The weather patterns Sunday were so dramatic that describing them is even more complex than describing a race!
Not that we ever doubted him, but after all was said and done, Dan ("The Blob") Goldberg was looking pretty darn smart to cancel the days' racing. He called the racers together Sunday morning to explain his thinking, which ran along the lines of "a big blob is coming and after that there is a small gap and then another developing blob. In addition, we have a large proportion of junior sailors who are less experiences and only one rescue boat. So we will watch the second blob to see if we have time to squeeze some racing in before it arrives. Stay tuned."
Shortly after that the first cell came through, with high winds and rains. At this point Dan cancelled the racing officially. Even the die hards who love heavy wind didn't complain. The air got surprisingly calm as we began to pack up our boats. And then, a huge wind from the opposite quadrant (SW instead of NE) came in so hard that you had to really lean into it. Luckily no one was taking their mast down at that point because it would have flown away into the drink. Calm prevailed for the next 45 minutes or so and everyone got their boats packed away. The awards ceremony was held.
At this point, I have to break away from my narration to say, WAY TO GO FLEET 135!!!! Not to brag or anything, but Fleet 135 snagged three of the top four places. Eric Bussell and Chris Tesdal, who finished fourth, took home their first-ever Ephraim trophy. Woot! Woot! Frank and Marianne Gerry continued their outstanding sailing streak with a strong third-place finish. Ben and I won two races and came in second overall behind Larry Taggart from New Orleans, who sailed the most consistently of the fleet.
You can see the results here
Anyway, just after the sailors collected their trophies, we posed for the annual group photo and pulled out from the club, here came an enormous front over the bluff across the harbor. You could see the rain coming like a white mist it was falling so hard. One minute you could see that advancing, the next minute you could not see even a single boat in the water, the rain was so heavy. You can imagine how happy we all were to not be out in that!
As if that weren't dramatic enough, later on our drive (after our traditional stop at JJ's Mexican restaurant in Jacksonport with Eric and Chris, the Benners, and Brett Eickenberg and Jeff Gilman from Chicago's Sheridan Shores club), yet another cell came through this one with hail and winds so high it knocked over a telephone pole. There was not any place very safe to pull over so we slowly drove as far as Sturgeon Bay, where we were finally able to pull over. It only took another 15 minutes for the storm to pass. Meanwhile, Ryan Malmgren texted me to say that a microburst had hit the Ephraim Yacht Club, knocking over several boats and a tree. What a mess!
After that we had a few cells, but nothing ever quite as bad as all that. Nothing like a ferocious storm, though I really prefer to experience them in the comfort of my own home!
This was the third eligible regatta in the Traveling Series (it turns out Sheridan Shores Race Weekend was July 25 &26. Although it counts in the series, no one knew about it.... sorry Sheridan Shores!). We have just two more: the Egyptian Cup/Districts on Labor Day weekend and the Glow in the Dark September 25-27. If you have done at least one district regatta you are still in the running, so lace on your boating shoes and come on out!
p.s. I have heard some people express concern about going to Carlyle Lake Labor Day weekend, but I'm here to tell you, we did it last year (and the year before that?) and we had no trouble with motor boat traffic at all. So don't let that dissuade you from coming!!
p.p.s. Scott Roberts was taking tons of photos and as soon as I track them down I'll post 'em