Monday, November 5, 2012

Much Better Wind on Sunday

Ben and I woke to a nice brisk breeze Sunday morning. We took ourselves out to breakfast at our favorite Lake Norman breakfast spot, The Daily Grind, which is less than 10 minutes from the club. By the time we got back the wind had really picked up and we layered on lots of clothes. Luckily, just before we left the dock, we noticed the wind had laid back down, so we peeled off a layer or two, and headed to the race course. 

The race committee ran two very long windward-leeward-once-around-courses and each race lasted at least an hour. We were in the hunt and hoped to do well. You can tell its a tough fleet when every race is won by a different team.

Sunday's first race was won by Bob Fields and Shawn, whose last name I don't know, but is the new executive director of the Carolina Community Sailing program on Lake Norman (someone should get them to write a Scots N Water story about that program, by the way). Ben and I finished close enough to them to see them give each other a big bear hug and have a nice chat with them on the way back to the starting line. Shawn (who also oversaw the horse shoe toss Saturday night) was telling us all about the community sailing and rowing center that Larry Vitez worked to establish. It sounds like there is some cross pollination going on between the junior sailors at Lake Norman Yacht Club and the community sailing members, so that's all good.

The second race we were duking it out with them again until Eric Aschaffenburg came out of the right side on the downwind leg, passed the leaders and marched away.  Still, Ben and I got second place both races and were pleased with our consistency.

Boats finishing the last race on Sunday

It's a long drive for us, so, as much fun as the weekend is (and always is at Lake Norman), we were happy to be packed and on the road by 2 pm. What a fun way to wrap up our sailing season!

Top Eight Finishes:
Ben Williams
Larry Vitez
Eric Aschaffenburg
Don Smith
Robert Fields
Charles Buckner
Peter Beam
Bill Ross

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Enough Wind for One Good Race....

I'll say this for the Lake Norman race committee. If there is wind, they will find it! During the skippers' meeting there was moderate wind but as soon as it was over, the wind dwindled. The race committee postponed for about 20 minutes and then the wind did come in, though not with as much conviction as we all would have liked. We managed one race, with moments of pretty good pressure and no drifting, so that was great! The poor race committee tried for more than an hour to start another race, as the wind trickled in from first one angle and then another. Finally they decided to pack it in for another day.

On shore the social committee had planned entertainment with a cowboy/western theme. Sailors tossed horse shoes and also tossed hats on a bedpost — winners got to eat first, so that was a popular prize and the lines wound all the way to the beer taps. Turns out tossing a floppy hat onto a bedpost is way harder than tossing horseshoes. These activities were interrupted by a hilarious skit MC'd by Larry Vitez in which Carol Claypool was accused of stealing the class flag and a western sheriff (Mike Noone) came in to dispense frontier justice, complete with a shoot out and a casket!!

After we cooked our own melt-in-the-mouth steaks there were prizes for best costume and then a western trivia contest.  The ruckus could be heard for miles around as people shouted out their answers.

When we woke this morning and looked out of our tent to see the sunrise there was a beautiful northerly, fie mph breeze. We have our fingers crossed that it will last for today's races!

The top five after yesterday's race were:

Peter Beam
Bill Ross
Ben Williams
Don Smith
Eric Aschaffenburg

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall 48 a Fun Way to Wrap Up Our Sailing Season

Here we are, back in Charlotte, NC, for the Fall 48. Our car almost knows its own way here, we come so often! But this time we came by way of Deep Creek, Maryland, and the Flying Scot factory. We had sent Sophie home with Harry at the Wife-Husband Regatta to get a big hole, an enormous hole!! in her port side near the stern repaired. We try not to talk about how the hole got there... too much. Suffice it to say, someone else is paying the (very reasonable) bill! And Harry does great work!

