Friday, June 26, 2015

Jackson, MS, On the Road Home

I think many people were not convinced we'd get a race in today. The race committee had only a one-hour window, noon-1 pm, in which to start the race. Considering we had not seen a true, on-time sea breeze since Sunday, the odds looked low.

We all trickled out to the course, doubt in our hearts and minds. The race committee was looking high and low for wind, but all they were finding was out of the north, northwest. Not a sea breeze at all. And then, miracle of miracles! Like the cavalry, the sea breeze came galloping in from the bridge, ready to save the day. It might not have been mighty, but it was more wind than we'd seen for the finals, and we were all very happy.

Ryan Malmgren had another good day, with a fifth place finish, giving him a sixth place overall in the regatta. Congratulations Ryan! He and his wife, Stacey, are off to hang out in New Orleans for the weekend.

Frank and Marianne packed up and hit the road, as did we. Last night Frank handed off the FSSA reins to his successor, John Domagala (originally of Clinton Lake!) who will be FSSA president now for two years. Frank has done a really great job as president and has led the organization through two strong years. Thank you Frank!! Ben and I also got on the road about 4:15 and made it as far as Jackson. Luckily we stopped relatively early because hotel rooms are very very hard to come by for some reason.

The NAC is always an intense competition, which is fun but exhausting. That made staying in a house with a group of friends extra fun. We stayed with Ryan, as I mentioned in an earlier post, and also  Dave and Kim Thinel of the Florida District, who found the house, John and Susan Domagala (see above. Susan is the daughter of Bernie Knight, of Carlyle Lake Flying Scot fame), and also Rob Whittemore and John Wake, of Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Virginia. It was nice to come back to the house and relax, whether by jumping in the pool or drinking gin and tonics or margaritas (or cappuccinos in the morning, courtesy of Ben), or just chatting about anything other than sailing.

Next year's NAC is in Newport, RI. There is already a great buzz about it. For those concerned about the cost, there are some houses like what we did here, though you've got to find them early. In addition, efforts are being made to get housing at a beautiful local college. You can return to your youth and stay in a dorm! Thirdly, there is camping not far away, I believe. Soon there will be info on the fssa website, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ryan Malmgren Carries the Midwest Flag

Ryan and Kris had a great day today, with a fifth- and second-place finish in somewhat trying conditions. The race committee was working hard to produce a sea breeze, but the wind gods were just not cooperating. We ended up sailing in a roughly westerly wind that shifted so hard that Championship boats that went to the left side, were passed going up wind by the Challenger fleet, which had seen which way the wind was blowing, so to speak..

In any event, we got in two races, which leaves one for tomorrow.

The annual meeting and dinner was delayed because we finished racing at 5, but it took more than an hour for everyone to get their boats out using the one hoist and ramp. Nevertheless, dinner began at 7, we held the annual meeting and the raffle ticket for the new boat was drawn...Dah da Dah! Norman  Wainwright, won the boat. All we know is that he is not a current Flying Scot boat owner, or at least not a member of the FSSA, so perhaps we've got another convert! Three other tickets were drawn, for 2nd place a Mad Spinnaker, 3rd place a North jib and 4th place a nice bag and turtle made by Stacey Rieu, Ryan's wife. Although all three items were very nice, it was a tiny bit of  a let down, since none of the tickets pulled belonged to anyone in the room!

Tomorrow racing starts at noon and we have a window of only one hour to get the racing complete, so we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Have a Regatta!

Well, we had two good races today and so no matter what we have an official regatta! It was a very hard work day, with the wind going up and down and up and down in pressure. We had some moments where we were keeping speed with some of the top sailors, but at the end of the first race, which finished downwind, the wind just freaking shut off. The water went to glass, a whole mob of boats was all trying to ghost over the line while the challenger fleet was coming up fast with some fresh breeze. Argh!!!

Ryan and Kris had a good first race. They were in second place most of the race, when the wind shut down and a few boats drifted past and grabbed a fourth. Second race Ryan did pretty well too. Frank and Marianne and Ben and I had a less stellar day, which is a bummer, but we have a couple more days to redeem ourselves.

