Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Glow Regatta Caps Midwest District Season

There are a lot of things you can control about a regatta: advertise your upcoming event plenty early, line up race committee members, arrange for registration, organize food and trophies. The one thing we all know that you can’t organize is the wind.

For our seventh annual Glow we have become a well-oiled machine: registration, t-shirt orders, race committee, it was all working flawlessly. Then came the weather to mess us up. All week we’d been watching NOAA predictions. There was a gust line on Saturday that had me worried on Tuesday. I was sure by Wednesday it would be gone. Wrong. It was there and growing stronger. Same thing Thursday. By Friday I couldn’t even look.

What can you do? You host a regatta and you wait and hope the weather will cooperate. Saturday dawned calm. I knew that could be misleading, but I was privately hopeful. Even by the skippers’ meeting at 10 a.m. it didn’t seem too bad. There were no whitecaps, after all. When we launched an hour later, however, conditions were looking decidedly less calm. Seasoned sailors were looping and spinning on their way to the course. We headed out and looped and spun ourselves.

Happily, the race committee saw the situation and, instead of starting a race, sent everyone in. Luckily no one capsized but there were some close calls.

In the end the only capsize was later in the evening, after dinner, when a picnic table overbalanced, sending a couple sailors overboard! Hardly any alcohol was involved, honest!

After all the boats came in and were pulled out we sat and watched in wonder as the wind grew and grew. There was talk of gusts to 32 or 38 mph. This was a rare instance where not a soul grumbled about the race committee’s call … probably because we’d all been out and experienced those gusts! 

Here are all the chairs toppled by the wind

A few sailors went into Clinton to experience the Apple and Pork Festival (it’s a Midwest thing, I think), but most people hung around at the club and visited. We had a volleyball net, but the ground was like cement since it had been so dry, so I didn’t even pull it out…note to self, we need one of those bean bag toss games… The beer, courtesy of Deb and Luther Torgerson, of Madison, WI, held up all day, though. 

Camp Torgerson!

We moved up our dinner schedule because of the threat of rain. After our steak cookout, followed by brownies and cookies and more beer we all sat by the bonfire and decked ourselves out in glow sticks. No sailing, but so far, a good regatta even so. 

Luckily the rain held off until the middle of the night. At least one tent was flooded but I think everyone else stayed fairly dry. The morning dawned clear and cooler and the wind was, as Goldilocks would say, just right. Not too big, not too small.

After a hot breakfast cooked over the fire by Ken Johnson and his trusty sous chefs Chris Tesdal, Jamie Cash, and Maria Benner, we all headed to the course. We had one minor setback at the ramp when Henry Schultz’s Prius got stuck in the gravel. Luckily that car is so light we just pushed it right out and used a four-wheel drive to pull his trailer. Then we were in business!!

Even though our cutoff was noon, we fit in three, good-length, windward-leeward, twice-around races in about 10 mph wind, which I think was enough for everyone to feel as if they’d really been sailing. The wind was shifty enough that fleet positions changed frequently, which was both frustrating and exhilarating, of course. 

In the end, Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu, sailing Rick’s Café Américain, sailed strong and consistently, followed closely by Harry and Carrie Carpenter, sailing Eva, a new boat he delivered to Frank and Marianne Gerry at the regatta. 

Here are Harry, Ryan and Frank at Frank's new boat, Eva

Randy Adolphs and his son, Dave, sailing Into the Mystic, had a strong regatta, finishing third. Ben Williams and Deb Aronson finished fourth and Frank and Marianne Gerry finished fifth.

This year trophies were neon-colored towels, embroidered with contrasting, neon thread.

In a new Glow tradition, we offered hamburgers for lunch. Considering how fast everyone stopped what they were doing and came to eat, I realize we should have started doing that years ago, rather than having everyone hit the road hungry. So, another note to self, buy more hamburgers next year!

Here are the final results

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

20 Boats Coming to the Glow!

We are going to have an awesome event this weekend at the Glow in the Dark Regatta at Clinton Lake. It's not too late to come, you can register on site. So far we will have 20 boats attending, the most we've ever had, so come join the fun!!
Questions? Call me Deb at 217-417-1794

Also, we have eight boats who have sailed at least two of the designated regattas in the Midwest Travel Series, so if they come to the regatta they'll be in the running for the travel trophy!
Those boats are:
Eric Bussell
Geoff Endris
Michael Faugust
Frank Gerry
Jeff Gilman
Mike Pitzer
Ben Williams
Chris Wright

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adventures in Michigan

Ben and I traveled to the Michigan-Ontario District twice in the last month, once to Crystal Lake and then last weekend to Portage Lake (near Ann Arbor). We had a great time, and great wind, at both clubs. It's not a bad drive for us. In both cases it took a little over 5 hours of driving time. There is the pesky matter of losing an hour on the way there, but that's life.

