Monday, November 28, 2016

Feeling the Winter Blues?

Where I am the sky is gray, it's pouring buckets upon buckets, and I'm wearing long johns. But I'm dreaming of sailing! I bet you are too! And so, I thought I'd give you some sailing news. The first item is that on January 14 Tyler and Carrie Andrews will be giving a talk at the Chicago Boat Show about crew work. My sources tell me Tyler and Eric Bussell are also giving a talk but I have no details on that just yet. So! Mark your calendars for the Chicago Boat Show!! If you get a group of 10 or more, my sources say you can get a 50% discount. That's not nothing!!

Secondly, many of us are starting to plan our sailing seasons, so I thought I'd list below the regional regattas — mostly midwest district, but not exclusively— so you can also start planning. You will note that the Midwest Districts have not quite been identified, but any day now we'll have that info! Now some folks (Hi, Vitts!) might still be enjoying sunshine and warm weather somewhere not in the Midwest, but for the rest of you, here we go:

March 12-16 MidWinters. New Orleans, Southern Yacht Club. My personal all time favorite Mid Winters destination. We always have moderate conditions, unlike Sarasota and Panama City and it's an easy drive for many of us.
April 29-30 Chattanooga  Choo Choo, Privateer Yacht Club (Tennessee)
June 3-4 Cowan Lake Pig Roast, Cowan Lake Sailing Association (Ohio)
June 10-11 Sixth Annual Indy Regatta, Eagle Creek Sailing Club
June 16-18 Egyptian Cup, Carlyle Lake Saiiling Club
June 25-30 60th Anniversary North Americans Sandusky Sailing Club, Sandusky, Ohio. I cannot promote this one enough to you all. First of all, it's practically in our backyard, plus 60th ANNIVERSARY, people!! and finally, Sandusky has so many other fun attractions that you can bring your friends an family and they can have fun while you are racing! We are expecting to have a guest speaker Sunday evening, and perhaps an opportunity to go as a group to the famous Cedarpoint Amusement Park. Hopefully you've been getting an occasional email from us and also seen a few announcements in Scots N Water. Come to the NAC!! Enough said.
July 29-30 Muddy Duck (Wooden Duck?) Medicine Lake Sailing Club, Minneapolis. We've lost touch with Medicine Lake for a few years, but those of you who were at Delevan had the pleasure of meeting some young, new sailors, as well as old salt Larry Klick. Medicine Lake is just outside Minneapolis and will be included in this year's Travel Trophy series.
August 5-6 Ephraim Regatta, Ephraim Yacht Club
September 15-17 Whale of a Sail - this is a multi-class regatta at Carlyle Sailing Association
September 22-24 Glow in the Dark, Clinton Lake Sailing Association.

Monday, October 24, 2016

God Bless Texas - Open House Regatta 2016

The Corinthian Sailing Club on White Rock Lake is a Flying Scot oasis located in Dallas, TX.  Four Midwest District racers made the long drive to attend Fleet 23's Open House Regatta this past weekend.  Midwest District Governor Bronson Bowling and his amazing crew Rachel Bowling hauled Wreckless down while Gordy Roberts from Ephraim agreed to crew for me on Quicksilver.  Upon our arrival on Friday, it was hard not to step back and admire the dozens and dozens of Flying Scots parked in their own dock spaces and raised up on their own individual davits.  We appreciated the atmosphere because we were clearly in Flying Scot country and we looked forward to seeing where we stacked up against one of the most competitive fleets in the class.

Bill Drahiem from Gus sails rounds the mark in this Texas-themed sails.  It was easy to spot him up on the front of the pack.  More photos by Cathy O'Neil.

From the CSC Website:

The CSC Flying Scot Open House regatta was started 43 years ago with the notion that the CSC members open their homes to traveling attendees to offset housing costs. We still practice that tradition today and we have boats for charter as well. Held over three days, the schedule is based around a "get to know each other" party on Friday night, followed by racing on Saturday, followed by a blow out party with live music, followed by more racing Sunday!!!There is a single regatta fee that includes everything from meals, drinks, party passes to the actual regatta entry. Only regatta t-shirts are extra. This years theme is "Scots on the Rock." Come join Flying Scot Fleet 23 for our signature event.

Bronson and Rachel stayed with Red Dog Jones while Kelly and Heidi Gough hosted Gordy and I.  When I asked Kelly about Red Dog's story, he mentioned there are plenty of members in the club who don't know his real name.  