For results go to:

After we all came in and many boats were waiting at the crane, this monster storm came in. It was EPIC!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another Amazing Dinner, No Races

Porch off the bar
This morning I was appreciating that the Bay Waveland Yacht Club has a perfect design. You can sit up on the second floor in the bar and see the whole bay, from the bridge to the horizon. So here we sit in the clubhouse, even 30 minutes before the racing is scheduled to begin, because we can all see the breeze. When we see it coming in from the bridge, we all leave the bar and head for our boats!

 That is precisely what happened this morning. The expected breeze came in at about 12:15 and we all headed out. It was going to be a gorgeous day. We had one race to do. I did notice some clouds to the north and east of us. The race committee was keeping an eye on them and was confident that once the clouds passed, the wind would settle into the expected direction and we'd be all set.

Before that happened, however, the rain started coming down in buckets. No problem, kept us cool ... Then we heard thunder...The wind picked up. We started heading toward the harbor.  The signal boat asked the race committee if they had sent us in. Race committee said no. Boats continued to head for the harbor. More thunder, plenty of lightning. Almost all of us came in and headed for cover. We did notice several boats who stayed out through the whole storm. Some took their sails down and anchored.

Racing back to shore just ahead of the downpour.

Mark and Michelle Taylor (below) were among those who stayed out, but finally the race committee asked everyone to come on in. And eventually everyone gave up waiting for the storm cells to all pass by and pulled their boats. By 3:30 or so they blew the horn and everyone cheered! 

Mark said, "I brought her out across the lake to teach her the procedure." She said, "yeah, the procedure for death!"

Check out this gorgeous green heron

Later in the afternoon we had a really productive open forum, with many people weighing in with all kinds of great ideas to keep the Flying Scot Association strong. It was especially fun to hear from people relatively new to the class, like Tom and John McNally (from Florida) and Chris Powers (San Antonio).

Tonight we had another incredible dinner, BBQ this time, at the club. I wish I'd taken a photo. I know we come mostly to sail, but I sure have been enjoying the food! Tomorrow we go to Tripani's, a great seafood restaurant. But before that we'll have some great sailing!! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two Great Races, Amazing Dinner

Race committee did an outstanding job running two hour-long races for the first two qualifying races of the Flying Scot NAC. The promised seabreeze made an appearance and winds were moderate but fairly steady out of the south/southwest. 
All three Midwest District boats (us, Frank and Marianne, Ryan Malmgren and Kris Smith) were in the blue fleet so we duked it out all together both races. Competition was tough, with many crowded mark roundings. 

At the end of the day the top five boats were separated by only three points, with four-time NAC champion Jeff and Amy Smith Linton in the lead. Among Midwest District boats, Ryan and Kris had the best day, but just wait until tomorrow!!

Results can be found here:

And THEN!! 
We had such a fun dinner! It was a progressive beer crawl, which I wasn't sure about. I imagined it would be too hot to sit and eat outside, but a small storm came by and lowered the temperature at least 10 degrees. Besides, the crawl was going to start with appetizers at Molly and Corky Hadden's house. We know Molly and Corky because they come up and we always go down to Chattanooga, so we definitely wanted to stop by. When we arrived, that segment was almost finished, but we saw the keg mounted somehow on a sunfish and towed by a golf cart. Before we knew it, a cannon went off, an a capella group began singing sea chanties and we all marched down the road to the next house! There we had an amazing meal of fried fish, okra, hush puppies, red beans and rice. Scrumpdilycious!! Then the sea chanties started up again and we marched on for dessert (sno cones) which were set up along the beach. So, as the sun set, we sat enjoying a light breeze and a beautiful view and our friends.
That was definitely a one-of-a-kind event that we'll be talking about for a long time. Thank you BWYC!

Sea Chanters (mostly in blue shirts) singing Sea Chanties

Boy! is it ever hot out here!!

Well, here's the big news. It's HOT in Mississippi in the summer!! We did have awesome wind yesterday for the women's and juniors' regatta. Three great races. We had 8 boats for the women, which is a great number and there wee 11 juniors. I do not know how that compares to previous years. Here's the skippers' meeting.

