Friday, March 15, 2013

A Week of Extremes

First, the good news, we got two races in in moderate conditions. Yeah! The bad news is that although we had time to run another race the wind died and then got so squirrelly the race committee finally sent us in, just ahead of the 2 pm. cut-off time.

Chuck and Luther had a good day but couldn't hold off a challenge from Lady Hope, sailed by Henry Bernstein. Still they brought home a lovely, personalized second-place trophy.

Overall, it was a fantastic week. We saw dolphins, pelicans, osprey, and even a manatee. We connected again with old friends and made some new ones. It's a great start to our 2013 sailing season.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

There's always tomorrow...

Well, PRO Judy Hanlon really, really wanted to get us out there today.  And so we waited, and waited. Swapping tall tales, buying more than we should from Coral Reef and generally yucking it up. And our waiting, we thought, was rewarded when Judy sent us out about 2 pm in maybe 11 knots. Very civilized considering what we'd had all week. But then... the wind built, the committee boat kept drifting no matter how many anchor lines she put on the boat, and finally after working valiantly for 30 minutes, time ran out and she sent us back in. Still, we had a nice ride out and a fun ride back ... until we all had to dock simultaneously. These photos show us all approaching the docks!

Tomorrow is our last day but it promises (so far) to be moderate, so maybe we'll pack in four races or so before we have to say adieu to Sarasota.

This first photo is Eric Bussell and Chris Tesdal on Windtalker during the 11 knots phase...
 And this is us all coming home...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Whew! A little too much of a good thing!

Well, today brought even more wind than yesterday, but we headed out in the hopes that it would begin to calm down. Just at the start the wind actually began to build.  PRO Judy (I forget her last name) was fabulous, delaying the start to see if the wind would continue to build or not. It looked like we'd be going in, until she called regatta chair, John Domagala (who loves heavy air!) for a consult. At that point she decided, the race is on! The wind came down a bit for the first two legs and we managed a four-leg race, with the wind building and gusting the last two legs. After that finish we got sent in and I didn't hear anyone complaining!

Even though the wind was greater, we had no collisions or boat damage today. Maybe everyone had shaken out their cobwebs on the course yesterday.

The standings can be found on the FSSA website, but our own Ryan Malmgren won the Championship division race and Chuck Howting extended his lead in the Challenger division.

Sarasota Sailing Starts

The first day of racing in Sarasota was lovely! Midwest boats include Ryan Malmgren and John Wake, Chuck Howting and Luther Torgerson, Eric Bussell and Chris Tesdal,  Mike and Jen Faugust, Bill Vogler and Susie Stombaugh, and Ben and Deb.

A front came through in the evening and brought some rain and high wind, so we stayed on shore for an extra hour or so. It looked grim, winds were going to be high and gusty, the word was. Some boats didn't go out. So it was with a moderately heavy heart that we headed out, expecting a lot of really hard work. It was gray and misty, the temperature was cool, I was happy for my wool socks.

The wind had clocked around from the south to the northwest. At 15-20 mph  there were plenty of waves to knock us lake sailors around, but the gusts were generally gradual and manageable.  By the second race the wind had come down and the water was a little more flat.

There were a surprising number of collisions, which was surprising in a fleet of this caliber. It's possible that the high wind and waves on the first day after a long winter layoff for most sailors was enough to slow reflexes. One boat (not from our district) got hit amidships so hard the chain plate was pushed back eight inches and the side stay snapped. The mast followed. But that was the only collision I know of where a sailor was knocked out of the regatta.

After the two races yesterday Chuck and Luther are in the lead of the challenger division. Go Madison! Today it is sunny and breezy. I think it will be colder today, but we won't know until we get to the club. 

More later!
The results can be found on the front page of the fssa website (

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Heading to the Sunshine State!

Nothing like a four-inch snowfall to get you thinking about heading south! Here in central Illinois we got dumped on. So what did we do? We shoveled the entire driveway, pulled Sophie out of her winter home and turned her around, ready to head out to Sarasota! Well, Davis Island warm ups first,  and then Sarasota.

Hope to see many of you there, and for those of you stuck up north, we'll try to give you daily updates...depending on how hard we've had to work on the water!!  ;-)
Here's hoping for sun, steady breeze and plenty of racing ~