Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Changing from Flip Flops to Flannel as We Head North

Well, I meant to post this final entry a few days ago, but what with getting home, doing laundry, getting food poisoning, things got a little backed up.


The first thing to say is CONGRATULATIONS to Mike and Jen Faugust for trophying at the Midwinters! I missed the trophy ceremony (gnashing of teeth here, long boring story) so I'm not really sure what happened, except that there was a protest and places tumbled around in ways I was not anticipating. Mike and Jen finished seventh, winning a tie breaker with Ryan Malmgren and Kris Smith. Considering the number of Florida boats in the top 10 we Midwesterners have a lot to be proud of, with the Faugusts and Ryan finishing in 7th and 8th, respectively. Go Team!

Meanwhile, we had a pretty leisurely drive home, skirting Atlanta by going on some kind of crazy back roads. I'm not 100% sure we saved time, but it was scenic and we didn't feel like we were in a parking lot, so my sanity was intact! We dropped Sophie at Chattanooga's Privateer Yacht Club in anticipation of our next regatta, the Chattanooga Choo Choo (April 25 &26, come one come all!). By the time we hit Chattanooga we also had changed from flip flops to jeans and flannel. But when we got home our daughter kept exclaiming how tan we were, so I guess we really did travel south and have the time of our  lives last week...or was it all a dream?

Also, a quick plug for our new Mad spinnaker (#5897), which Ben designed. In this photo you'll also see Ryan's new spinnaker (#6077), also extremely attractive. Does it make you want a new sail, perhaps?!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Races Finished One Day Early

Well, I hate to be repetitive, but the weather Wednesday was as perfect as Monday and Tuesday. With winds once again out of the NNW at about 10-12 mph, we had our last two races and the regatta was finished a day early. Today it's overcast and no wind, so I bet the race committee is feeling especially good about their call.

Whaaaat?! You say, can they do that? What will we do with our spare day, you ask? Well, I already outlined my plan yesterday: Mote Aquarium, the only place I'll get to see sea creatures (although according to others there have been sightings of eagle ray, dolphin, sea turtle and manatee) and then the beach. Plus Ryan Malmgren's wife, Stacey Rieu, flew down last night and we'll have lunch together. So we've got a full last day planned and no one is sorry that the race committee didn't send us out for one race yesterday and one race today. All in all, an outstanding regatta.

The things I liked best about it:
The weather
The very efficient system of two tractors that pulled boats and put them in at the ramp (our bow number matched our trailer tag and our parking spot)
The race committee was very good, setting excellent, square courses, keeping things running smoothly
The weather

The things that could be improved:
Not losing my camera (or the tactic, that got stolen from Lawrence Bigus, who was parked right next to Harry Carpenter's boat parking spot)
Safety pins for the challenger fleet to attach their streamers (some had to go to the drugstore to get a pin!)
Some warning at the skippers' meeting that there is a potential for three races in a day. The first day, when that happened, many of us northerners were caught mentally flat footed and it took some significant effort to get psyched for a third race.

And that's about it!

At last night's dinner we heard a plug for next year's Midwinters in Panama City, FL, and the ACCs, which are mid-September at New Bern, NC (Blackbeard Sailing Club), as well as the Wife-Husband which will be back in this neck of the woods, at Davis Island near Tampa in October. It was good to be reminded about all those upcoming events and to think about getting together with this great group of sailors again!

For those of you not interested in a race recap, you can check out now. What follows is just a little bit about the racing.

We had one 5-leg race and one 4-leg race. We did occasionally get a shift and tried to play them, but it seemed mostly a matter of boat speed and a good start. Paul Abdullah won both races yesterday (though because of a protest decided against him - a questionable decision, IMHO- he was disqualified in one race) but it was Jeff and Amy Linton dueling against Zeke and Jay Horowitz for the overall standings. The Midwesterners held their own, with no big changes, though the Faugusts had an especially good regatta, trophying in seventh place. Go team!