We immediately learned they don't do anything small in Texas.   On the way in we drove by some of their high school football coliseums.  OMG!   I was told it's not uncommon for high school football stadiums to cost in the tens of millions of dollars and noted that one cost $60 million to build.  My goodness, these things all had their own press boxes and all the stadiums I observed would be impressive for a college stadium.  CSC reinforced this mentality by going big to host a great event.   We helped unload six kegs of beer on Friday as Gordy and I rigged our boat.   They had 5-star catered hot food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner both days and held nothing back.  I couldn't decide if the brisket and egg tacos were my favorite, but that BBQ and jambalaya was equally amazing.  The live band on Saturday created a fun backdrop on Saturday as we discussed the day's action with our new Texas friends.  The biggest impression of the weekend was Texas-sized hospitality that was constant all weekend long as all of their members went out of their way to acknowledge and thank us for making the long trip.   

Even the dogs are big in Texas.  Here I am photographed with Oscar.
We raced a total of six races (3 Saturday - 3 Sunday) in tough wind conditions against 22 total boats in the Championship Division with an additional 8 boats racing the Challenger Division.   You can review the results here.   Unfortunately, Bronson and I finished towards the back of the standings, but we both adamantly agree it was exceptional racing and we are already looking forward to next year.  Next time you see Bronson, ask him about the Texas-sized pinwheels at the leeward mark.   When you have so many great sailors racing in such close proximity, it really made for a lot of close crossings and challenging mark roundings in high traffic.  We both made some really good moves and we both appreciated that one bad decision can be very costly in this kind of fleet.  Bronson stated, "This is what I imagine racing at the NACs is like."   There were so many learning moments to process that it took me the entire 13-hour ride home to process everything.   One thing I can say for sure is traveling to these competitive regattas is how racers get better and I hope we can talk a few more Midwest sailors into joining us next year. 

A friendly reminder that everyone should come the NACs in Sandusky this June!More photos by Cathy O'Neil.  

Gordy Roberts and I with our hosts Kelly and Heidi Gough.   All four Midwest District sailors received CSC burgees as Heidi Gough helps us promote the Glow Regatta with her new shirt. 

Bronson and Rachel put their boat away in record time and took off before i got a chance to get a group photo.   I hope to update this post with a picture of them soon.  I'll close with a fitting musical tribute to an impressive event and amazing hosts.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Memories of Florence Glass ~ courtesy of Jim Harris....

As many of you would have heard, longtime Flying Scot member Florence Glass died recently.
Here are some memories provided by Jim Harris and Betty Struckhoff, of Carlyle Lake...

Photo from the 19921Midwinters,
Front:  Ted Glass, Florence Glass (notice the pearls!), Barry Moore, Alison Woodworth
Back:  Joe Gerrity, Ron Berkel, John Woodworth, Lynn Cook, E. Paul Moore, Bernie Knight, Marilyn Gerrity, Jim Harris

It was June when Betty and I had our last visit with Florence.  She was in a nursing home, bedridden, with a broken leg that she knew would never heal.  When we called she suggested we come at happy hour.  We offered to bring a bottle of wine.  When we arrived, she had arranged for another friend to put out a spread for us – wine, cheese, crackers, ripe fruit, dips.  That was Florence!  We talked about Ted, sailing, classical music, opera, traveling.  She explained how she and Ted were so successful at planing with the Scot on a reach without a spinnaker.  She was as sharp as ever.  It is a day we will always remember, being with a very classy woman.

Florence had a full, long, remarkable life:
·       She was an avid sailor, crewing for Ted on their Scot.  We remember her hiked out straight as an  arrow, every hair in place.  Then there was the time she threw the spinnaker pole overboard in a disagreement – Betty always says sailboat racing is the test of a marriage.  It was late in their sailing career that they came back from a regatta in Dallas with their mainsail muddied from capsizing in the shallow lake.  Another Fleet 83 member remembers sailing with them on Lake Erie.  Long time Carlyle Sailing Association member (and new Flying Scot owner!) Andrea Sepanski shared a memory on Facebook:
What a wonderful, classy inspirational lady!!! I remember one Sunday working RC and pulling her out of the lake after she had fallen off the boat, and she didn't let it her faze her one bit.  We took her back over to the boat and she jumped from the whaler back into the boat with Ted. I remember pulling away thinking, I want to grow up and be like her... Heaven gained an awesome lady!
·      Florence knew how to party and yet remain a proper southern lady.  When the Glow in the Dark regatta at Clinton Lake awarded a party trophy, most winners were camping at the club – because they were in no shape to drive anywhere.  Florence won it on her terms – treating everyone to Mint Juleps and leading the campfire songs with a kazoo!  Just a few years ago, she was spotted on the back of a flatbed truck in a parade in her hometown of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, supporting a local candidate for sheriff.
·       Ted and Florence were big supporters of FSSA.  Ted served as President.  Together they donated the True Love trophy recognizing the highest placing boat at the NAC's with husband and wife on board.
·       Beyond sailing, Florence had deep and abiding interests.  She traveled the world to watch birds. An opera lover, she traveled to Europe for opera.  She was a supporter of St. Louis' Opera Theater and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Perhaps her major philanthropic patronage went to the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon (  If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.
·       Over the past few years, Betty and I loved visiting Florence in Mt. Vernon.  When she still lived in her home we would pick her up and she would insist on treating us to lunch at the best restaurant in town.  After that we'd stop by Cedarhurst to see what was on display.  Usually the director gave us a private tour.  Everyone knew and loved Florence.  We felt like we were escorting the Queen of England!

