Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Deb's first post from the NACs (posted Tuesday, 6/29)

Greetings from Bay-Waveland, Mississippi, where the Flying Scot North Americans have been stalled due to Hurricane Alex's far reach. Sunday, when we were getting measured, the weather was lovely and both the Junior and the women's divisions were able to compete.

Yesterday (Monday) was supposed to be the first of a two-day round-robin qualification series. There are four fleets of 12 boats each and each fleet will race against the other three. Then the finals will consist of a total of five races with the 50 boats divided into a Championship and a Challenger series, based on results from the quals. We got our boats in the water, only to have an enormous storm come through that had all 50 skippers and their crew hunkering down in the club house (a very lovely club house, by the way) for the entire day.

So there has been a lot of visiting and tall-tale swapping among the sailors, who are both top-notch and extremely friendly. John Heizer and Jen Liu with their son, Will, are also here and are enjoying meeting the sailors and soaking up the scene. We are sharing a house together that is a bit inland but on a canal. It is very scenic, with dense foliage and exotic plants. Someone sighted an alligator in the reeds near the club, but according to those who know, an alligator isn't half as scary as a crocodile. who knew?

It appears to be an incredibly competitive group here, with many former North American champions, professional sailors and the like. We'll learn a lot!!

This morning, instead of starting at 1 pm as previously scheduled, to take advantage of the sea breeze, we were going to start at 10:30 to try and fit all three qualifying races in this morning. Alex had a different idea, and at about 9:30 another large cell began moving through, bringing buckets and buckets of rain and a stiff breeze. It looks as if racing will be put off for another hour or so, so keep your fingers crossed!

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