Friday, June 26, 2015

Jackson, MS, On the Road Home

I think many people were not convinced we'd get a race in today. The race committee had only a one-hour window, noon-1 pm, in which to start the race. Considering we had not seen a true, on-time sea breeze since Sunday, the odds looked low.

We all trickled out to the course, doubt in our hearts and minds. The race committee was looking high and low for wind, but all they were finding was out of the north, northwest. Not a sea breeze at all. And then, miracle of miracles! Like the cavalry, the sea breeze came galloping in from the bridge, ready to save the day. It might not have been mighty, but it was more wind than we'd seen for the finals, and we were all very happy.

Ryan Malmgren had another good day, with a fifth place finish, giving him a sixth place overall in the regatta. Congratulations Ryan! He and his wife, Stacey, are off to hang out in New Orleans for the weekend.

Frank and Marianne packed up and hit the road, as did we. Last night Frank handed off the FSSA reins to his successor, John Domagala (originally of Clinton Lake!) who will be FSSA president now for two years. Frank has done a really great job as president and has led the organization through two strong years. Thank you Frank!! Ben and I also got on the road about 4:15 and made it as far as Jackson. Luckily we stopped relatively early because hotel rooms are very very hard to come by for some reason.

The NAC is always an intense competition, which is fun but exhausting. That made staying in a house with a group of friends extra fun. We stayed with Ryan, as I mentioned in an earlier post, and also  Dave and Kim Thinel of the Florida District, who found the house, John and Susan Domagala (see above. Susan is the daughter of Bernie Knight, of Carlyle Lake Flying Scot fame), and also Rob Whittemore and John Wake, of Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Virginia. It was nice to come back to the house and relax, whether by jumping in the pool or drinking gin and tonics or margaritas (or cappuccinos in the morning, courtesy of Ben), or just chatting about anything other than sailing.

Next year's NAC is in Newport, RI. There is already a great buzz about it. For those concerned about the cost, there are some houses like what we did here, though you've got to find them early. In addition, efforts are being made to get housing at a beautiful local college. You can return to your youth and stay in a dorm! Thirdly, there is camping not far away, I believe. Soon there will be info on the fssa website, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ryan Malmgren Carries the Midwest Flag

Ryan and Kris had a great day today, with a fifth- and second-place finish in somewhat trying conditions. The race committee was working hard to produce a sea breeze, but the wind gods were just not cooperating. We ended up sailing in a roughly westerly wind that shifted so hard that Championship boats that went to the left side, were passed going up wind by the Challenger fleet, which had seen which way the wind was blowing, so to speak..

In any event, we got in two races, which leaves one for tomorrow.

The annual meeting and dinner was delayed because we finished racing at 5, but it took more than an hour for everyone to get their boats out using the one hoist and ramp. Nevertheless, dinner began at 7, we held the annual meeting and the raffle ticket for the new boat was drawn...Dah da Dah! Norman  Wainwright, won the boat. All we know is that he is not a current Flying Scot boat owner, or at least not a member of the FSSA, so perhaps we've got another convert! Three other tickets were drawn, for 2nd place a Mad Spinnaker, 3rd place a North jib and 4th place a nice bag and turtle made by Stacey Rieu, Ryan's wife. Although all three items were very nice, it was a tiny bit of  a let down, since none of the tickets pulled belonged to anyone in the room!

Tomorrow racing starts at noon and we have a window of only one hour to get the racing complete, so we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Have a Regatta!

Well, we had two good races today and so no matter what we have an official regatta! It was a very hard work day, with the wind going up and down and up and down in pressure. We had some moments where we were keeping speed with some of the top sailors, but at the end of the first race, which finished downwind, the wind just freaking shut off. The water went to glass, a whole mob of boats was all trying to ghost over the line while the challenger fleet was coming up fast with some fresh breeze. Argh!!!

Ryan and Kris had a good first race. They were in second place most of the race, when the wind shut down and a few boats drifted past and grabbed a fourth. Second race Ryan did pretty well too. Frank and Marianne and Ben and I had a less stellar day, which is a bummer, but we have a couple more days to redeem ourselves.

For results go to:

After we all came in and many boats were waiting at the crane, this monster storm came in. It was EPIC!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another Amazing Dinner, No Races

Porch off the bar
This morning I was appreciating that the Bay Waveland Yacht Club has a perfect design. You can sit up on the second floor in the bar and see the whole bay, from the bridge to the horizon. So here we sit in the clubhouse, even 30 minutes before the racing is scheduled to begin, because we can all see the breeze. When we see it coming in from the bridge, we all leave the bar and head for our boats!

 That is precisely what happened this morning. The expected breeze came in at about 12:15 and we all headed out. It was going to be a gorgeous day. We had one race to do. I did notice some clouds to the north and east of us. The race committee was keeping an eye on them and was confident that once the clouds passed, the wind would settle into the expected direction and we'd be all set.

Before that happened, however, the rain started coming down in buckets. No problem, kept us cool ... Then we heard thunder...The wind picked up. We started heading toward the harbor.  The signal boat asked the race committee if they had sent us in. Race committee said no. Boats continued to head for the harbor. More thunder, plenty of lightning. Almost all of us came in and headed for cover. We did notice several boats who stayed out through the whole storm. Some took their sails down and anchored.