My crew, Kim and Diane were incredible! We had a great time. We had three good starts... At least we were moving and on the line when the horn went off. We had several good tacks and several great jibes. And our ground crew (ie Ben, Dave Thinel and Greg Kampf) were incredible. Here are Greg and Ben sending us off.  In case you can't read the shirts, Ben's says "If you can read this, pull me back in the boat!" and Greg's says, "Sailing math: 10 projects to do - 9 projects done = 19 projects to do" Har Har!!

 This morning we lazed at the house drinking cappuccinos, chatting and enjoying the pool. It's now about 90 minutes til the first start. Today and tomorrow are the qualifying races. The wind prediction looks good. Stay tuned!!

Midwest Districts Scheduled for Labor Day at Carlyle Lake

Good Morning Flying Scot members of Fleet 83, last years Egyptian Cup sailors and Midwest Fleet 
Captains;  (And any and all other sailors reading this!!)

This year Fleet 83 is proud to host the 2015 Flying Scot Midwest Districts and the Egyptian Cup at Carlyle Sailing Association in Carlyle, IL.on September 4,5 & 6, Labor Day weekend.  

  As you may know from past visits this is a premier sailing facility with excellent launching, secure boat storage and it's located within the Hazlett State Park.  Camping is available within the Park and local hotels are within a short ride. The Egyptian Cup  draws some of the best sailors and competition is strong. Registration is now open and you will find all the details you need at the  CSA website  including the Registration form, Notice of Race and Sailing instructions.  

This combined Regatta event will also host a full day North Sails Seminar on Friday Sept. 4 conducted by Brian Hayes of North.  This is included in your registration fee as is the famous Friday night Brats and beer and the post race wine and cheese party.  And, don't forget  the great Saturday night dinner prepared by our professional chef Greg Ziegenfuss. That alone is worth the entry fee.  

Last year the Egyptian Cup hosted 23 boats and our goal this year is for 30. Let's make this the best Midwest regatta where you enjoy some of the finest competition in the Midwest.  Register now to lock in this regatta on your calendar but whatever you do put it on your calendar today!!  And Fleet Captains, forward this to your fleet members.  Thanks.  

Mike Pitzer
Regatta Chair 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

NAC Saturday

We arrived Saturday and there was Harry Carpenter, waiting for us with a new mast, etc. So many people helped us rig it; Harry, Ryan Malmgren, Kim and Dave Thinel, it was awesome! The heat will take some getting used to, but jumping in the pool at the house we’re renting with about 8 other people definitely helped!

Tomorrow it’s an 8:30 am meeting for the executive board, then 9:30 am for the Board of Governors, 11 am the skippers meeting for the women’s regatta, then we sail, Diane, Kim and I, at 1 pm.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Heading to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for the NAC

We are on the road to Bay Waveland Yacht Club for the 2015 NACs. I expect Ben and I will get our a**es handed to us, considering the field, which includes not only numerous past champions, but also two former Olympians!

Anyway, we are looking forward to seeing our pals and rooming with various fellow sailors, including the Midwest District’s own Ryan Malmgren, who is a few hours ahead of us on the road. We are towing our boat without a mast, which makes parking it a little easier, but is really a pathetic sight. Happily we’ll be getting another one later today, and Sophie will be reconstituted.

This week also will mark the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for the Flying Scot. Ben and I have a ticket, but I’m more excited at the prospect of our fleet member, Chris Tesdal, winning. The Clinton Lake Flying Scot fleet gave him a ticket as a wedding gift … Of course, if he doesn’t win, it wasn’t much of a gift!!!

I’m looking forward to giving the women’s championship a try. My crew will be Kim Thinel  (Florida District) and Diane Kampf (New England District). Aren’t they good sports?! I’m also really looking forward to some really good seafood/Cajun meals, which I will report on as time allows.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Post from John Cassada About Carlyle's Traveling Brigade

The “83rd Traveling Brigade” is in full force. Our first destination was to Privateer Yacht Club for their annual FS Chattanooga Choo Choo Regatta, Chickamauga Lake, Hixon, TN.

