Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ryan's Regatta

Apologies for not writing more regularly. Not sure too many people look at this blog, but I should have done a day-by-day report. The problem was, due to my responsibilities for publicity for the Flying Scot class, I was writing a race report every day for other outlets (especially Scuttlebutt). Somehow that was enough for my feeble brain. And these posts, to my mind, should have a Midwest district bent. If you'd like to see daily reports, however brief, you can go to

I'm glad to see Eric Bussell posted a bunch of information about his racing experiences. I will try to write about those experiences of Ryan Malmgren, Bill Vogler, the Faugusts and Ben and me. I am going to do this in several installments. This is the first one.

First, let's talk about Ryan's regatta. Ryan had longtime sailor Joe Brake as his crew. Joe is young, fast and strong. Unfortunately, he was felled by some food poisoning, which took him out of action the second day of the regatta.

The first day he and Joe had a 4th and a 5th, so they were definitely in the hunt. When it looked like Joe was out of commission, another Flying Scot sailor, Kim Thinel (from Sarasota, FL) offered to crew for Ryan. That would put Kim and her hubby, Dave, out of the running, but they were willing for Kim to do that. Incredible, right? Well, it turned out that the judges insisted on someone closer to Joe Brake's height and weight, so Dave ended up crewing for Ryan and Kim stayed on show.

That act meant that Kim was awarded the Douglas Sportmanship award at the end of the regatta. But I am getting ahead of myself. So, where were we? Ah, yes, day two. It turned out the second day, which was Wednesday, had such nice conditions that we had three races.

Ryan and Dave did fine the first two, finishing 3rd and 9th. But in the third race they had a rogue boat come in on port at the windward mark where they had no room and forced Ryan to hit the mark (plus I think Ryan hit the guy's boat. He had nowhere to go). In the process they lost a ton of boats and finished 19th. Boy! Was there some yelling!! The other guy withdrew from the race, at least. But Ryan was still steamed. He might have been able to get redress from the judges, but it never dawned on him to ask for it, so there he was, with a 19th place, which knocked him pretty low in the standings.

After that  Joe came back, fitter than ever, and they continued their campaign. On Thursday the race committee set a longer course, and added a leg, so we had a five-leg windward-leeward course. There were some dramatic wind changes but the race committee adjusted the course cleanly and quickly. For some reason that, quite honestly, is still unclear to me, the race was abandoned at the end of the fourth leg. Ryan was in the lead. We were not far behind, so I can easily imagine (as can you, no doubt) how he felt. When the actual race took place, Ryan, pretty shaken from all his bad juju, came in 16th.

Next came Friday, with southern winds that acted more like lake breezes, Ryan had two decent races with 8th place finishes both times. A good showing, but not enough to recover from his earlier races. Still, Ryan was looking forward to spending the weekend in New Orleans with his wife, Stacey, who flew down Friday to be with him, so all's well that ends well! We may see Ryan in Chattanooga, which would be great fun!

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