Okay, I smell pancakes, so I've gotta run. Time also to pack up the boat and head home. Read more about the sailing at and also at the fleet135 facebook page!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 2 Midwinters: Another Day in Paradise

Okay, admittedly, this photo has nothing to do with the post, but we all got a chuckle from it. Sorry to all those blondes out there, I realize it's in very poor taste!

The second day of the Flying Scot Midwinters was just another day in paradise. No postponement was needed today, since the steady west-northwest wind (10-15 mph) showed up right on time. Once again the race committee ran three races, this time two four-leg windward-leewards, and one five-leg windward leeward.

The wind was perfect, though many of us northern sailors woke up wondering if, after three races yesterday, we had anything more in the tank. However, once we got out to the racecourse the juices started flowing and it was all good. Our racing results for the Midwest District were mixed, so perhaps the toll of three races the first day really did take its toll. Although Jen and Mike Faugust (Ephraim) moved up in the rankings, Ryan Malmgren & Kris Brown (Madison), Chuck Howting & Luther Torgerson (Madison), Ben Williams & Deb Aronson (Clinton) and Eric Bussell & Rob Parker (Clinton)  moved down.

Still, it was a good day. We each of us had some smaller successes and plus Ben saw an Eagle Ray  jump out of the water right across our bow. Sadly, I was flying the spinnaker and missed the show.

The leaders frequently changed places today. Paul Abdullah and Alex Krumdieck  (Jacksonville) won the first race, Ned Johnston and Ryan Donahue (Maine) won the second and Mark Taylor and Andy Hayward ((Tampa) won the third.  Consistency paid off for Zeke and Jay Horowitz (Sarasota), who are currently the leaders (14 points), though they finished third twice and second once today. Also in the trophy hunt are Jeff and Amy Linton (Tampa) with 18 points, and Abdullah is tied for third with David Ames and PJ Buhler (Tampa) with 35 points.

In the challenger series Lawrence and Ruth Bigus from Kansas City (They came to the Glow last year, remember?!) won the first race today.  Norris Elswick and Chuck Tanner won the second and third races today. Overall, Jim Leggette and Mike Funk (Jackson, MS) are leading with 18 points, Randy Rubinstein and Jim Cavanagh (Sarasota) are second with 21 points, and David Strawbridge and Joseph Connelly (St. James City) are third with 29 points.

We're heading out this morning for perhaps two more races. The conditions are so perfect it is a shame to waste them, but I guess that means tomorrow will be a sightseeing day. We are very close to Lido Beach which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, plus there's Mote Aquarium next door to the sailing club that I have never been to, so maybe we'll do those activities tomorrow. Maybe at the Mote I'll see my very own Eagle Ray!

The link to the full results is at                     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nice Coverage of the Regatta in Sarasota Paper!

Woke up to another beautiful day and some great coverage in the Sarasota Tribune!

And here is some very nice video created by our own Eric Bussell

Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 1 Midwinters

Wow! What a fantastic day!! It did start out slow, as I mentioned this morning. We got to the club and there was no wind. So we all hung around for a couple hours, chatted and ate our lunch and then — it was as if we were all a flock of birds — we all got up from the tables at the same time (having felt the growing breeze) and headed for the boats. Only five minutes later did the postpone flag come down!

We headed out into a beautiful seabreeze.  We had steady 10-12 winds, three 4-leg races and an all around exhausting and fabulous day, coming in at about 5:45. Then we washed the boat off, I took a quick shower *sigh!* and we had a big ol' shrimp boil. Yum!

You can see the results here:

The Midwest sailors are doing pretty well: Ryan Malmgren and Kris Brown are chugging along in fifth place (nice spinnaker, Ryan!), Mike and Jen Faugust are 10th, Team Sophie is 12, and Chuck Howting and Luther Torgerson are 28. In the challenger fleet, Eric Bussell and Rob Parker are in the running for a trophy at fifth place. Way to go Midwest District!