In the lead was Greg & Linda Vitt, followed by Myself with Eric Sutton as crew, Bill Vogler with Jack McClurkin, (Wilmette Harbor) and, arriving early am Saturday, Bronson & Rachael Bowling. Ben Williams & Deb Aronson from Clinton Lake with Chris Tesdal who was crew for Ryan Malmgren, Ephraim was in attendance too. With six boats from the Midwest district, two boats from Alabama, one from Louisiana and, One from Georgia speaks volumes of our host in Tennessee. That equals ten of seventeen boats were out of towner’s at the start line.

Linda K. Lind, Fleet Captain & Privateer Vice Commodore and, the entire PYC Members put on an event that compare to no one. From the minute we arrived we were treated as an extended family returning home. The Accommodations and, meals were exceptional in taste, quality and, in selection making when to stop eating a challenge. Evening were spent enjoying the day’s events on the newly completed clubhouse’s, (mostly by the members), wrap around deck. Conversations were full of stories of past and, present. Friendship created, reinstated with bantering initiated by the serving’s of Dark N Stormies.

Saturday’s racing consisted of three back to back, windward-leeward, with windward finishes. Excellent winds of 10-15 knots out of the South with gusts to create ever exciting racing start to finish. Lead changes were ever occurring on each leg and, at the marks. A lead change with four boats lengths to go provided cheers for some, not for others. That Racing! Hard to beat racing that close for 3 races. We could not have asked for a better time.

Sunday morning opened with a Flying Scot communion, (mimosas), in memory of Charlie Fowler. Rob Fowler, Dixie Lake District Governor (but no relation to Charlie) will no doubt keep the tradition flourishing.

Sunday also provided the newcomers to the newly named lake, Shift - A - Mauga. This happens when the winds shift from the West, coming over the hills breaks into directions unknown to all who sail on her! Hence the name.

There was a short delay in launching while the race committee went searching for winds. Being competitors and, spirited racer’s we headed out to find our own. RC was ready when the winds began, flags were raised & lower to begin the start sequence. Jockeying sailor’s patients were tested at the line as the race began. Winds were falling fast, boats were scattered on both side of the line trying to find air, teeth gritting and, hopes falling whenever a boat past 100 yards in front of you. Taking whatever winds you thought you saw or, felt. Everyone was looking to see if the sailor who sneezed gain an advantage by doing so. If so, each looking for something to make themselves do likewise. I believe I was not the only boat to look up the lake...wondering if we would make it across before the next barge barged into the course collecting a few Scots!

With a superior Race Committee on duty the race was called at the 45 minute mark, to a hearty round of cheers, where all the other boats were stalled at the first mark. I was still trying to find the winds as I was stuck on the far, far side of the lake having apparently followed a Shift a Mauga shift. In fact, I’m sure the leaf that just passed me I had passed 20 minutes earlier.

Overall having the racers towed in may not have been pleasurable, and it did meant less racing but it gave travelers a two hours head start for home. For some that meant arriving home the same day.
The overall racing winners were Corky and Molly Hadden Bay Waveland Yacht Club, Louisiana. The truly over all winners were Privateer Yacht Club Members, I’m honored to have meet such a group of people and, to experience Southern hospitality at it’s best.

I plan to make Chattanooga Choo Choo the seasonal event to kickoff CSA sailing season for the “83rd Traveling Brigade”. Similar to the Lake Norman’s Great 48 just much closer for us Midwesterners.

I would like to say the Flying Scot fleet is an exceptional fleet to be associated with. The people at every location I have visited and, communicated with are remarkable. Ryan Malmgren got T- bone just seconds from the race’s first start. The accident resulted in a hole big enough for your hand to fit through. Ryan had to withdrawal and, headed for shore. Ryan’s quick patch job made his boat sail worthy again. By Sunday’s departure, Ben and, Deb had agreed to take Ryan’s boat to sail in Lake Norman’s Great 48 the following weekend. After which, with Harry Carpenter entered in the Great 48 too, he volunteered to take Ryan’s boat back to Maryland to repair. Ryan ended up taking Deb and, Ben’s boat back to CLSC. Where do you find people that will help one another without pause or, concern about the task needed? This is what we, Flying Scot sailors do, without question. Your needs are our needs as our FS Fleet grows through Compassion and, Competition. The more we sail together, against each other, the better we become as sailors and, people.