When we drove up to the factory there were two feet of snow on the ground and they hadn't had power for a week, thanks to Super Storm Sandy. Despite all that, Harry was his usual friendly, relaxed, helpful self. He had already dug Sophie out of the snow, got all the snow off her and repaired a cover strap we had broken earlier. We didn't hang around too long, because it was FREEZING! Plus we still had a long way to drive and Harry had a furnace pipe to fix.

So we hit the road and bid the snow good-bye. We arrived at Lake Norman Yacht Club at about 8 p.m, set up our tent, brushed our teeth, pretended to read for a while and then...lights out!

Bill Ross says about 30 boats have registered. A few (Harry included) have had to cancel their plans thanks to Sandy, but the rest of us will enjoy light winds today with the possibility of slightly more wind tomorrow. No matter the racing conditions, the good folks at Fleet 48 have a cowboy theme planned for the evening entertainment and we brought our boots and hats, so we are ready!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Well, it's been more than two weeks since our last regatta and I'm only now getting around to writing about it. Could that be because our performance was the weakest ever? Nah!! I'm sure it's just because I've been so busy! Anyway, we had eight boats at Eagle Creek Sailing Club (ECSC), including Ryan Malmgren, Harry and Karen Carpenter, and Frank and Marianne Gerry, as well as local sailors Cary Carpenter and Geoff Endris.

The lake, like most lakes in the Midwest, was low, but that did not pose a problem for the Flying Scots. The real problem was the very faint wind over both days. Still, most everyone (except us!) appeared to handle the wind fine. We managed to be at the back of the fleet no matter which side we picked! It happens like that sometimes, I guess!

The ECSC Governor's Cup is a multi-fleet regatta with a twist; in addition to scoring each fleet separately, all fleets compete for the Cup, which goes to the fleet with the most participants. The Flying Scots tied the Highlanders for the most participants, but the Highlanders won in the tiebreaker.  Next year, though, next year we will have more Flying Scots at ECSC and one of us will take home the Governor's Cup!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Whale of a Sail report

Our district had two, count 'em two, multi class regattas going on this past weekend. Here is Felicia Bamer's report on the Whale. Ben and I went to the Eagle Creek Sailing Club's Governor's Cup to support our newest fleet, #201. I'll post about that shortly, but here is Felicia's post:

Susie and Tim Stombaugh (2162) won first place in the Flying Scot division of the 2012 Whale.  Fortunately, with the sixth race they were able to drop a 5th to defeat Bill and Jill Vogler (5392).
Susie and Tim had 4 firsts and Bill and Jill had 2 firsts.  Emilio and Sue Tellini received the third place trophy with great racing!
Winds were fantastic for the weekend.  Saturday winds before lunch were 12-15 for two races from the east.  And, in the afternoon  the winds dropped down to 10 from the east south east.

Sunday the winds were around 7-8 and then 8-10 from the southeast east for a great regatta.

Congrats to Thomas and Stephanie who raced in their first regatta and did not finish last.
10 Flying Scots raced for the largest fleet with the out of towner being Susie and Tim as well as Chuck and Denise Hollman from Delavan Yacht Club.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BIG NEWS: Midwest District Gains a Fleet!!

Eagle Creek Sailing Club in Indianapolis just became Flying Scot Fleet #201 and is a member of the Midwest District!! Welcome, ECSC! Flying Scots at that club include Geoff Endris, owner of Blown Away, and Carrie Carpenter, owner of Shadow. ECSC holds two multi-class regattas per year, one in the spring (Mayor's Cup) and one in the fall (Governor's Cup).

Several Flying Scots attended this past spring's Mayor's Cup, including Ben and me, and Ryan Malmgren. They have a lovely facility, with a club house built up on a bluff overlooking the harbor. ECSC is very strongly one-design racing and the Flying Scots are very welcome there.

