In re-reading this I can see the effects of the very nice gin & tonic that I had had earlier in the evening. I apologize for any sloppiness found below...)
Well, we drove down to Chattanooga prepared for storms and gusty winds but in fact the conditions today were just lovely! I'd say the wind was about 10-15 steady out of the south-southwest all day. We had 17 boats on the line and sailors came from all over: The biggest turnout was from Carlyle Lake, with four boats — Bill Vogler and Jack McClurkin, Bronson and Rachel Bowling, Greg and Linda Vitt, and John Cassada and Eric Sutton. Boats also came from Louisiana (Corky and Molly Hadden), Wisconsin (Ryan Malmgren), Alabama (two boats from Muscle Shoals, Willson and Bonnie Jenkins and Joel VerPlank and crew Ted T.), plus a boat from Georgia (Joe Price from Atlanta) and us (Illinois). And I've probably overlooked a few!
That's a really nice turnout, and pretty impressive when 10 of the 18 boats are from out of town. Nice going Privateer!
Privateer, as I've written about many times before, is a lovely yacht club and Chickamauga Lake, though often shifty, is a beautiful lake surrounded by green, rolling hills. Of course, unless the wind is coming out of today's direction, it often has to come over those lovely hills, making for some very squirrelly conditions...nothing we lake sailors are not used to, right?
The race committee ran three, good-length races. Each one was a four-leg, windward-leeward. Since they were modified, we still finished upwind ... though the first race Ben and I were thinking we were doing a downwind finish and were very surprised to realize we had to keep racing a little longer!
During the first race we traded the lead with locals Ed and Tom Craig, Corky and Molly, and several other boats. By the last downwind leg of that first race we were duking it out with Corky and Molly, at least until our mental error mentioned above. In the second race Bill Vogler and Jack McClurkin led for almost the whole race and Corky and Molly snatched first place from them in the last few boat lengths (sound of teeth gnashing here !!). In the third race Ben and I traded the lead with them and did manage to finish ahead of them for their only second-place finish of the day.
Linda K. Lind, the fleet captain (and Privateer vice commodore), has led an awesome social team, providing a beautiful pork dinner with baked potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and more. Tomorrow morning she and her team are making French toast. Isn't sailing awesome?
So we have a busy morning scheduled: first mimosas, then French toast, then racing starts at 10 a.m. The winds look like they'll be light and flukey, but maybe we'll luck out and it'll be better than that.
Okay, stay tuned!
Also, we have some photos that were taken from the committee boat, but no way to download them just yet....patience is a virtue, right?!