Normally by this time of year Ben and I would have done several regattas: Mid Winters, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Lake Norman’s Great 48 and sometimes a few others. For various reasons this year has been a light sailing year so far. We did do a new regatta in Decatur, which some of you might have been at or heard about, but other than that, this past weekend at Eagle Creek (Indy) was the first time Ben and I had sailed together since the Glow in late September.
|Hike! HIKE!! HARDER!!|
Would we feel refreshed from the break? Or rusty? On the one hand, we’ve sailed together for at least 15 years, so we didn’t think we’d exactly forget the basics, but you never know. And the forecast was for very gusty (up to 25 mph or more) conditions, which puts a premium on teamwork and on not being rusty. I had pretty low expectations and was mostly hoping we — and the rest of the competitors — stayed upright. Also, because the wind was out of the east (East? Really?) it meant we would have to sail across the short dimension of the lake, meaning we’d probably have to do a ton of laps. When you get to be my age sometimes it is just a challenge to remember how many times you’ve gone around the course!
On a happier note, with 16 boats, regatta had the best attendance ever, with tons of strong, strong competitors. Racing was fierce, and we had great representation from all active Midwest fleets: Ephraim, Clinton, Carlyle and Eagle Creek. And our honorary Midwest District sailors, Bruce and Lynn Kitchen also came from Cowan Lake in Ohio. I was also so happy to see Rob Fowler, from Chattanooga, who crewed for Carlyle Lake’s Bill Vogler (our esteemed class president, for those of you in the know!).
Because this was our district championship it made the attendance and the competition that much more gratifying.
The weekend started with a scheduled single-hand race series, a tradition that dates back to Larry Klick (Medicine Lake) days. Unfortunately, given the gusty/windy conditions, the event was canceled. The trophy, which last year was won by Rick Wojnar (Clinton Lake Sailing Association) , traveled to Carlyle with Bronson Bowling (district governor). Since the districts will be held at Carlyle next year we won’t have to chase that trophy down!
The weather was much cooler than at last year’s events and those of us who tent camped (plus Jim Moyle and crew Eric Dexter in their RV) enjoyed a lovely night’s sleep.
Saturday was, as predicted, gusty but was certainly manageable. The race committee did their best to use as much of the lake as possible and, given the wind shifted a little bit south, the legs were not as short as I had feared.
|Mark rounding with the top three finishers still neck and neck|
The first race (three legs) went off without a hitch, though the line seemed a bit short for as many boats as we had. I think that was demonstrated in the coming starts, when we had a general recall, then an abandonment due to some starting line chaos, and a third start that was called back. Ultimately the race committee lengthened the line and I think that solved a lot of those problems. Still, racing was really fierce and if you go to the photos in Facebook you’ll notice tons of really, really close mark roundings. I noticed more yelling and more boat-on-boat contact than in most regional regattas. Some of that was the conditions — things happen much quicker in that kind of gusty wind — and some was the caliber of competition, which meant racing was close through every leg of every race.
|It took extra work to keep the boat flat this weekend|
When the dust settled Saturday, Hugh Haggerty and Sarah Olson were in the lead with the Faugusts not too far behind him. The next three boats were separated by a single point each. Racing on Sunday promised to be exciting!
Geoff and Myra Endris once again provided a delish meal of BBQ, together with plenty of beer and soft drinks. These two have pretty much perfected the art of hosting a regatta on their own though I did notice some helpers this year, which I appreciated.
Sadly, Sunday morning brought tons and tons of rain and little wind. I did not hear a single skipper interested in heading out in that weather and so instead we had another great breakfast, swapped tall tales, made plans for when we would see each other again, and then the trophies were announced. The results are here and can also be found at fssa.com. There is also a link to hundreds of photos that Sheila Krout took. Thank you Sheila!!
Geoff has a sly sense of humor plus an abhorrence of trophies that require dusting. So the real trophies were gift certificates to Flying Scot Inc, which were loudly appreciated. But then, jokester that he is, Geoff also handed out little toy-sized trophies for those who wanted something to dust!!
|Again, every mark rounding was hard fought|
We also did have some perpetual trophies to distribute. The Fleet 135 trophy goes to the club with the highest finishing three boats. Since Ephraim finished 1,2 and 3, that was not really a tough call! Bronson also initiated a new trophy a few years ago called the Whippersnapper trophy, which goes to the top finishing skipper 32 years old or younger. There also is a crew trophy with the same criteria. This year there was no whippersnapper skipper, but Sarah Olson won the crew trophy. It seemed like she was tickled pink! The Century trophy, which goes to the highest placing team whose combined age is 100 or more went once again to the Faugusts. Lots of jokes about how Michael is 70 and Jennifer is a mere 30, har har har!!
With that, we all packed up before the rain came. Those sailors from Ephraim started their trek north, while Ben and I were home in 90 minutes! The next event is Carlyle’s Egyptian Cup, June 21-23. Be there or be square!!
p.s. sorry I haven't been so good at posting the last six months (and thank you to Eric Bussell for really picking up the slack!). I just couldn't remember out how to log in to the blog. Operator error 😖