The fall regatta, the Governor's Cup, will be held September 15 & 16. Harry Carpenter, Ryan Malmgren, Frank and Marianne Gerry and Ben Williams are all planning on attending, so if anyone is feeling the urge to hit the road, come join us at Eagle Creek!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Felicia Bamer writes about the Glow

Felicia Bamer sent this great email to her fellow Carlyle sailors and graciously gave me permission to post it here:

"I brought alive the old Fleet 83 tradition -- Sunday Morning Breakfast -- Scrambled Eggs with cheddar, mushrooms, and tomatoes; Sausage and Bacon ! Of course, coffee, hot tea, OJ, Yogurt, Bread, Bagels and Cream Cheese were served also!
Pam LaMontgane and I represented the CSA crowd at the Glow. Same 'ole lake with gusty, shifty, panic winds! Same wonderful campfire; great food; and this year "Glow Sticks"! And, their lake is down 2+ fleet so nearly all of us used the long motorboat ramp. All ramps at Decatur are closed.
We missed trophies by ONE! Sixth Place!
The winds Saturday were out of the SSE and .... at 15 to 20+ knots.
Race One in the second spin take-down, I somehow wrapped the spin probably 3 times around the jib tighter than a knot. Bouncing downwind to the peninsula muddy shore, we slid in sideways. DNF (Of course a tow and guess what at first did not want to come down -- newly repaired centerboard.)
Race Two winds were heavier and gustier. We finished 8th -- one capsize that race. We survived.
Race Three was so windy only the first and second place boats in a WL3 put up their spins. Larry Klick capsized; he spent time under the boat after it turtled later saving sun screen and all kinds of items. We finished 6th.
After Harry, Carrie and Ryan spoke about survival Saturday after the races, we enjoyed a STEAK dinner.
Lots of sore muscles and an early evening for most of us. The Wisconsin Beer was well consumed Friday night.
At 0605 this morning down came the rain. Probably a 10 minute heavy shower. Then at 0700 it poured for almost an hour and blew and poured some more.
So, out for Race 4. Shifty, of course. Prediction was about 7 mph as it wandered through 6 to 12 knots. We finished 8th -- should have been 5th. Still being auto-tacked. I dropped the spin on the offset mark while trying to raise it.
Race 5. WL3 -- Why are all these boats starting at the PIN? Had to get left! We finally got there. And, spent most of the race just behind the top 4.
Harry and Carrie Carpenter -- First
Ben Williams and Deb Aronson -- Second (Great to see Claire crewing and Doug being the photographer) (editor's note: Claire and Doug are Ben and Deb's kids)
Frank and Marianne Gerry -- Third
Sail Fast!  Sail Safe!  Sail for Fun!

Monday, August 20, 2012

15 Boats Expected at This Year's Glow

With beautiful weather predicted, Fleet 135 is expecting 15 boats or more on the line at this year's Glow Regatta, August 24-26. Harry and Carrie Carpenter will be there, as will boats from Ohio, Indiana, three different clubs in Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada.

Registration forms will be available at the lake, though if you think you are coming, feel free to let us know so we can make sure to have enough steaks on hand for our Saturday cookout! Trophies, photographs of your boat in action in an engraved frame, will be given through fifth place.

Here is a link to the NOR and registration form.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Deb, at 217-344-8508 or Eric Bussell at 217-377-0661

See you at the Glow!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Some awesome photos from Ephraim

The Ephraim organizers had a wonderful photographer on board this past weekend and he has generously shared many of his photos. They can be viewed and downloaded here:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And here are the results

Championships results have now been posted at:

Midwest Districts Held at Ephraim Boasts 33 Boats!

Ben and I just got back from Ephraim, where they held the 107th annual regatta combined with this year's Midwest District Championships. Ephraim is an amazing club, driven entirely by its junior sailing program. For those of you who have been to the club (they hosted NACs a few years ago) they barely have room to turn around on their pier and yet they have more than 400 memberships, which comes out to about 1,000 total members. I will note here that the permanent population of Ephraim is 299. Do the math!

