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.
The results can be found on the front page of the fssa website (fssa.com)