Saturday, April 25, 2015

Great Conditions Prevail at Chattanooga

Well, we drove down to Chattanooga prepared for storms and gusty winds but in fact the conditions today were just lovely! I'd say the wind was about 10-15 steady out of the south-southwest all day.  We had 18 boats on the line. This year's Choo Choo had 18 boats on the line and sailors came from all over: The biggest turnout was from Carlyle Lake, with four boats — Bill Vogler and Jack McClurkin, Bronson and Rachel Bowling, Greg and Linda Vitt, and John Cassada and Eric Sutton. Boats also came from Louisiana (Corky and Molly Hadden), Wisconsin (Ryan Malmgren), Alabama (two boats from Muscle Shoals, Willson and Bonnie Jenkins and Joel VerPlank and crew Ted T.), plus a boat from Georgia (Joe Price from Atlanta) and us (Illinois). And I've probably overlooked a few!

That's a really nice turnout, and pretty impressive when 10 of the 18 boats are from out of town. Nice going Privateer!

Privateer, as I've written about many times before, is a lovely yacht club and Chickamauga Lake, though often shifty, is a beautiful lake surrounded by green, rolling hills. Of course, unless the wind is coming out of today's direction, it often has to come over those lovely hills, making for some very squirrelly conditions...nothing we lake sailors are not used to, right?

The race committee ran three, good-length races. Each one was a four-leg, windward-leeward. Since they were modified, we still finished upwind ... though the first race Ben and I were thinking we were doing a downwind finish and were very surprised to realize we had to keep racing a little longer!

Linda Lind Knudson, the fleet captain (and Privateer vice commodore), has led an awesome social team, providing a beautiful pork dinner with baked potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and more. Tomorrow morning she and her team are making French toast. Isn't sailing awesome?

So we have a busy morning scheduled: first mimosas, then French toast, then racing starts at 10 a.m. The winds look like they'll be light and flukey, but maybe we'll luck out and it'll be better than that.

Okay, stay tuned!
Also, we have some photos that were taken from the committee boat, but no way to download them just yet....patience is a virtue, right?!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chattanooga Bound!

Ha, ha! Not a Chattanooga photo, but one of my all time favorite photos. Frank and Marianne Gerry at Deep Creek Lake....kind of looks like Chattanooga!!

Ben and I are heading to Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga tomorrow. I've told the story many times about how, just weeks after we'd bought our first Flying Scot (this was in 2005) Ben was so anxious to sail it he begged me to go to this regatta even though we'd never sailed the boat or even rigged it. So we drove, it's a long way for us! And we showed up and all these really friendly sailors came over and showed us how to step the mast and how to rig the jib and everything!

It was windy Sunday and we got T-boned at the start, which pushed us into a tack and then capsized because I was so busy being outraged, I forgot to uncleat the jib. So! It was a memorable regatta for so many reasons!

But we go back faithfully, religiously even, every year. I guess we've talked it up so much that this year at least four or five other Midwest District boats are joining us! I have heard that three boats from Carlyle and Ryan Malmgren from Madison are all headed south. We're looking forward to enjoying the hot racing and great fellowship that Privateer Yacht Club is famous for ... plus, I should mention they have a brand new clubhouse!!

I'll post updates -and photos -
as they become available!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Only 70 Raffle Tickets Left!

I realize that I have been remiss in letting you all know of this amazing opportunity created by the Flying Scot Association. The association, with support from Harry Carpenter, is raffling off a brand new Flying Scot. And it's not just any boat. It's a boat built to your specifications. You can get it rigged for cruising or for racing, you can get it painted the way you've always dreamed.

So! What're you waiting for?!

Tickets are $100 each. Think of that, $100 for a beautiful new Scot! And you have pretty good odds, considering only 250 tickets total will be sold. You have until tickets are sold out or the North American Championships, whichever comes first. The winning ticket will be pulled at the NAC in Bay Waveland, LA (June 20-26). If you are wondering about whether you might be able to go to that event, check it out on the website (though you don't have to be present to don't even have to be an FSSA member....though I'm sure you are!!).  Seventeen boats have already signed up for the regatta and we are months away!

As the headline says, ticket sales are strong. Out of the original 250 tickets, fewer than 70 are left. So giddyup, pardner, and head to, click on join/renew/donate, scroll down to and click on "Flying Scot Foundation DONATION" Where the donation dedication box is, put Flying Scot Raffle, and amount = $100. You'll get a receipt and acknowledgement of your donation. All names will be put in the pot when it comes time to draw the winner, so you won't have to keep track of a ticket or anything.

Plus, even if, heaven forbid, you don't win, your donation goes to support Flying Scot Foundation, a great cause!! That's what I call a win-win!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Changing from Flip Flops to Flannel as We Head North

Well, I meant to post this final entry a few days ago, but what with getting home, doing laundry, getting food poisoning, things got a little backed up.


The first thing to say is CONGRATULATIONS to Mike and Jen Faugust for trophying at the Midwinters! I missed the trophy ceremony (gnashing of teeth here, long boring story) so I'm not really sure what happened, except that there was a protest and places tumbled around in ways I was not anticipating. Mike and Jen finished seventh, winning a tie breaker with Ryan Malmgren and Kris Smith. Considering the number of Florida boats in the top 10 we Midwesterners have a lot to be proud of, with the Faugusts and Ryan finishing in 7th and 8th, respectively. Go Team!

Meanwhile, we had a pretty leisurely drive home, skirting Atlanta by going on some kind of crazy back roads. I'm not 100% sure we saved time, but it was scenic and we didn't feel like we were in a parking lot, so my sanity was intact! We dropped Sophie at Chattanooga's Privateer Yacht Club in anticipation of our next regatta, the Chattanooga Choo Choo (April 25 &26, come one come all!). By the time we hit Chattanooga we also had changed from flip flops to jeans and flannel. But when we got home our daughter kept exclaiming how tan we were, so I guess we really did travel south and have the time of our  lives last week...or was it all a dream?