So for two months in the summer Ephraim Yacht Club is a burbling, energized spot for kids of all ages. They have almost 20 kids hired to be sailing instructors and most of those kids also help or compete in the regatta. The whole weekend we did not see a single person (by that I mean teen or  younger) messing with their phone; kids were swimming off the club's float, they were kayaking, they were playing a kind of ball game or they were sailing. Too bad I can't have a "do over" and spend my youth at Ephraim!

Meanwhile, the sailing conditions Saturday could not have been better. Winds were pretty steady at about 10 and the direction was pretty predictable. The exception came at the end of the first race, with a 70 degree shift. Going downwind we could no longer hold up the chute, so down it came. Rounding the last leeward mark we saw the new course heading, but could not find a finish line for the longest time. We did see about seven or eight club motor boats scooting around like bees, rushing to what we figured would be the right general area. So, we headed that way, following Jay Lott, who was leading, and Ryan Malmgren figuring they both had to know what was what!

The race committee, led by Don Smith from Lake Norman Yacht Club (near Charlotte NC and host of next year's NACs) did a masterful job and we had three fantastic, five-leg races. Sunday, however, was a total blow out. We could hardly stand out on the pier and people started de-rigging their boat around 9. Race committee called it officially about 11.

Ryan Malmgren with new-to-him crew Kate Redmond (above, with fleet captain Jay Lott) dominated with two firsts and a second, Jay Lott and regular crew Dave Sauter, turned in a strong performance with a first and two seconds,  Ben and I were quite pleased with our own performance with three thirds, Tim DeVries, making an appearance after a season or more away, sailing  with longtime crew Deb Torgerson were fourth and Frank and Marianne Gerry, who always sail really well at Ephraim grabbed fifth place. It doesn't look like the results are posted yet at the Ephraim Yacht Club website but when they are I'll post a link.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Districts/Ephraim Regatta around the corner

The Ephraim Regatta, which is also this year's Districts, is just around the corner. This is always a very fun regatta, in part because Door county is just gorgeous. Many sailors schedule their trip so they stay a few extra days on one side or the other of the weekend. Personally, I am hoping that the weather there will be cooler than the 100 degrees we've had here in the middle of Illinois. The facilities are top notch, though they are squeezed in for space along the water. This is always a very well-organized regatta and I encourage everyone reading this post (all four of you!) to consider attending. Any questions? Contact Jay Lott, host and fleet captain, at

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Well, we had a short drive home from the NACs; two hours. It's not often the NACs are in our backyard like that and we didn't take that for granted. The week was awesome. It's intense sailing that much in a short amount of time and socializing with so many of our Scot friends for so many days. Typically we see a segment of this sailing population for a mere 48 hours. So, here's to the NACs!


Some photos:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Having a great time at Carlyle Lake participating in the North American Championships. I'll post a few photos; qualifying races on Monday and Tuesday we had strong wind and great races. Yesterday we got in three great races. Today winds have died and we're waiting for them to return! 65 boats or more have come from all over the country!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Next Up: NACs at Carlyle

Okay all you Midwest District sailors, time to get tuned up for the NACs. They are just two weeks away, so if you have registered, go register! Carlyle is a lake many of you are familiar with and it's not as long a drive as if it were on the East Coast or Gulf Coast, so sign up!! For those of you who're already coming, get your fleet members to sign up and let's have a strong showing!

June 23-29. Be there!!

I'm just saying...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clinton Lake Boats Take First, Second at Indy Regatta

Ben and I are so glad we went to the Mayor's Cup. Eagle Creek Sailing Club outside of Indianapolis is lovely and has a very strong one-design racing program. The regatta had about a dozen J 24s and nine Highlanders. We had five Flying Scots there and could easily have had eight or nine if other obligations had not interfered! The wind was light and we got two long-ish races Saturday and none Sunday.  Clinton Lake Sailing Association carried the day (not that I'm biased or anything!), with Eric and Rod Bussell placing second and Ben Williams and Deb Aronson taking first.

