2018 ILYA X-Boat Championship


It is hard to believe that the 2018 X Inland is in the books.
The regatta was an outstanding success with too many smiles to count on all those young faces. From the awesome opening ceremonies, to the great wind for the first two days, to the unique X-games and all the great food, to an unbelievable closing ceremonies, this was a must attend event!

Let’s start with the sailing as the first two days gave us almost identical wind directions and speeds with northwest winds at 12-16mph. We saw great action in the Junior fleet as I-45 Finn Burdick & Finn Gerard won the first two races, M-11 Kate Ness & Martha Hughes won race 3 to show Minnetonka is back, followed by V-19 Quinn Kaiser & John Lieber winning race 4. V-213 Fritz & Meta Simon won race 5 and V-61 Charlie Allen & Megan Isabell won race 6. One name you didn’t hear was the regatta leader after 6 races, who was 00-747 Sean Mihelich & Nick Grainer/ Owen Bertrandt. They did not win a race, but were so consistent with 5 top 5 finishes and a 7th to have a nice lead going into the last day. More on this fleet to follow.....

The Senior fleet was dominated by one boat this year with I-25 Chapman Petersen & Jack Plummer winning races 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 of the event! V-511 Red Tornehl & Grayson Bruss won race 3 and A-17 Lindsey & Kelsey Vollmar won race 5. While Chapman & Jack were dominating, the rest of the fleet was racing for second place.

We had one more day of racing after the big Friday night party at the PYC. It was awesome to see so many kids and parents having a great time. New friendships were formed and so many old friendships were rekindled. The kids played games on land and older kids played the X games at several PYC members’ houses around the lake. It was a well planned event that everyone enjoyed, along with the special dinner served by Rick & David Buckley and their crew from Micheal’s House of Prime.

The final day brought little to no wind, but the race committee wanted to take the fleets on the water in case we got racing conditions. The seniors were able to get going after one recall, but the juniors started a good 40 minutes later due to many general recalls and postponements.
On the senior side last years champion D-30 Nathan and Graham Hetzler grabbed an early lead, but even with light conditions I-25 Petersen/Plummer were not to be stopped. They were able to move to the front of the fleet and win their 5th race of the event. They were followed by W-20 Owen Harrod & Henry Seum who took second with D-30 Hetlzers in 3rd. Due to the lighter conditions and boats all over the place, the standings were shaken up a little bit.

On the junior side it looked like at least 8 different boats from each corner were thought to have the lead at one point in the first leg, but at the first buoy a group with V-213 Fritz & Meta Simon and P9 John Baker & Michael Pruett and regatta leader OO747 Mihelich & Grainer/Bertrandt along with V-61 Allen and Isabell rounding one after the other. As the race progressed, the winds were coming down through the fleet like footprints which caused the fleet to change positions many times. Some moved up and others moved down as this was a tough race for all except the V-61 Allen & Isabell who grabbed the lead and never let up as they won their second consecutive race. Regatta leader OO-747 Mihelich & Grainer/ Bertrandt hung around in the top 5 to finish 5th and secure the regatta win. So many from Lac LaBelle jumped on to his boat to congratulate his team on a well deserved win!

This ended the sailing portion for the regatta as the PYC volunteers helped pull out over 100 boats at an average of every two minutes, which is unbelievable. The PYC crew then had plans for a very special closing ceremony, which included the playing of each trophy winner’s favorite song. The kids loved it and so many parents were seen singing and dancing to the music. It was especially fun when they announced the winner of the Junior Fleet – OO-747 Sean Mihelich to the song known to so many University of Wisconsin fans, Jump Around. You could see his dad jumping along with his uncle Kurt and the rest of the entire LaBelle crowd to witness their first Inland Championship in 21 years.
The poise of the Senior winner I-25 Chapman Petersen & Jack Plummer was on display when he gave his acceptance speech after his favorite song. You could see the maturity and appreciation of these young sailors. Dex was on the mic and really kept the awards moving and enjoyable for the crowd of over 500 people on this special day when so many received awards along with many receiving their treasured Blue Chip invitations.

