Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Whopping 38 Boats at Lake Norman Regatta Last Weekend

{First let me say, as soon as I find the cord to my camera I will upload some photos from this past weekend}

The Midwest District once again was represented at a regatta during the Kentucky Derby weekend, May 3-4. Frank and Marianne Gerry unwrapped their brand new boat, Eva, after spending the winter teaching skiing in Colorado. Ben Williams and Deb Aronson came by way of Chattanooga (see previous post).

I'm not sure why there were so many boats this year, but I'm sure that one big attraction was a full-day seminar by Greg Fisher on Friday. I understand that 15 boats participated and that the program included a preliminary outlining of objectives, then a full session on the water with video and instruction and then several hours of review back in the club house. When I poked my head in at 6 pm the room was packed and everyone's attention was riveted on Greg, despite that having been at least 7 hours so far of concentration.

I noticed that the line of sailboats where we usually park only had about two or three boats I recognized and so I wondered if many of those came for the Greg Fisher seminar.

In addition, there were two boats full of juniors from  Lake Murray Sailing Association, which I think is about 2.5 hours away, and another boat that had at least one junior sailor on it. Tommy Weaver, a sailor from Lake Murray that we parked next to (and who gave us a cotter pin for our forestay when I dropped ours in the grass) told us that the Lake Murray juniors sailing program has a steady 15 or more kids in it. One secret to their success, perhaps is that the kids  themselves (those who participated in previous years) do most of the teaching, with adults there just to make sure everyone is safe. The other interesting thing about the junior sailors is how hungry they were. Although I pride myself in being near the front of the dinner line, when the dinner bell was rung Saturday night, there was an actual stampede of very hungry teens to the front of the line.

I heard that the Lake Norman folks also got a little blindsided by the crowd. Several times I overheard someone say they had only 26 people had registered for dinner on Thursday (when the dinner was, presumably, ordered) and they ended up with 100 diners!! Yikes! I do know a few people at the end of the line got short changed, and I can imagine that was very disappointing, though I also feel for the hosts!!

Still, when it comes to sailing, having lots of boats on the line is a nice "problem" to have. The race committee did a great job, setting a plenty-long starting line and finding what wind there was. Saturday, in particular, was pretty light and very shifty ... though I will say it was less light and shifty than in Chattanooga. We got two races in and the race committee tried really really hard to fit a third one in, chasing the wind from one compass point to another. Finally, at about 4:45, they gave up and sent us in, at which point the wind filled in beautifully and blew all evening. Still, I know they had a deadline, so what can you do?!

Larry Vitez, a Lake Norman sailor, promised that the wind would be steadier on Sunday and, by gum, he was right!! I would say the wind was about 220-230 all Sunday morning, with a few 260s-270s tossed in. The race committee got in three races before the noon deadline and we left the water feeling like we'd gotten our weekend's worth of sailing in.

The standings really changed dramatically after Sunday's races. Harry Carpenter, sailing with Joe Brake, had a slow day Saturday and then pulled two fourth place finishes Sunday to finish sixth overall. Our FSSA president and Clinton Lake member Frank Gerry, who also was deep in the standings on Saturday (having one 24th place finish!!) had an excellent day and finished in the trophies at 8th place. So the Midwest District sailors brought home a fourth and an eighth place trophy!

If you are interested in the results, they are here:

No comments:

Post a Comment