The best thing about the regatta, though, was that Carrie Carpenter, who moved to Indianapolis last fall, was reunited with her boat Shadow. Ryan Malmgren delivered it from Madison and then they sailed it together. Carrie has now joined the Eagle Creek club and, together with Geoff Endris, has lots of plans for building a fleet and having a Scot-only regatta in the near future. That would be an extra fleet in the Midwest District and has got Ben and me really excited.

The next best thing, or maybe tied for first best, was the speech the race committee chair, Kenny Carpenter, made about how pleased he was to see the Flying Scots at the Mayor's Cup and how much they supported one-design racing at their club. In fact, he said, anytime we wanted them to host a Flying Scot regatta, just say the word and they would be there. That got a lot of cheers from the assembled crowd, too. It's a club with a lot of spirit, a LOT of spirit, mostly young-ish sailors who like to have a lot of fun. I think this is a club that is ripe for a Flying Scot fleet, so stay tuned!

Kenny went so far as to show us where, on the massive Mayor's Cup traveling trophy, he was going to remove another fleet and put a Flying Scot class logo. I guess he is hoping we'll get many more Scots next year and one of them will win the cup (though the scoring for the cup was a bit confusing, I must admit!).

Oh, and another cool thing. We saw a gorgeous water snake with orange diamonds on its back in the harbor. Just gorgeous! And we had a little tiny baby praying mantis on our boat deck! All this within earshot of the Clermont Raceway (where they practice for the Indy 500) and Interstate 74!

Friday, May 18, 2012

On the Road Again: Heading Off to Indi for the Mayor's Cup

Well, Ben and I are headed to Indianapolis for the Mayor's Cup, a new regatta for us. Our buddy, Geoff Endris, invited us to it and so we'll check it out. Another boat from CLSA, Eric and Rod Bussell, is coming. And I think Ryan Malmgren will be there as well. We'll see!! I'll try to take photos and report fully Sunday night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Amazing Offer From Boat Builder Harry Carpenter

Dreaming of a new boat for the North Americans this June? Flying Scot builder Harry Carpenter is offering a once-in-a-lifetime GROUP DISCOUNT deal!! Check it out. Get your sailing buddies on board and take advantage of this amazing opportunity!

Package price complete $19,995.00
Package price on two boat group order $17,995.00
Package price on three or more group order $16,995.00

Group Order Discounts for the 2012 NAC June

Free freight to the NAC in Carlyle, IL
These boats will be ready to sail, just add crew!

Flying Scot complete – white deck and hull with no trim stripes, fiberglass centerboard cap
Mad main, jib with AirX spinnaker
Galvanized trailer and tie-down
Mast hinge
Jib sheet cleated on seat with Harken auto ratchet
2:1 jib sheet rig
360 swivel cleat for centerboard
Ronstan X-10 fixed h-o stick
Mainsheet – 5/16 polypro - rigged 2:1 with Harken Carbo blocks
Spinnaker rig and spinnaker pole
Two rings on mast for pole
Spinnaker halyard led aft with take-up reel
Spinnaker guy hooks on deck with cleats at chainplates
Spinnaker sheets – ¼” Ultra-lite - internal system with self-ratchet cheek blocks under seat
Spinnaker turtles on forward seat corners
Outhaul – 6:1 internal wire
Cunningham system led aft to console
Vang – 12:1 cascade purchase led aft to console cleat
Pole lift – 2:1 - led through deck to console cleat
Pole downhaul – shock cord through deck
Mast head fly
Break-away rudder blade hold down pin
Tack-Tick compass and mount
Safety equipment - anchor & line, paddle, cushion, whistle, bucket & chamois
Package price complete $19,995.00
Package price on two boat group order $17,995.00
Package price on three or more group order $16,995.00

Terms – 50% down and the balance on delivery

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lake Norman Hosts 44 Boats for Great 48

Lake Norman Flying Scot Fleet #48 ordered up perfect wind for their annual Great 48 regatta May 5 & 6 and 44 boats participated. This club often has large numbers at their regattas, but this was a great showing even by their standards.

