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!