At Crystal Lake we had 11 boats from six different clubs. It was also their districts, so that added a level of competition and excitement too! The wind was great both days (see photo above!). That's us and the Gerrys duking it out. Bill and John Pfund are probably just outside the frame....

The most unusual thing that happened that weekend was that Ben and I got into a port/starboard with a loon Sunday morning. It was THRILLING! I've never been that close to a loon before. I would say it looked a little startled and nonplussed by our boat before it dove. But it was very cool to see its elaborate black and white markings. If you've never heard a loon call, you can hear it here:

The results and a good write up of the weekend can be found at the FSSA website under regatta results. Steve R, the regatta chair, also put up a great collection of photos at that same link. Crystal Lake District results
 Here are Frank and Marianne Gerry, the regatta winners, celebrating with three servings of ice cream!
 From left, John and Bill Pfund, winners of the Michigan-Ontario Districts, and Suzie and Brian Hawkins, of Portage Lake, also in Michigan. They were the hosts of the Hot Scot regatta ... see below!
The "Steves." Steve Last, on right, was the very dedicated PRO, and Steve Rajkovich, the fleet captain and photographer for the weekend.

Here is the Crystal Lake Clubhouse. It's very attractive. And here is the boat ramp...I think it is the smallest ramp I have ever used! And it goes right into a marsh, but it is very very pretty....

Then just last weekend we hopped in the car again for another jaunt to Michigan. This time to Portage Lake, home of Brian and Suzie Hawkins, among other sailors, and the Hot Scot regatta. We had another really fun weekend. This one was extra special because we got to visit my childhood pal, Nancy, and her family (hubby Steve, kids Ben and Isabel). They took us to a great ice cream place and Saturday night we had dinner at an amazing Italian place, called Mani's, I think.

Anyway, the sailing...wind was pretty good both days, though it was a little gusty at times. Portage Lake is tiny and yet the race committee is good at setting long races. They do that by having us go around so many times that you get dizzy and can't remember what lap you are on! They use these placards, painted wood with symbols for either an upwind and downwind loop or a single up or down. The races this weekend consisted of, picture it, three plaques with up and back images, with three more plaques, each with a single arrow. So we were doing four and a half ... loops, if you will. My job was to count and not get confused. I almost had to use all my fingers to keep track!

The most exciting thing that happened to us the first day, the first race in fact, was that while trying to get the starboard spinnaker sheet back around the bow (we'd lost it under the boat...we NEVER lose it under the boat. NEVER!!), I fell off the boat. The first thing I thought was, "DRAT," because we had been reeling in the leader, Bill and John Pfund, and at that point were just barely ahead of them. The second thing I thought was, "no problem, Ben will grab me and pull me in." NOPE. He grabbed me all right, but then I PULLED HIM in!!

Luckily, I was still holding the spinn sheet, don't know how or why, so  I left Ben and his bright yellow life vest floating in the lake, and pulled myself back to the boat. The jib was still cleated so that baby was sailing!! The safety boat (thank you safety boat, never got a chance to do that on Saturday) helped me clamber into the boat, I uncleated the jib, the Pfunds delivered Ben back to the boat and we limped back to the starting line to try our luck in the second race.

It did seem to be the regatta of a million problems for us! That spinnaker sheet did not want to behave, then the clip that attaches the jib to the foredeck came undone and the jib folded up like an accordian. That is slow, so there I was back on the bow, trying to fix the jib and not fall in (I was successful that time, but only barely). Our lines got knotted over and over in the most creative and unique ways I've ever seen. The vang in with the jib, the spinn in with the centerboard, you get the idea. But anyways....as they say, we kept sailing and having a great time. No other disasters, but some near misses....

Lessons we learned Saturday: when/if I fall off the boat, Ben will let me go, and do a man overboard drill once he's stopped the boat; and when you have to re-rig a spinnaker sheet, better to do it on the downwind and hoist the chute a little late than fall off the boat and not finish the race! A third, embarrassing lesson I learned was to make sure your clothes are comfortable. The fleet came back in between the second and third races and I put on an underlayer to make up for being sopping wet, but it made my pants fit too tight. That whole last race I felt like I'd aged 20 years! I couldn't move, everything I did was a struggle. I thought I was just tired from my "swim," but it was definitely not that. The next day I just wore my foul weather pants and that worked great. I felt like a million bucks! And it probably helped our sailing...see below

Sunday we came back, refreshed by our Italian dinner with Nancy and Steve and rejuvenated by the fresh, beautiful weather. The wind was still kind of gusty but the holes were much bigger. The first race we lucked out with a shift in our favor (finally!!) that put us 1/2 a leg ahead of the fleet. We managed to keep our lead despite some nerve wracking moments when we had no wind and everybody else did...or at least it felt that way. I learned that when  you get that far ahead, no lead is enough, you always want a bigger, more comfortable one. And yet, when you are grappling the whole race, then a boat length or two at the finish feels like plenty.