In addition to good wind and lots of boats, the regatta committee arranged for FS boats # 1/First One (owned and sailed by Harry Carpenter) and #2/Dream Weaver #2 (sailed by Tommy Weaver), and two of the newest boats, #6020/Moxie (Bill Ross) and #6022/ Rick’s Café Américain (Midwest District’s own Ryan Malmgren).

On Friday Paul Abdullah (Dieball Sails) offered a sailing clinic and boats #1, #2 and #6020 sailed together for several photo opportunities. The photographer, Doug Collins, had all the regatta participants sign the photograph and on Sunday the sailors on each boat received a signed copy of the photo. Look for a cover shot of this historic event in an upcoming issue of Scots ‘N Water.

After racing Saturday the club hosted the first ever OOH (Overly Outrageous Hat) contest.  Forks and knives, turtles and sailboats, polka dots and parrots all were featured on various hats entered. The MC, Larry Vitez, was highly entertaining and moved the show along with perfect pacing. I only think he should have had his wife, Carla, win a prize for the most gorgeous hat: an aqua blue number by Mr. John she bought for a buck at a yard sale! Chris Czapleski had a great polka dot hat number with a crazy brim. She had brought a second hat—red with all kinds of flowers on it — that she lent Ben to wear.

The racing was great as it always is at Lake Norman. You don’t get 44 boats on the line every day! Wind was generally moderate, though it built a bit for the last race Saturday. Saturday the wind came from the west, northwest and then by Sunday it had clocked all the way to the east and a little east. So over the course of the weekend we sailed upwind in completely opposite directions. That can mess with your head … or at least my head!

On Saturday we knew the wind was predicted to shift from west to north so we wanted to protect the right side of the course. Just at the start, though, the wind shifted left and the pin end was so massively favored it would have been malpractice to start anywhere else. That meant we weren’t on the right, so we just tried to keep the boat moving and sailed the shifts. Finally, by the third race, when we were on the proper (right) side of most of the fleet, the wind shifted to the right as predicted. We felt pleased that we had a plan and executed it!

Sunday was one of those days where it appears that the wind is strong and you get all revved up to hike and haul on sheets and instead the wind is light and has holes but the water surface is choppy enough it’s hard to see the holes or the puffs. It takes a lot to change gears in those conditions and, instead of looking over your shoulder whistling for more wind, to sail the wind you have. That meant that shifting my weight was critical and I had to do it constantly. In, out, straddling the centerboard trunk, on the deck, no too much! down on the seat. And then all over again.

On Sunday we liked the right side of the course before the races. We thought there was more pressure and the possibility of a shore effect off an island. But we went right the first leg and everyone to the left of us made out, so we didn’t do that again! Peter Beam, from Lake Norman was the next boat behind us going into Sunday’s sailing. We had five points on him so we figured we just had to keep an eye on him. But he was untouchable on Sunday. He had an amazing day, getting a 1 and a 2 and finishing third overall. I noticed … only after the racing, that he had gone right every time we went left and that worked well for him. Nothing like 20/20 hindsight!

A week ago Harry Carpenter also delivered a new boat to Mark and Maria Benner (#6011), whose original boat was totaled by another driver on their way to New Orleans for the Midwinters (which I see I neglected to write about back then…too painful. No one was hurt, though, thank goodness). The Benners also debuted their new boat at the Great 48.

Anyway, you’d think all those new boats would stay away from one another, but noooo. I heard no details, but apparently#6011 and #6020 …made contact, and not in a friendly, aliens-from-another-universe way! Ah well, no fiberglass was damaged, as far as I understand!

Next up for us? The Mayor’s Cup in Indianapolis. We urge all you Midwest District sailors to join us there May 19 and 20. It’s a multi-class regatta and Flying Scot sailor Geoff Endris promises us a separate start if we get 5 boats or more on the line. Geoff bought a Flying Scot last season and we’ve seen him at many local regattas, including at Carlyle and Clinton Lake, so come on out and support his regatta!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Conditions Saturday at the Choo Choo

 The Privateer Yacht Club hosts the Chattanooga Choo Choo regatta every year on the last weekend of April. We have been coming to this event for the last seven years. The first year we got T-boned and capsized and the next year we finished at the back of the fleet, but we have slowly worked our way up as we sail more and more. We always have a great time!

Given how early in the season it is, we also always have wind ... sometimes too much wind! This year the conditions, wind out of the south/southwest at about 10, gusts to 14, were perfect for a mid-weight boat like Ben and me. The race committee, headed by Steve Sherman, president of McLaughlin Boatworks, decided to run four races Saturday because Sunday morning conditions looked quite light. That was a good call. The wind was good but we saw huge shifts, with wind from 170-270 throughout the course of the day. Sometimes those shifts benefited us, sometimes, not so much!

We tried mostly to get starts in the middle of the line and play the middle of the course, which generally worked well. Twice, though, boats that played the left really made out. In the first race Bill Robertson, of Privateer, was probably in about fifth or sixth place on the last leg, which was upwind. He caught a shift on the left and blew by tons of boats, placing second. In the third race, at the last leg we were leading by 10 boat lengths and had finally learned to cover other boats. Nevertheless, Corky and Molly Hadden, who sail out of Bay Waveland in Louisiana, got just a whisker to the left of us and that was enough. They nosed us out by less than a boat length at the finish by riding a huge left shift right to the line. Boy! Did we gnash our teeth! Fun race!!

We were on the water until 5:30; the day was gorgeous, many of the races were an hour long, and we all came off the course feeling exhausted but satisfied. Sandy Eustis, Dixie Lakes District Governor, organized a short debrief with the top three leaders. Each skipper, and their crew, talked about what they did on the water and what they were thinking. Other sailors also asked questions. After that, we had a great hamburger cookout and plenty of beer.

The next morning, as predicted, there was no wind. The races were abandoned at about 10:30 and we packed up our boats.

First: Ben Williams and Deb Aronson 6 points
Second: Corky and Molly Hadden  11 points
Third: Ed and Tom Craig 18 points

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Notice of Race, Midwest District Championships

The Notice of Race has been posted for the 2012 Ephraim Regatta and Flying Scot Midwest District Championships, August 3-5 at the Ephraim Yacht Club, Ephraim, Wisconsin.  Discounted pre-registration is available online.  To view the NOR and to register, go to  In-person registration also will be available August 3 and 4 at the EYC.

The regatta should be one of the largest in the country in 2012.  In 2005, the last time the EYC hosted the Districts, 55 boats competed!  Please be the EYC’s guest at what promises to be another fun and exciting Ephraim Regatta!  Questions?  E-mail

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Voodoo curse is broken; we get to sail!!

Some sailors started joking that the Flying Scots were the victims of a voodoo spell when three of the four days of scheduled sailing at the New Orleans Midwinters were cancelled — Tuesday and Wednesday had winds in the 20s with gusts in the mid 30s and Thursday was pouring rain and zero wind.

But others countered with the fact that we had made the appropriate sacrifice, referring to the Flying Scot that was totaled when a drunk driver side-swiped it on the drive to the regatta (the owners were uninjured and were able to borrow a Scot).

Friday morning we were woken at 6 a.m. by the loudest thunderstorms and rain yet. We groaned, rolled over and turned off our alarm. Except, when we did get up about 8 a.m., the skies had cleared and there were moderate breezes. Hallelujah!

By Friday morning more than half a dozen sailors had packed up and gone home, but we stuck with it and I'm happy we did. The sailing Saturday was in about 7-10 out of the west, northwest for most of the day. I thought I had been optimistic that we'd get to race, but I must have not been as optimistic as I thought because I neglected to bring anything on the boat but one bottle of Gatorade. We had four excellent races. Ben and I were parched and had to request water from the committee boat after every race, but we were happy. We had two great races (for us): a fifth- and a third-place finish. But then we had two not-so-great finishes. Oh well, that's sailing!

