online Registration  Download print and mail registration



This is a privately owned pond. It is a near perfect sailing venue for RC sailing with no trees surrounding the pond. The shoreline is relatively flat on most sides of the sailing areas and we will provide a dry launching area. There is no shade around the pond, bring tents. Power is not available at the venue, so charge those batteries. There will be a port a pot on site.


For Friday evening we are in the process of organizing an activity. More information will follow when this is finalized. A Saturday evening dinner is planned in the Annapolis Area. Light breakfast of coffee and donuts will be provided as will lunch for Saturday and Sunday. We are also looking into a Go Kart outing for those interested.


There are numerous hotels in the area where sailors can stay. There is a Sleep Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western and Hilton Garden Inn within 10 minutes of the pond. Additionally there are hotels on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which may be less expensive than those on Kent Island.


Practice Sailing/Races Warrington Pond
1500 HRS Check In & Registration Practice sailing continues

0930 HRS Skippers Meeting, no racing starts after 4 o’clock, Dinner approximately 6 o’clock.

0915 HRS Skippers Meeting, no racing starts after 1400 HRS, awards to follow



Call Ernest Freeland during the workday (10am – 8pm) with any questions (410-451-6901) or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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