Ryan Malmgren (#6077) having a great day

Looks Like Light Winds Today at Sarasota Sailing Squadron

Well, racing will start at noon today, but based on the prediction conditions will be much lighter than yesterday. Hopefully if it really is a 1 mph wind they won't send us out to shake and bake. Meanwhile we'll slather on the sunblock!

Since I haven't got racing to report, instead I'll report a little bit about the executive committee and district governors meetings that were held yesterday. The biggest news is that the class is holding a raffle for a brand new, made to order Flying Scot! Tickets are $100 each and you can buy them online at the website under the tab "donate." Go to Foundation and follow the prompts! The drawing will be held at this year's NACs, so buy early and buy often! There will only be 250 tickets sold, so your chances are awfully good!

Campers at Sarasota. There are also almost a dozen tents. It's gorgeous here!
Other than that, it is looking very likely, though not official, that next year's NACs will be held in Newport, RI. The class is working hard to make it as affordable as possible, including housing in a local college dorm. Stay tuned for details!

Also, Midwest sailors, let's start thinking about a destination in our district where we also could host the NAC in a few years. At Newport, while there is no Flying Scot fleet, the entire New England district will pitch in to make it happen. That seems to be to be a really smart use of resources. Sheboygan perhaps? Any great inland lakes with facilities for 90 boats? Your thoughts are appreciated!

The class is looking pretty strong, all things considered. Membership efforts are moving along (anyone reading this who hasn't paid their dues .... please support the class!), the website is in good shape, finances are stable, and the sun is shining. So! Let's go sailing!

Brothers with different mothers! Bruce Kitchen, Cowan Lake (left) and Mark Benner, Moraine Sailing Club (right)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Perfect Conditions for Warm Up Regatta

Not to make you jealous or anything ... but this is where we were today!

Well, we got down here in 2.5 days of driving and so far it has really been worth it. The weather is gorgeous, it's always great to see old friends and make new ones, and the competition is incredible. On top of that, perfect conditions prevailed today for the warm up regatta.  

Today we had two, four-leg races. The Faugusts, from Ephraim Yacht Club, were down sailing Mike's parents' boat; Eric Bussell and Rob Parker were duking it out for first place in the challenger race. I know Chuck Howting and Luther Torgerson sailed the first race despite their windex being bent by a large bird, which meant it spun like a top the whole time they were going upwind! Argh! Team Sophie had a good day, finishing roughly 7th both races. Ryan Malmgren made it out for the last race and was looking good with his brand new spinnaker. I'd have a photo except I left my waterproof camera in the women's room at the club overnight to recharge and when I went back for it, it was gone. I spent a couple hours convinced a good Samaritan had put it in lost and found, but after checking absolutely everywhere, it is definitely gone. Someone else reported their tactic was next to their boat recharging and someone walked off with that. Some sticky fingers here, which makes me feel very sad since the odds are the sticky fingers belong to some fellow sailors.  

I remet many sailors that I see only here, every other year. Ben and I sat with Tom McNally and his crew, Henry Pico, as well as Tom's brother, who was sailing with his own (maybe 8-year-old?) son. Also another Ryan, this one from near Acadia National Park in Maine and his skipper, Ned. Ned bought the Flying Scot from Harry at a boat show. He was looking for a boat he could sail in the south during the winter, since the Maine sailing season is awfully short. He'd heard we were a friendly class, so he decided to join us. Yay us!! 

Tomorrow the racing begins for real. So stay tuned! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Five Midwest District Boats Pre-Registered for MidWinters

2013 Sarasota

Well, our snow is almost completely melted now and the temperatures are above freezing, but the weather is gray and drizzly, so I'm really looking forward to heading south for the Midwinters in Sarasota, which starts with a warm up race on Sunday, March 15. There are already 50 boats registered for the regatta and the Midwest District has a nice representation with five boats. I know Frank Gerry would be sailing except he and Marianne have to teach skiing instead!  (rough life!!)

This will be us next week! Well, this is just Ben, but I'll be there too...