Now she is gone but her spirit lives on in all of us who knew her.  In recent comments about her, two words come up repeatedly:  “inspirational” and “lady”.  Florence showed us what a good life looks like.  We will always miss her.  No, not England,  Florence was the Queen of Scots!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Ancient Egyptians

Mike Hartman sent me this photo a few weeks ago and I've been wanting to post it. Now, having also found this write up of the EgyptianCup by Mike Pitzer, I thought the time is right. So, here you go, thanks to Mike for this nugget of Flying Scot history.

The Egyptian Cup Regatta in Southern Illinois
By Mike Pitzer FS 5300
In these times Egypt is a tumultuous place in the midst of chaos, strikes and confron- tation. Some might say Egypt’s history has been rendered unattractive by these recent headlines. But, in days gone by Egypt was a mysterious, ancient and exotic image. In southern Illinois there is a bit of history that still brings a smile to sailors called the Egyptian Cup. If you Google the Egyptian Cup you will learn that it’s a famous trophy in the football league of that country. You would have to look long and hard to find a reference to the Egyptian Cup Regatta. However you can still find the Egyptian Cup at Carlyle Sailing Association.
The Egyptian Cup Regatta of sailing fame is now hosted annually by Flying Scot fleet 83 on Carlyle Lake in Hazlet State Park (site of the 2012 NAC) in Carlyle, IL. This 50 year old regatta has a rich history. It was begun by the Crab Orchard Lake Sailing Club on Crab Orchard Lake near Carbondale, IL. But how did it get the name?
The area south of St. Louis in southern of Illinois is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi, the Ohio and Wabash rivers. This area became known as Egypt or Little Egypt. Some have attributed the origin to pioneer families familiar with their bibles that drew comparisons to the book of Genesis when famine struck Canaan and all the families had to go to Egypt to buy food. During the winter of the Deep Snow in 1830 grain, feed and crop seed were destroyed. Wagon trains of pioneers travelling to the breadbasket of Southern Illinois were likened to ancient caravans of Israelites traveling to Egypt to buy grain. A common greeting on the road became “We are the sons of Jacob, going into Egypt to buy corn.” Southern Illinois became known as the granary of the state and the identity with Egypt was accepted proudly.
Another story attributes the moniker to a biblical reference in 1799 by a Baptist mis- sionary who, while traveling along the bluffs of the Mississippi called the fertile bottom lands the “Land of Goshen” which was the best land in Egypt given by the pharaoh to Joseph’s family when he came to Egypt. Other similarities between the Mississippi River valley and the Nile were drawn from large ancient Indian burial mounds somewhat like the pyramids, the largest of which is in Cahokia, IL.
This long standing identity was memorialized in the names many Illinois towns were given from Egypt such as Cairo, (located near the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio), Thebes, Karnak and Dongola IL.. Today many businesses use the reference in their identity. Even the mascot of Sothern Illinois University is named after the Egyptian dog “Saluki”. So, now that we have established the Egyptian connection what about the Regatta?
Crab Orchard Lake is four miles east of Carbondale in Southern IL. It is a 7,000 acre lake built in 1936 and is now part of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. In 1958 the Crab Orchard Lake Sailing Club (COLSC) was formed with a 25 year lease from the Refuge. Most of its members came from the town of Carbondale. It was the most active club in the lower Midwest and it grew to 171 members at its zenith. Since it was located in “little Egypt” it was natural to borrow from that identity. Its burgee, shown here, was modeled after the Egyptian flag. The Egyptian Cup Regatta was the idea of Dr. Wilson R. Scott a radiologist who was the Commodore of the Club and one time president of the International Lightning Sail Association.
Originally the Egyptian Cup was a multi class regatta and in the 70s nationally ranked competitors came from all over Middle America. In 1966 79 boats were regis- tered and 15 were Scots. The classes included the Rebel, Flying Scot, C-Scow, Lightning, Y-Flyer and Sunfish. An early Scot sailor, