Wind a welcome sight for regatta

Just as the second race of the day and the final race of the weekend began, the winds picked up again at Washoe Lake. That was just fine with Sacramento's Phil and Nora DeGaa.

The husband and wife team won the second race going away and won both races Sunday to take the overall title of the Full Moon Regatta Catamaran Races. They came into Sunday's races second overall in the standings.

With the fastest boat in the handicapped event, the DeGaas had to finish as well as possible.

"Get out in front early and stay there," said Phil DeGaa about what the strategy for he and his wife was. "We have to be pretty far out in front for us to win."

Saturday's conditions were ideal, with a constant 20-mile an hour wind blowing all day long, allowing for five races to be held.

But the winds were much lighter for Sunday's first race.

"The first race was a little bit lighter," Phil said. "The second race was ideal. We had a good weekend."

While most catamaran racers like winds 10 to 20 miles per hour, the DeGaas said they prefer winds up to 25 to 28 miles an hour.

"That's about as strong as we can sail in," Phil said. "We can take pretty heavy winds. We prefer stronger, heavier winds."

That's why they like coming to Washoe.

"The wind's good here," Nora said. "It always blows. We like heavy winds and there's always heavy winds here.

"Lighter winds, we just float around. Yesterday was a nice wind day, too. It was just a little different."

About Sunday's second race, Nora said, "The water was flat and the wind was blowing constantly."

The DeGaas have been sailing together since 1985.

"I wanted to sail before I met him," Nora said. "Phil has been sailing almost all of his life. We just go out and have a great time. We don't do this for money. We just have a passion for it."

Speed has been one of the main attractions to catamarans, the DeGaas said.

"The catamarans are fast sail boats. We can get going pretty fast. There's not much to it as far as equipment."

Nora said "it feels like you're flying" when sailing a catamaran at its fastest on the water.


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