The second race we had another good start but as the holes grew more frequent, I was moving all over the boat trying to keep it balanced. It was a losing battle. No sooner had I got to the low end, but a gust came and I should have been hiking. I got up to the high side, only for Ben to urge me (note there was no yelling implied), "go low! go low!" And so it goes...

We rounded the last leeward mark just behind Bill and John Pfund and John's fiancee Katie (didn't catch her last name). Thanks to some savvy strategy on Ben's part we managed to pass them and then stay, barely, between them and the finish, eeking out a second place finish. It was satisfying to catch Bill because he is a tough tough sailor who is very good at reeling sailors in himself.

 Bill, Katie and John accepting their first place trophy...
 Here is the Portage Lake clubhouse. It's owned by a single guy and it's got a great viewing deck. Forest Rogers spectated both days from there, I believe.

The day turned pretty chilly by the end, and while we ate the pizza that Brian and Susie (Suzie? Suzy? help!) had ordered, we bundled up and  enjoyed the trophy presentation. The Pfunds won, for something like the sixth year in a row. Maybe we'll have to come back next year!! I know Frank and Marianne Gerry got third place and the rest I can't remember. Maybe I'll email Brian and see if he can send me the full results....
Here they are:

Anyway, that's it from my sailing world for now. Just four days until the Glow in the Dark begins. Also we have eight sailors who have qualified for the Travel Series, assuming they come to the Glow! We'll award that trophy at the end of the weekend, too. Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's Not Too Late! Two More Regattas in the Traveling Series.

For anyone who might have been reading these posts you'll know that we've inaugurated a traveling series trophy this year. So far the qualifying regattas have been the Districts, Sheridan Shores Race Weekend and Ephraim. If you have sailed any one of those you are still in the running for the trophy. You must sail three regattas to qualify and there are two more regattas on our "dance card."

Those are:
Egyptian Cup, Carlyle Lake, Labor Day Weekend
Glow in the Dark, Clinton Lake, September 28 and 29

I will post a photo of the trophy in the near future...I hope!

Also, briefly, here is the scoring:

At each regatta
First place = 10 points
Second place = 9 points
Third place = 8 points
Fourth place = 7 points
Fifth place = 6 points
Sixth place = 5 points
Seventh place = 4 points
Eight place or greater = 3 points
DNC = 0 points

Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu Win 108th Ephraim Regatta

Top place in the Ephraim regatta (August 3 & 4) was a duel between Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu and Mike Faugust and Jennifer Ikeda, which came down to Sunday's last race, when Ryan and Stacey prevailed. Exciting racing!!

Conditions Saturday were light and very shifty, taxing the excellent race committee headed by Don Smith and Chris Kacinski, who came up from Lake Norman, NC, to serve as PRO. They held out for some decent wind, having to almost continually move the marks and the boat, but their persistence paid off and we got two races in on Saturday.

The fleet was crazy aggressive. After the second general recall Don put up the "I" flag, but then had to postpone the race as the wind shifted again. By the time he got the line re-set and the wind filled back in he tried to run a standard race and AGAIN the fleet was over early. So then came the "Z" flag!

Do you remember what the "Z" flag even looks like?! I had fun talking to Don and Chris at the bratfest about what was going on on their boat. Don said, "One more general recall and I was going to go to the Black Flag!!"

Sunday the wind was steadier and there was a little less chop. Don and Chris didn't mess around and put the "I" flag up first thing. And the fleet was again over early. So then Don flew the "I" together with the "Z" and that seemed to calm everyone down!

We always have so much fun when we come up to Ephraim. The weather was gorgeous, as usual. though there was a deluge during the bratfest it did not dampen anyone's spirits. Ben and I particularly enjoyed talking with Ryan's mom, who came to the bratfest and also was at the club Sunday after racing was finished.

Full results are here:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sheridan Shores Had Wind and Party Atmosphere

Bahai Temple behind Sheridan Shores Yacht Club

 Sheridan Shores, just north of Chicago, has a small club with tons of boats. It has a gorgeous view of the Bahai Temple, just to its west. Cool building, if you are ever in the neighborhood.

 Ben and I have never been to this regatta, Sheridan Shores Race Weekend (July 27 & 28), mostly because it is a multi-class regatta and, for whatever reason, Scots in our district don't tend to travel to it. Still, it is part of our Midwest Travel Series, so Ben and I wanted to support it. We had three out-of-town boats, us, Mike Pitzer from Carlyle Lake, and Henry Schultz from Neenah, WI.  Henry we don't see much, but he is a fast, fast sailor. His crew, Pierce (whose last name I did not catch), has moved back to Neenah, so maybe we'll see them on the circuit some more this year. That would be awesome!

Meanwhile, back to the harbor: to get many of those (sometimes enormous) boats in the water they have to use this monster hoist, requiring professional operators. Using it to put Sophie in the water was a little overkill, but still, it worked. And check out the size of that hoist!