In addition to our boat, Eric and Rod Bussell and Chris Tesdal from Clinton Lake came and sailed the Challenger Division in the Bussell's boat, Windtalker. After a strong and consistent performance (one 2nd and three 3rds) they got second in the regatta. Congratulations to Eric, Rod and Chris!!

We learned a lot at this regatta, as usual. We learned a new technique for hoisting the spinnaker where we pull the jib in very tight right before the hoist and don't put up the pole until the spin is up. That worked really well for us. No more hourglasses and a much faster hoist. We also learned to launch our boat over the bulkhead, which was carpeted. That worked fine because the water was so high from the rain and strong winds that caused water to pile up on the southern shore of the lake. We also learned from the Carpenters that some sailors keep all the zippers and velcro tabs closed on their top cover and just slide it off through the hole where the mast goes. I'm excited to try that next regatta trip!

As usual we had a great time visiting with our fellow sailors and eating awesome N'Awlins food, from gumbo to bananas foster! Next up? Chattanooga Choo Choo at Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga, Tenn, the last weekend of April. See you all there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Flying Scot Midwinters, day two...

Ben and I came to New Orleans for the Flying Scot Midwinters and are enjoying the trip so far, though so far we've sailed as much as if our boat were still in storage!

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, we sailed three races Sunday in the warmup regatta in great conditions, but since the official regatta started yesterday, New Orleans has been socked in with bad weather and too much wind. You know it's windy when they ban trucks from driving across the Lake Ponchartrain bridge because they'll be blown over. That's been the case the last two days.

Still, we are optimistic that things will clear up tomorrow or Friday and meanwhile we learned some things about sailing in heavy wind from a panel of racers — Paul Abdullah, Dave Bolyard, Kelly Gough, and Ryan Malmgren — and MC'd by Al Terhune.

Ben and I have spent some of our spare time in the French Quarter and along Magazine Street. Today we went to the WWII museum in New Orleans. It turns out the landing craft with those drop down ramps were all designed and built by a guy named Andrew Higgins, whose factory was in New Orleans. Every craft like that, even those he didn't build, was known as a Higgins boat.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring, and Sailing, Just Around the Corner

We had several inquiries the last week about dates for the annual Glow regatta. That tells me spring, and sailing season, is around the corner and we better get crackin'. So here it is, this year's Glow will be held August 24-26 at Clinton Lake (Illinois). Other Midwest District dates that are important: June 23-29 NACs at Carlyle Lake, August 3-5 Ephraim Regatta (also Midwest Districts). We haven't heard yet the date for the Egyptian Cup or the Whale of a Sail, both at Carlyle Lake. I also have a lead on a multi-class regatta outside Indianapolis that our Flying Scot pals, Geoff and Patrick Endris, have invited their fellow Scots to. That will be some time in May, but we have not got a firm date yet on that.

That's all the news on regattas for now. We're headed to the Midwinters March 18-23 in New Orleans and I know a few other Midwesterners will be there. Keep your fingers crossed for warm weather!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

107th Annual Ephraim Regatta & 2012 District Championship

The 107th annual Ephraim Regatta will also be the 2012 Flying Scot
Midwestern District Championship regatta.  Dates are August 3-5.  For more
information, keep an eye on  Forty to fifty Scots are
expected (last time the EYC hosted this event, in 2005, we had fifty-four
Scots!)  The EYC is well known for quality race management and friendly
hospitality; in 2009 the EYC won U.S. Sailing's One-Design Regatta of the
Year award for hosting the Flying Scot NAC.  Our racing venue of Eagle
Harbor, Ephraim, Door County, Wisconsin is unsurpassed for clean water,
brisk winds and scenery.  Questions?  Contact regatta chairman Bjorn Hooper  Hope to see you there!