At a time when so many at youth regattas are stating that there is too much pressure put on the young kids and now that kids are not having fun, it is easy to see how special the X-boat Inland is as these kids and parents were experiencing a very memorable time that they will not soon forget. The smiles on the faces of the kids are priceless. The fun that was had by all was so noticeable and the friends that many made during this event that will be theirs for life was impressive. This is a very special event and those outside of the Inland do not understand but so much of the Inland has known this to be the norm. We are possibly the luckiest people in the world to have something so awesome and something that all the parents are handing down to many generations for years to come. Congrats to all the sailors and parents along with a huge hand for all the volunteers at the PYC who ran a flawless regatta. This is definitely why we all do this! We are so lucky to have these special memories to enjoy for the rest of our lives.
Until next year at Minnetonka where we will make new memories!

Irwin R. Fletcher

See full results
Check out all the great photos and media coverage.  A very special thanks to Melges Performance Sailboats & Hannah Noll who created this spectular video below!  Also a big thanks to PYC' s Molly Burns, USSailing's Robin Dale, Tom Hillmeyer and ILYA's own Candace Porter for their contributions across our collective digital landscape. 



The 78th annual X ILYA championship began smoothly as all 115 boats were checked in with 2 hours to spare until registration closed. The volunteers at Pewaukee were amazing! It was great to see the smiles on both sailors and the parents. Kids - thank your parents for the opportunity to be part of such a cool sport and attend this awesome event.

The Opening ceremony was one of the highlights of the day with each lake being welcomed in with the history of each club and the past winners of this event. Host club Pewaukee was welcomed with three loud solutes. It surprised many, but the PYC kids were all smiles. The speakers included ILYA David Porter, PYC Commodore Joe Barker and regatta chairs Dex, Joby and A.J. Todd Haines honored America with the national anthem and past ILYA commodore, past admiral and hall of fame member Dr. Tom Hodgson spoke to the sailors and parents about the history of our sport and the importance of friendship and fairness.

Following the ceremonies, the PYC feed 400 people for dinner in less than 45 minutes. It was another impressive feet by the PYC volunteers! After dinner, the new volleyball court was broken in as the big tournament started. All went home smiling and happy.

Day 1 arrived with 10-15 mph winds from the northwest which worked out perfectly for two fleets. Geneva showed they were ready for this event as I25 Chapman Petersen & Jack Plummer won the first two races in the seniors and I45 Finn Burdick and Finn Gerard won the first two Junior races.

Race three in each fleet saw memorable winners as V511 Red Tornehl & Grayson Bruss won the race in the senior fleet. Red is part of the historical Davis family that his great, great, great grandfather who won an Inland race back in 1902.

On the junior side, it was the return of the Minnetonka X fleet. M11 Kate Ness & Martha Hughes were very excited to find out they were not over the line at the start and confirm they won the race! It’s great to see our northern friends back in the front of the fleet.

After racing, the PYC welcomed all the parents and sailors to relax and spend time with old and new friends. The fleet meeting was held with some exciting recommendations the fleet rep will be giving to the ILYA board. Volleyball was in full force. The theme of more fun, less hassle is defining the event.

What a great first 2 days........more to come as the event continues the next two days.

Irwin R. Fletcher



Special Thanks to Tom Hillmeyer for the drone footage, Melges Performance Sailboat/Hannah Noll for her superlative comprehensive digital work, and PYC's Molly Burns and USSailing's Robin Dale for their Social Media Coverage. Thanks especially to Candace Porter and Dale Roble for pulling double duty as RC and Photojournalists. Thanks to cough, cough, Irwin Fletcher as well, for his dogged reporting out amidst the waves.  See, hear and read all of their work:

Instagram - @ILYA_X_Boat (Junior Fleet - Molly Burns)

- @USSAILING ( Senior Fleet - Robin Dale)

- @MelgesUSA (All over the place - Hannah Noll)

Twitter - @ILYA_X_Boat

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SailTheInland/