Monster hoist putting Sophie in the water

 The wind Saturday was pretty windy, but more challenging were the waves, which were about 4-5 feet. I almost got seasick! Things got really hairy in the middle of the last race, when we got a puff of about 24 mph that almost knocked Ben and me over. To make matters more chaotic, my foul weather pants had fallen down to my knees. They've been a problem before: I tend to put them on over everything else, including my life jacket and the shoulder straps are just not tight enough to keep them up. It wasn't a problem until our almost capsize when I couldn't move fast enough to do my part, being "leg cuffed" in my pants.

Once we got past the risk of capsize i wouldn't do anything until I got my pants off and got my shoes back on. By that point we were half way down the downwind  leg and the wind was honking. Ben started thinking we should put the chute up and then he saw John and Chris Wright almost capsize gybing without their chute and he decided to play it a little conservative...

Of course, John Wright apparently had some trouble with his foul weather pants too...We'll have to find out the details!

The sailing was thrilling! I never imagined I would say that. I was sopping wet and a little terrified, but it was also really really fun. Of course, that also could be because we did well, catching Chris and John on the last leg of that race and catching Henry and Pierce on the first race. It's also because after traveling and sailing so much I have been almost completely de-sensitized to fear on the boat. Almost, mind you.

After two hair-raising races (actually more like hair plastered to my face) we came in and still had time to sink into a hot bath and take a nap before the lobster fest.  The party ("Clause for Celebration" har har) was the club's chance to celebrate re-earning the lease on the property. There were some ugly politics and it looked very likely that one-design racing, especially in dinghies, was going to get flushed down the pipes, when the lease was not renewed. But then, thanks I'm sure to some backroom maneuvers, the club got the lease back. Whew!

Lobsters, yum!

Sunday the wind had moderated a tiny bit and clocked more northwest so the waves were not quite as bad. I also don't remember any puffs like we had on Saturday.  You can see the Chicago skyline in the photo below ... kind of!

Sunday, no waves!
After we pulled our boat, jumping in line ahead of a J-24 — have you ever seen a J-24 hoisted from the water?! — the club had a really nice hot lunch grilled on the patio, where we joined our Flying Scot pals and relaxed in the sunshine. It was an awesome weekend and we'll do it again next year!
Fleet Captain Mike Fuller with his arms up celebrating

Thursday, July 25, 2013

108th Annual Ephraim Regatta

The Ephraim Yacht Club invites all Flying Scot sailors to participate in the 108th annual Ephraim Regatta on August 2-3-4, 2013.  The Ephraim Regatta is consistently one of the largest Flying Scot regattas in the country, and features two great parties, a beautiful sailing area, and superb hospitality (the EYC won US Sailing’s One Design Regatta of the Year award in 2009 for its hosting of the Flying Scot NAC).  The NOR is available and registration is open at www.eyc.org/racing.  For more information contact regatta chairman Jay Lott dockside@eyc.org

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chicago Race Weekend Up Next, and Ephraim Right After That!

Both the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club Race Weekend Regatta this weekend, July 27 & 28 and Ephraim Regatta, August 3 4 are part of the newly created Midwest District Traveling Trophy. For those of you interested, I'll post the details on the trophy shortly.

But meanwhile, please consider attending these events:

The annual Sheridan Shore Yacht Club Race Weekend will take place on July 27-28 and will serve as one of the five venues for this year’s Midwest Travel Champion trophy.  The SSYC is beautiful club in a very pretty harbor about 12 miles north of downtown Chicago.  The beaches are clean, the lake water is amazingly clear, and the view of the Chicago skyline in the back ground is breath taking.  The party is sure to be a smash as always … this year the club members have a “claws for celebration” with just having received the news that the harbor lease has been renewed for 39 more years.

Any questions should be directed to the Flying Scot Class Regatta Chair: Chris Wright [chris.wright@zsassociates.com] 847-492-3693

The Ephraim Yacht Club invites all Flying Scot sailors to participate in the 108th annual Ephraim Regatta on August 2-3-4, 2013.  The Ephraim Regatta is consistently one of the largest Flying Scot regattas in the country, and features two great parties, a beautiful sailing area, and superb hospitality (the EYC won US Sailing’s One Design Regatta of the Year award in 2009 for its hosting of the Flying Scot NAC).  The NOR is available and registration is open at www.eyc.org/racing.  For more information contact regatta chairman Jay Lott dockside@eyc.org

Saturday, July 20, 2013

All Five Races at NACs Completed!

In a stunning reversal, instead of sailing zero races as we did on Thursday, on Friday we sailed three, to complete the regatta. The wind came in overnight and we had almost perfect conditions: 6-8 knot breeze out of the southwest. The races were long, with downwind finishes so the committee could get us off again as soon as possible.

We sailed from 9:30 til about 2 p.m. That's a long day of racing! Still, the wind conditions couldn't have been better. Sometimes we were even both on the high side! I might even have pulled the vang a time or two!

