Competitors take advantage of weather conditions at Washoe Lake catamaran competition

If only Saturday's conditions on Washoe Lake could have been bottled for those racing their catamarans.

The conditions couldn't have been any better for those competing in the Fall Moon Regatta catamaran races. The competitors took full advantage of the perfect conditions, participating in five races Saturday.

A constant wind of about 20 miles an hour blew throughout the day, making the conditions optimum for catamaran racing. Normally, the catamaran competitors do well just to make it through three races in a day at Washoe.

"It felt good on the water," said Carson City's Tim Dry, who competed with Incline Village's Chris Arbogast. "Usually we only do three races, maybe four. As perfect as it was today, we went ahead and did five."

If the winds were any harder, it would have caused problems. "It's good for the windsurfers, but not good for us," said Dry about winds that are more than 20 mph.

The participants are expected to compete in at least two races when the event concludes today. Dry and Arbogast had a strong day Saturday, winning two of the five races while placing second in twice and third in the other three races.

Since Dry and Arbogast have one of the fastest boats and the event is handicapped, the competition for the overall title should be wide open heading into today's final races.

"It's a tremendous amount of fun, especially on a day like this," said Dry about racing catamarans. "Just being able to go fast and share it with other people at the same time.

"You're always learning, no matter how long you've been doing it. You're always getting better."

Dry said the strategy for Saturday's races was simple. "Try to stay right side up and go fast," he said. "We did a good job of starting today and that really helped us out."

Arbogast and Dry are in their fifth season racing together and have won several events. Their highlight came last year on Washoe when they beat Olympic medalist and world champion Randy Smyth in one of the races.

"He eventually wiped out the fleet in the whole regatta," Arbogast said. "He's probably to catamaran racing what Tiger Woods is to golf."

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