Well, hard to believe but it has been 80 degrees down here in Florida! Saturday and Sunday we did the Davis Island warm up regatta. We had 29 boats - our Midwest fleet was nicely represented with Jay Lott and Ryan Malmgren from Ephraim, Shannon and Mark Wilfert from Madison, and Ben and me from Clinton Lake.
Saturday night was Hawaiian shirt night, though the dress ranged beyond shirts to dresses, flip flops (mine but no one else saw them!), doo-rags and more. The organizers had almost a dozen sponsors, so there were tons of prizes, both for best Hawaiian outfits, farthest distance traveled (our own Jay Lott, who drove three days on his own from Ephraim!!) and closest, Jeff and Amy Linton, who I believe can walk to the club if they are so inclined. Carrie Carpenter won best Hawaiian outfit for women with a lovely dress in an exotic Hawaiian print. Sandy Eustis, of Keowee Sailing Club in South Carolina, won for men. Our table helped in the voting, since he was sitting with us and with Tom Hohler and his wife, Chris. Since voting was a voice vote and Tom has a really loud voice, I'm telling you, really loud!, we pushed the voting to Sandy!
The race committee was tough, "promising" us 10 races over the two days. No one I talked to was thrilled at that prospect, I can tell you! We never got that many races in, which was a relief. Still Saturday we had four races. That's a lot for those of us who haven't sailed for more than six months. The winds settled a bit and clocked right as the day went on, not counting some dramatic flip flops the last race.
Today we woke to really high winds and white caps everywhere. Jeff Linton announced he wasn't going out in those conditions and all the crew that were nearby cheered him. But an hour later the wind came down, so that we all changed our mind and headed out. We were looking at a nice, mellow day of 5-7, though there were still waves. Unfortunately, by about halfway up the first windward leg the wind built to the point where we ran one race and then race committee sent everyone in. I think there were a few breakdowns but everyone stayed upright and came off the water smiling.
The regatta committee did a great job; it was really well run and out-of-towners were made to feel really really welcome. On to Sarasota Sailing Squadron!!