The first race we had a really good pin-end start and liked the left side. The boat felt good and we got to the first weather mark just in with a pack of six or eight of the top sailors. We held our own on the spinnaker leg and then I got greedy and suggested to Ben that we might try the right since so many boats made out up there. That was the wrong side to be on and we slide back to about mid fleet.

The second race Ben once again had an outstanding start. I think we mostly stayed on the left, but to be honest things started to blur at this point! I do remember that coming into the downwind finish Steve Shaw, from Lake Norman, protested us and we had to take down the spinnaker, do two circles and then put it back up. That is slow, let me tell you!

The third race we didn't realize the starting sequence had started until there were only two minutes left, so our start was a little wobbly. Still, Ben made a great recovery, tacked for clear air and we found good company. We were almost in contact with the leaders (Jeff and Amy Linton, primarily) and tried to follow them but they soon got so far ahead we went back to sailing our own race. We were doing pretty well, especially considering that the heat and exertion was starting to take its toll. We lost some boats at the top of the course the second time around, had a pretty strong spinnaker leg and then we were done.

Jeff and Amy Linton had a great day, finishing first in two of the three races to come from third to win the NAC. Allan and Katie Terhune took second and, competing in his first Flying Scot NAC, skipper Rob Whittemore, with crew John Wake, took third.

In the Challenger Division racing was fierce, with one point separating the first three places. Outgoing FSSA President Diane Kampf and her husband, Greg, won the Challenger Division and incoming FSSA President Frank Gerry and his wife, Marianne, came in third. Don Smith and Chris Kacinski lost a tie breaker for first place and earned second.

The final results can be found here:

Championship Division Results

Challenger Division Results

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where the Wind Deserts Us Once Again

 Thursday we woke to dead calm. The race committee had prepared us for this, explaining at the Wednesday night dinner what they would do when/if they postponed the next day. We got the strong impression that even they were not very optimistic about wind.

This time, unlike Tuesday, they postponed for a set amount of time, posting the message on the website and hoisting a number flag (i.e. "1" for one hour) under the AP flag at the Race Management Center. So by 9, when they flew the "2" flag under the AP we knew the racing was postponed at least two hours. That gave me time to go for a swim. John Wake and I swam along the shore, using each dock as a guide and a waypoint. The water was so calm that swimming 40 minutes was pretty relaxing, all in all. It was so warm I didn't even wear my hot pink bathing cap, which I usually do to ward off motor boats.

Shortly before noon we got the AP over H flag, which told us the race committee had given up for the day and we were free to move about Mooresville. The rest of the day we basically hung out, mostly on the back porch but by the end of the day we'd moved inside. Ben and I did have lunch with the Chattanooga  crowd (Rob, Stuart, Tom, Linda, Bill and John) from Privateer Yacht Club and then went to see The Heat at a local theater. By then we barely had time to rush back to the house to primp for the annual meeting and banquet at the Memory Lane Automotive Museum. The museum was a funky affair, full of, not only old-time cars,
but bicycles, cut outs of various race car drivers and ...
Seriously! Two suits of armor!

Diane Kampf passed the gavel to our very own Frank Gerry, of the Midwest District (and Clinton Lake Sailing Association) and got a standing ovation for all her hard work over the last two years.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day #3 NACs

We have wind! Not much, but enough to run two races. We woke up to a red sky, which I decided not to point out to Ben. I was feeling cautiously optimistic, and sure enough, by 8:45 there was a light, but steady breeze on the lake. They got the first race off a little late, in order for all the boats to make the start, and then we had a 90-minute, 5-leg windward-leeward race. Boats on the right definitely did better than those on the left ... we were on the left. Bummer!

The second race the conditions were about the same, with light winds between 30 and 60 degrees. Greiner Hobbs and Robert Hobbs, from Davis Island Yacht Club, took an early lead the second race and held on to it for three legs at which point the race committee shortened the course as the wind died. Jeff and Amy Linton, also of Davis Island Yacht Club were second and Rob Whittemore and John Wake of Fishing Bay Yacht Club were third.

In the challenger fleet, Frank and Marianne Gerry from Clinton Lake Sailing Association are in first after two races and Don Smith and Chris Kicinski of host club, Lake Norman Yacht Association are in second place.

We were off the water by 1 and a bunch of us headed — surprise!— back to the house where we wallowed in the water.

Later in the afternoon severe thunderstorms moved through the area. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the show.

Three more races are scheduled for the championships.

Before dinner we had Scottish games. Sailors were strongly encouraged to put on a "kilt." Frank Gerry said a woman he'd never met marched right up to him and put a kilt on him, at which point he said, "Pleased to meet you!"

 The winner of each game gets a coveted red plate, which allows them to go to the front of the dinner line. Ben and I really wanted a red plate so we picked the haggis toss, run by our pal, Dave Safirstein. Only one other person had participated so we thought our odds were good. The toss involves taking the soccer ball (in a spinnaker bag), and tossing it over a badminton net.....while standing backwards!

