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!