Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Flying Scot Midwest Districts a Big Success

Photos by Dave Miller. Other pictures from the regatta can be found at the following link: Dave Miller's Photo Album

The post below was contributed by Deb Aronson (Sophie, 5897):

This year's Flying Scot Midwestern Districts were held on Medicine Lake, MN, Larry Klick's home club. Those of you who have sailed at the Glow will know Larry, since he owns the bright red boat named Ketchup.

The turnout for the regatta was exceptional, with ten out-of-town boats, including three from Ephraim, two from Madison, one from Ames, Iowa, as well as Bill Vogler from Carlyle, Frank and Marianne Gerry from Delavan.

Due to a lack of babysitters, two Clinton boats had to drop out at the last minute, but Ben and Deb, sailing Sophie, traveled to the regatta and had a great time! Medicine Lake is small but has a quite active Flying Scot fleet. Visitors launched from a local park and met the locals, several of whom live on the lake, on the race course. Saturday was overcast and quite cold, with a light wind. Just as the racing began, so did the rains, but the rain was relatively light and only started in earnest as we came off the water around 3 or 4 pm.

The first race everyone crowded at the pin end, resulting in a bit of a pile up and some boat bumping at the start. We had a fairly slow start but soon found some wind and got the boat moving pretty well. With the patchy wind, boats traded places throughout the race, and though we had some shining moments, we finished the first race in 10th place. The second race we got a better start, figured out that the left side of the course often paid off, tried to stay left but also watch the compass, and finished fourth. Our light weight appeared to help considerably this regatta on the downwind legs in the light air. We marched past several boats with our spinnaker up in this second race, for example.

The third race looked at first as if we were going to tank it. We got called over early, as did Bill Vogler, and had to restart. Figuring we might as well try for some clear air, since the wind was getting patchier and patchier, we headed right while the bulk of the fleet went left. And there, something magical happened. It was as if we had a little motor on our boat. While everyone struggled to find some pressure, we just sailed over the water, Sophie felt perfect, no matter what we did we went fast, and we were second at the windward mark! Then putting up our 'chute, again in air so light it was hard to tell where it was coming from, Ben figured out it was a tight reach, we got the 'chute full and just marched past Cain Goettleman, from Ephraim, who had beat us to the first mark. We got to the leeward mark more than 10 boat lengths ahead of Cain. The course had, meanwhile, been shortened and so we finished at the windward mark and headed in for a warm shower and dinner.

After everyone got warm and dry we met at a local pizza place for a lively dinner and the swapping of various tall tales and handing out of door prizes. Ben was introduced by Ryan Malmgren as the new district governor to a loud round of applause.

Sunday Larry Klick promised sun and warmth, neither of which materialized. Still, the rain held off and we had two more races in similar conditions as Saturday. We had two solid races, nothing very spectacular, but no big mistakes either. Still, the fleet is tough, several boats behind us in the standings beat us in the races, so although we were in fourth going into Sunday's races, we figured we'd fallen out of trophy contention. Much to our surprise, we had managed to hold on for a fourth place trophy in a very very tough crowd.

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