Here is Keith Eustis throwing ....
And Sandy "catching!"
You can see from these photos that competition was low (Sandy claims they won the senior division) and Ben and I successfully won a red plate. Dinner was yummy; marinated pork loin, a cold pea salad in a vinegary dressing that was delish, and a hashbrown casserole that was so good I do NOT want to know what was in it. It was too good to be good for you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day #2 NACs

7 a.m.:
Ben and I put our boat in the water
8 a.m.:
The water is like glass
9 a.m:
Postpone flag goes up
No wind. Everyone is relaxing and the flags are limp.

4 p.m.
The race committee, after looking up and down the lake all day, calls it quits.

20 or more of us go to dinner at Joe Fish. Yay Joe Fish. Good food, nice atmosphere, closed both Sunday and Monday, which surprised us. We go to Joe Fish almost every time we come to Lake Norman. The party was so large that we split into three tables. We sat with John Kreidler, Mike Phelan, and the Cooksons, Chris and his dad, Pete. Then, in addition to the 20 people in our party at least two other Flying Scot groups came in, including Harry Carpenter, Melanie and Bill Dunham, Larry Taggert, and Heidi and Kelly Gough.

BTW, we all ordered the Pasta Fra Diablo (except Mike, who went with the shrimp special)

9:30 p.m. Ben and I took our boat out of the water.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day #1 NACs

I’m sitting on the back porch of our rental house and there is a great blue heron on the neighbor’s dock. It’s a peaceful sight and a satisfying end to a day that did not look all that auspicious. We all got to the racecourse ready for a 9:30 start, but the wind that looked imminent never materialized. We drifted around for almost two hours and then the race committee sent us in.

After we tied up our boat at the dock Ben and I trooped over to the house, along with everyone else staying there plus some others and proceeded to hang out for three or four hours, trading stories, napping and looking at various blogs. We kept an ear on our radio and listened to the race committee as they went out dutifully looking for wind.

I was convinced that our best chance for wind would be about 5 or 6 pm, but at 2:30 the breeze filled in. We all scattered like so many cockroaches making our way to our boats. We got to the racecourse in time for a 4 pm start and the conditions were really perfect. Maybe about 5 knots and all filled in across the lake. Hallelujah!!

There were two separate starts with about 35 boats per start. Both starts went off without any general recalls. We did one really long, five-leg race that took about 90 minutes and then went on in.  For a really great description of the race, go to


I was sorry that Coral Reef Sailing, which has sailing clothing and other equipment and always comes to the Midwinters and often to the NACs, was not here. But we got something even better, Rick's Canvas repair! We got a strap replaced and all kinds of other rips and tears mended. Here's a big shoutout for Rick's! Check out all the other sailors doing the same.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day #0 of North American Championships

It is Sunday afternoon and we are sitting on a screened porch by the water, in a house two doors down from the Lake Norman Yacht club. The wind is gorgeous! About 10 mph steady from the northeast. The women and the juniors’ championships are finished, though I couldn’t tell much from my view. 

Racing for the rest of us starts tomorrow. We are divided into four fleets and will sail, round-robin style, against the other three fleets over the next two days. The top half of the finishers will then be in the Championship Fleet and the other half will be the Challenger Fleet and the finals will begin on Wednesday.

We are all wishing we could bottle some of this lovely air and save it for the coming days because most models predict maybe 6 or 8 tomorrow and then absolutely nothing, with the wind boxing the compass, until Friday. Plus temperatures in the 90s…Yikes! Well, time will tell, of course.

It’s been wet and cool in North Carolina, just like in the Midwest (best line I heard today was from Stuart Cofield of Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga , “last summer was so hot and dry fishermen had to check their catch for ticks!”). LYNC has gotten so much rain in the last few days that the usual field where we park is a swamp and they had to reorganize all the parking places so they didn’t tear up their field.

Best part of the regatta so far? The Loch Ness/dragon-style gumball dispenser (in keeping with the theme of the regatta “Loch Norman”). You put a penny in it and turn the contraption and a gumball comes out. Green, blue or yellow and that tells you what measurement you get. Yellow is the biggest pain in the neck; you have to get your boat weighed, among other things.

We have about 70 boats registered, based on my last information and there are several boats representing our district: Frank (who will become President of FSSA at the end of the regatta) and Marianne Gerry, Ryan Malmgren, Bill Vogler, and Ben and myself.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Give Lake Pymatuning a Try!

Ben and I went to the Ohio Districts to help support the young Flying Scot fleet at the host club at Lake Pymatuning, Ohio. The regatta coincided with their annual Independence Day regatta and I haven't seen so many boats in one place since I was at St. Petersburg. There were 45 Thistles, 20 Flying Scots, six Lightnings, about the same number of Highlanders and J-22s. You'd think that tempers would flare trying to maneuver all the boats into the water, but nothing of the sort happened. Everyone was very mellow and patient with one another. As Ben and I rigged our boat in the middle of the lot, blocking several parked boats since it was the only free place without overhead wires, a Lake Pymatuning Thistle sailor generously moved his buddy's Thistle (who wasn't sailing the regatta) onto the grass so Ben and I could pull in and out of the way. Very kind! This photo doesn't even convey the degree of crowdedness, but it's the best I could do.