In keeping with the tradition of Compassion-Competitiveness-helping your Competition, Bronson Bowling gave up a set of older racing sails to the youngest competitor, Daniel Locke, who properly went out and, place very respectful in Saturday’s races including a top 10 finish.

The “83rd Traveling Brigade” next destination is 3rd Annual Eagle Creek Sailing Club Circle City Flying Scot Regatta, Indianapolis, IN on June 12-14, 2015. To date we have Bronson and Rachael Bowling, Mike Pitzer with Al Redszus crewing, Tom Baker with his son crewing, Bill Vogler and, Eric Sutton with Myself crewing. That is 5 boats so far.

I have made plans to attend the 110th Annual Ephraim Regatta, EYC, Wisconsin on July 31-Aug 2. The last two years they had 27 boats in attendance. The Glow n Dark is September 25 - 27 at Clinton Lake, IL which I believe we have six boats planning to attend. There were 25 boats at last years starting line, breaking their previous record of 21 boats.

Will you be ONE? Will you join the “83rd Traveling Brigade”?
You must plan quickly, You must decide quickly or, will you be left behind quickly?

Semper Fi 

Monday, June 15, 2015

And Some Final Thoughts/Photos ...

As I relive the past weekend I want to share Manjit Trehan's outstanding photographs from the regatta on the Eagle Creek Sailing club Facebook page. For those of you on Facebook, enjoy! I'll download a few to post here, as well.
Here's an example of Manjit's photos...

Is there a sadder sight than a boat without her mast?  I felt weirdly out of kilter the whole drive home...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bruce and Lynn Kitchen (from Ohio) Win Eagle Creek (Indy) Regatta

Ben and I are always happy to serve as a negative example…I guess. So today, when Mark and Maria Benner capsized in the last race and Mark thought, that’s not the worst thing to happen on the lake this weekend, which inspired him to get up, keep going and finish the race, I take some comfort in that. He even beat a boat….Anything for my fellow sailors, I always say.

While I hope we never have to serve that role in just that way ever again, if it helped Mark and Maria get back up and finish the race, then it’s all good.

Today the wind was awesome. Winds were about 10-13 with puffs out of the south/southwest and the race committee ran two 45-minute races.  Tyler and Carrie Andrews were ON FIRE today, with two bullets. Second place in both races was Harry and Karen Carpenter. Tyler would be a little upset with me if I claimed he tacked on his parents’ in law, and squeezed them out at a start, so I won’t say that. Besides, he just tacked on a shift.

Carrie and Tyler 

Racing was ruthless today, but in both races, the top four finishers were the same: Tyler and Carrie, then Harry and Karen, next Bruce and Lynn Kitchen and in fourth, Frank and Marianne Gerry. (see a pattern? All couples…)

Despite Tyler and Carrie’s consistency they could not catch the Kitchens, who won the regatta. This was the first time they’d ever come to Eagle Creek and only the second regatta they had won, so they were beaming. I took a photo, but it looks like they are in the witness protection program (just a silhouette), so I’m not posting it.

Mike A and Linda D are the black spinnaker 

I spent the day on the committee boat and took some snapshots. Ben sailed with a couple from Carlyle, Mike Andreas and Linda Ditzler. With Ben on board they were able to fly the spinnaker and mix it up with some other boats, so they were very happy.

Where broken masts go to die....

As soon as I figure out how to format the results, I'll post them. Meanwhile, just know that Bruce and Lynn Kitchen won, followed by Tyler and Carrie, third was Harry and Karen Carpenter, fourth was Frank and Marianne Gerry and fifth was Mark and Maria Benner (Yes! despite capsizing!).