Racing back to shore just ahead of the downpour.

Mark and Michelle Taylor (below) were among those who stayed out, but finally the race committee asked everyone to come on in. And eventually everyone gave up waiting for the storm cells to all pass by and pulled their boats. By 3:30 or so they blew the horn and everyone cheered! 

Mark said, "I brought her out across the lake to teach her the procedure." She said, "yeah, the procedure for death!"

Check out this gorgeous green heron

Later in the afternoon we had a really productive open forum, with many people weighing in with all kinds of great ideas to keep the Flying Scot Association strong. It was especially fun to hear from people relatively new to the class, like Tom and John McNally (from Florida) and Chris Powers (San Antonio).

Tonight we had another incredible dinner, BBQ this time, at the club. I wish I'd taken a photo. I know we come mostly to sail, but I sure have been enjoying the food! Tomorrow we go to Tripani's, a great seafood restaurant. But before that we'll have some great sailing!! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two Great Races, Amazing Dinner

Race committee did an outstanding job running two hour-long races for the first two qualifying races of the Flying Scot NAC. The promised seabreeze made an appearance and winds were moderate but fairly steady out of the south/southwest. 
All three Midwest District boats (us, Frank and Marianne, Ryan Malmgren and Kris Smith) were in the blue fleet so we duked it out all together both races. Competition was tough, with many crowded mark roundings. 

At the end of the day the top five boats were separated by only three points, with four-time NAC champion Jeff and Amy Smith Linton in the lead. Among Midwest District boats, Ryan and Kris had the best day, but just wait until tomorrow!!

Results can be found here:

And THEN!! 
We had such a fun dinner! It was a progressive beer crawl, which I wasn't sure about. I imagined it would be too hot to sit and eat outside, but a small storm came by and lowered the temperature at least 10 degrees. Besides, the crawl was going to start with appetizers at Molly and Corky Hadden's house. We know Molly and Corky because they come up and we always go down to Chattanooga, so we definitely wanted to stop by. When we arrived, that segment was almost finished, but we saw the keg mounted somehow on a sunfish and towed by a golf cart. Before we knew it, a cannon went off, an a capella group began singing sea chanties and we all marched down the road to the next house! There we had an amazing meal of fried fish, okra, hush puppies, red beans and rice. Scrumpdilycious!! Then the sea chanties started up again and we marched on for dessert (sno cones) which were set up along the beach. So, as the sun set, we sat enjoying a light breeze and a beautiful view and our friends.
That was definitely a one-of-a-kind event that we'll be talking about for a long time. Thank you BWYC!

Sea Chanters (mostly in blue shirts) singing Sea Chanties

Boy! is it ever hot out here!!

Well, here's the big news. It's HOT in Mississippi in the summer!! We did have awesome wind yesterday for the women's and juniors' regatta. Three great races. We had 8 boats for the women, which is a great number and there wee 11 juniors. I do not know how that compares to previous years. Here's the skippers' meeting.

My crew, Kim and Diane were incredible! We had a great time. We had three good starts... At least we were moving and on the line when the horn went off. We had several good tacks and several great jibes. And our ground crew (ie Ben, Dave Thinel and Greg Kampf) were incredible. Here are Greg and Ben sending us off.  In case you can't read the shirts, Ben's says "If you can read this, pull me back in the boat!" and Greg's says, "Sailing math: 10 projects to do - 9 projects done = 19 projects to do" Har Har!!

 This morning we lazed at the house drinking cappuccinos, chatting and enjoying the pool. It's now about 90 minutes til the first start. Today and tomorrow are the qualifying races. The wind prediction looks good. Stay tuned!!

Midwest Districts Scheduled for Labor Day at Carlyle Lake

Good Morning Flying Scot members of Fleet 83, last years Egyptian Cup sailors and Midwest Fleet 
Captains;  (And any and all other sailors reading this!!)

This year Fleet 83 is proud to host the 2015 Flying Scot Midwest Districts and the Egyptian Cup at Carlyle Sailing Association in Carlyle, IL.on September 4,5 & 6, Labor Day weekend.  

  As you may know from past visits this is a premier sailing facility with excellent launching, secure boat storage and it's located within the Hazlett State Park.  Camping is available within the Park and local hotels are within a short ride. The Egyptian Cup  draws some of the best sailors and competition is strong. Registration is now open and you will find all the details you need at the  CSA website  including the Registration form, Notice of Race and Sailing instructions.  

This combined Regatta event will also host a full day North Sails Seminar on Friday Sept. 4 conducted by Brian Hayes of North.  This is included in your registration fee as is the famous Friday night Brats and beer and the post race wine and cheese party.  And, don't forget  the great Saturday night dinner prepared by our professional chef Greg Ziegenfuss. That alone is worth the entry fee.  

Last year the Egyptian Cup hosted 23 boats and our goal this year is for 30. Let's make this the best Midwest regatta where you enjoy some of the finest competition in the Midwest.  Register now to lock in this regatta on your calendar but whatever you do put it on your calendar today!!  And Fleet Captains, forward this to your fleet members.  Thanks.  

Mike Pitzer
Regatta Chair