 Pymatuning is a large lake and it has a horse power restriction on boat motors so we had the lake to ourselves, except for some pontoon boats and fishermen. The wind was light on Saturday and I'm not sure we really should have had the last race, which ended this way!

Though I shouldn't complain because Ben and I were at the back of the fleet on that last race, with not even a whisper of wind. Our mantra, "don't give up," and so I practiced not feeling frustrated (practice being the operative word). On the last leg we got some weird private wind and ghosted past a big knot of boats, coming in second. The wind gods were on patrol for us, I guess!

Sunday was a little windier — we were even both on the high side! — and we got a couple very good races in. Bruce and Lynn Kitchen had an awesome day, beating Harry Carpenter and Courtney Dunham in one race.

I don't have the results, unfortunately, but I'll try to track them down....

Monday, July 8, 2013

 Ben and I had never been to Deep Creek Lake before, so we were really looking forward to going to the Wife-Husband this year (June 29 & 30). It had been raining forever but you can't tell from these photos! Deep Creek is gorgeous. It's up in the mountains so the mornings are cool and then it warms up comfortably. Despite predictions, it was sunny and gorgeous all weekend. Winds were moderate Saturday and then lighter and flukier Sunday, but that's sailing!
 Deep Creek is, of course, the "birthplace" of the Scot, what with Harry's factory (which was Sandy Douglas's and Eric Amman's before) in town. I was really struck by both the number of Flying Scots on the lake and the virtual absence of any other sailboat. This dock has FOUR Scots. It's just a private home, not a club. The mooring field in front of one of the clubs, the one where we've all parked, is full of Scots and only a small number are even participating in the regatta. It's an eyeful.
It's always gratifying to look at a photo like this and count each of these people as our friends. We have made such an amazing group of friends in just a few years. That doesn't happen often at our age and we don't take it for granted. From left: me, Don Smith, Chris Kicinski, Sandy Eustis, Keith Eustis, Tom Hohler, Chris Czapleski, Jo Baugher, and Rick Baugher.

I have submitted a story about this regatta to Sailing World magazine and, while nothing in life is guaranteed, my hope is that it will be published some time in the next six months. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Midwest Districts Had it All

The first Midwest District Regatta hosted by Eagle Creek Sailing Club had it all: light wind, moderate wind, thunder and lightning, sunshine and buckets of rain!  We had boats from six clubs, including Medicine Lake (MN), Ephraim (WI), Chicago, and Clinton Lake and we got all five scheduled races in. Our district covers a lot of ground, when you figure Larry Klick came from Medicine Lake, Minnesota, and that's a 12 hour drive!!

The wind Saturday was light and variable out of the west, southwest. The trick at Eagle Creek is that, unless the wind is coming due south, the course runs across the width of the lake, which does not leave much room for a race course. We were all hoping for some nice southerly winds, but on Saturday it started in the southwest and soon clocked to the west. I will be forever haunted by the windward mark placed up against the shore, where Ben and I approached roughly even with Carrie and Harry Carpenter and by the time we rounded, they were at the leeward mark. It was the hole of death for us!

(From top: close racing; Chris and John Wright; Mike and Jennifer Faugust; Fleet 135!; and tight pack at the start)

Eagle Creek harbor is at the end of a long inlet and quite protected, so we occasionally had to get a tow in or out to the race course. Saturday as we began sailing back to the club a storm that we thought was going to dodge us dumped an absolute deluge on us. It wasn't cold, exactly, but it was very, very wet! As  lightning lit up the sky, we graciously accepted a tow... By the end of the evening many participants were very happy to put on their long-sleeved, Eagle Creek Flying Scot commemorative tshirts!

The water was a little too much like a mirror early Sunday morning and race organizers were very nervous. Nevertheless, by the time we got to the race course the wind had picked up and was out of a friendly, southerly direction. We got two more races in, mostly along the long axis of the lake, which was a very nice way to wind up the event!

Mike and Jennifer Faugust were by far the most consistent in the difficult conditions. Clinton Lake sailors won the Fleet 135 trophy, which is for the three highest finishing teams from a single club. Clinton Lake IS Fleet 135, but this is the first time our club has won the trophy since it was inaugurated in 1995. Frank and Marianne Gerry also won the "Old Salts" trophy as the highest finishing boat with combined ages of 100 or more.