Also, a quick plug for our new Mad spinnaker (#5897), which Ben designed. In this photo you'll also see Ryan's new spinnaker (#6077), also extremely attractive. Does it make you want a new sail, perhaps?!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Races Finished One Day Early

Well, I hate to be repetitive, but the weather Wednesday was as perfect as Monday and Tuesday. With winds once again out of the NNW at about 10-12 mph, we had our last two races and the regatta was finished a day early. Today it's overcast and no wind, so I bet the race committee is feeling especially good about their call.

Whaaaat?! You say, can they do that? What will we do with our spare day, you ask? Well, I already outlined my plan yesterday: Mote Aquarium, the only place I'll get to see sea creatures (although according to others there have been sightings of eagle ray, dolphin, sea turtle and manatee) and then the beach. Plus Ryan Malmgren's wife, Stacey Rieu, flew down last night and we'll have lunch together. So we've got a full last day planned and no one is sorry that the race committee didn't send us out for one race yesterday and one race today. All in all, an outstanding regatta.

The things I liked best about it:
The weather
The very efficient system of two tractors that pulled boats and put them in at the ramp (our bow number matched our trailer tag and our parking spot)
The race committee was very good, setting excellent, square courses, keeping things running smoothly
The weather

The things that could be improved:
Not losing my camera (or the tactic, that got stolen from Lawrence Bigus, who was parked right next to Harry Carpenter's boat parking spot)
Safety pins for the challenger fleet to attach their streamers (some had to go to the drugstore to get a pin!)
Some warning at the skippers' meeting that there is a potential for three races in a day. The first day, when that happened, many of us northerners were caught mentally flat footed and it took some significant effort to get psyched for a third race.

And that's about it!

At last night's dinner we heard a plug for next year's Midwinters in Panama City, FL, and the ACCs, which are mid-September at New Bern, NC (Blackbeard Sailing Club), as well as the Wife-Husband which will be back in this neck of the woods, at Davis Island near Tampa in October. It was good to be reminded about all those upcoming events and to think about getting together with this great group of sailors again!

For those of you not interested in a race recap, you can check out now. What follows is just a little bit about the racing.

We had one 5-leg race and one 4-leg race. We did occasionally get a shift and tried to play them, but it seemed mostly a matter of boat speed and a good start. Paul Abdullah won both races yesterday (though because of a protest decided against him - a questionable decision, IMHO- he was disqualified in one race) but it was Jeff and Amy Linton dueling against Zeke and Jay Horowitz for the overall standings. The Midwesterners held their own, with no big changes, though the Faugusts had an especially good regatta, trophying in seventh place. Go team!

Okay, I smell pancakes, so I've gotta run. Time also to pack up the boat and head home. Read more about the sailing at and also at the fleet135 facebook page!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 2 Midwinters: Another Day in Paradise

Okay, admittedly, this photo has nothing to do with the post, but we all got a chuckle from it. Sorry to all those blondes out there, I realize it's in very poor taste!

The second day of the Flying Scot Midwinters was just another day in paradise. No postponement was needed today, since the steady west-northwest wind (10-15 mph) showed up right on time. Once again the race committee ran three races, this time two four-leg windward-leewards, and one five-leg windward leeward.

The wind was perfect, though many of us northern sailors woke up wondering if, after three races yesterday, we had anything more in the tank. However, once we got out to the racecourse the juices started flowing and it was all good. Our racing results for the Midwest District were mixed, so perhaps the toll of three races the first day really did take its toll. Although Jen and Mike Faugust (Ephraim) moved up in the rankings, Ryan Malmgren & Kris Brown (Madison), Chuck Howting & Luther Torgerson (Madison), Ben Williams & Deb Aronson (Clinton) and Eric Bussell & Rob Parker (Clinton)  moved down.

Still, it was a good day. We each of us had some smaller successes and plus Ben saw an Eagle Ray  jump out of the water right across our bow. Sadly, I was flying the spinnaker and missed the show.

The leaders frequently changed places today. Paul Abdullah and Alex Krumdieck  (Jacksonville) won the first race, Ned Johnston and Ryan Donahue (Maine) won the second and Mark Taylor and Andy Hayward ((Tampa) won the third.  Consistency paid off for Zeke and Jay Horowitz (Sarasota), who are currently the leaders (14 points), though they finished third twice and second once today. Also in the trophy hunt are Jeff and Amy Linton (Tampa) with 18 points, and Abdullah is tied for third with David Ames and PJ Buhler (Tampa) with 35 points.

In the challenger series Lawrence and Ruth Bigus from Kansas City (They came to the Glow last year, remember?!) won the first race today.  Norris Elswick and Chuck Tanner won the second and third races today. Overall, Jim Leggette and Mike Funk (Jackson, MS) are leading with 18 points, Randy Rubinstein and Jim Cavanagh (Sarasota) are second with 21 points, and David Strawbridge and Joseph Connelly (St. James City) are third with 29 points.

We're heading out this morning for perhaps two more races. The conditions are so perfect it is a shame to waste them, but I guess that means tomorrow will be a sightseeing day. We are very close to Lido Beach which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, plus there's Mote Aquarium next door to the sailing club that I have never been to, so maybe we'll do those activities tomorrow. Maybe at the Mote I'll see my very own Eagle Ray!

The link to the full results is at                     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nice Coverage of the Regatta in Sarasota Paper!

Woke up to another beautiful day and some great coverage in the Sarasota Tribune!

And here is some very nice video created by our own Eric Bussell