The results are here:

Sail # Skipper Crew Club Race 1 Race 2          Race 3 Race 4 Race 5    Total
5775 Mike Faugust Jennifer Faugust Ephraim 2 2 3 2 1 10
5015 Frank Gerry Marianne Gerry Clinton Lake 6 5 2 1 5 19
5419 Carrie Carpenter Harry Carpenter Eagle Creek 3 4 5 5 3 20
5551 Chris Wright John Wright Sheridan Shores 8 1 7 3 2 21
5150 Larry Klick Jacob Meldman Medicine Lake 7 6 1 4 7 25
5897 Ben Williams Deb Aronson Clinton Lake 5 3          11 (ret) 8 4 31
5631 Eric Bussell Bryan Hunt Clinton Lake 1 10 10 6 6 33
4278 Geoff Endris Patrick Endris Eagle Creek 4 9 4 7 9 33
3951 Jeff Gilman Brett Eickenberg Sheridan Shores 9 7 8 10 8 42
5395 Jack Marwick Janet Marwick Delavan 10 8 6 9 10 43

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Midwest Districts June 21-23

Here is the NOR and the registration form for the Midwest districts. The event is in less than two weeks, deadline for early registration is June 14, so you still have time!!

2013 Midwest District Championship
June 22-23, 2013
Hosted by Flying Scot Fleet 201
Eagle Creek Sailing Club
Indianapolis, IN
Eagle Creek

Rules: This regatta will be governed by the rules as defined by the current edition of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and the Flying Scot Sailing Association (FSSA) Constitution and By-Laws.  RRS 61.1(a)2 is deleted.  All boats shall comply with RRS 61.1.
Eligibility: The regatta is open to any Flying Scot.  Skippers must be current members of the FSSA.
Registration: Skippers can register by mail using the form available under the Racing section of the ECSC web site (http://www.ecsail.org/racing.htm) or in person at the regatta site beginning Friday June 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm.  Sailing Instructions are available on the ECSC web site and will be available at the registration table.
Measurement: All boats may be checked for safety equipment as required by the FSSA rules.
Fees: Registration fee is $85 and includes a complete meal package for skipper and one crew.  Meal package includes: Friday – dinner; Saturday – breakfast, lunch, dinner; Sunday – breakfast, lunch.   
Scoring: 5 races are scheduled.  1 race will constitute a regatta.  No races will be excluded from a boat’s series score.  This changes RRS A2. 
Venue: Racing shall take place on Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Indiana using permanent and/or temporary marks.  Boats will be stored on trailers at the ECSC grounds.  Tent camping is available on the ECSC grounds.  Hot showers and ice are available at the club.
Friday June 14, 2013
Latest postmark to receive early registration fees.
Friday June 21, 2013
3:00 pm
Club opens for early arrivers.
5-9 pm
Registration and Welcome Party/Dinner (upper shelter)
Saturday June 22, 2013
8:00 am
Registration, breakfast (upper shelter)
10:00 am
Registration closes, Skipper’s meeting
12:00 noon
First warning signal
6:00 pm
Dinner in the upper shelter
Sunday June 23, 2013
7-8:30 am
Breakfast (upper shelter)
9:30 am
Warning signal for fourth race
1:30 pm
Lunch and Awards Ceremony

Awards: Medals will be awarded to the top 3 finishing Midwest District boats.
Disclaimer of Liability: Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk.  See RRS 4, Decision to Race. Neither the Organizing Authority nor the Host Organization will accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during or after the regatta.
Additional Information: For more information, please contact Geoff Endris (glendris@gmail.com), phone: 317-514-5025.

Skipper’s Name: _________________________________________________________              
Address:             _________________________________________________             
City:   ______________________________        State: _____           Zip Code: ________              
Telephone Number:  __________________ E -Mail______________________________
Sail Number: ______________ Fleet Number: ________________________________   
FSSA Membership Number: __________     US Sailing Membership Number: _________
Crew: 1) Name___________________________  2) Name_________________________



Pre-Registration Postmarked on or before June 14, 2013      

Extra meal packages* (two meal packages included with registration)
Long sleeve regatta shirt
Shirt size(s): ___SM, ___Med, ___LG, ___XL, ___2XL

US Sailing Membership (Deduct $5)

Total Regatta Fees


*       Meal package includes: Friday – welcome cookout
   Saturday – breakfast, lunch (sandwiches), catered BBQ dinner
   Sunday – breakfast, award lunch cookout

Make CHECKS payable to:                         ECSC Flying Scot Regatta
Mail registration and check to:                      c/o Geoff Endris
                                                                       13927 Stonemill Circle E
                                                                       Carmel, IN 46032

I, _______________________________________ in consideration of and as inducement to the EAGLE CREEK SAILING CLUB, (hence forth to be known as ECSC) permitting my crew and I to enter the regatta, do hereby certify and represent that I will race and be bound by the ECSC  Sailing Instructions and The Racing Rules of Sailing; and that my boat is seaworthy, that I am qualified to handle my boat, that I and/or my crew are able to swim, that my boat has proper lifesaving equipment; and being fully aware of any and all dangers inherent to sailing and sailboat racing, willingly assume the risk and do hereby release the ECSC, its officers, directors, chairmen, and all others who conduct this regatta from any and all liability as may arise by virtue of my participation in the regatta.

Signature:  ______________________________________________________Date _______________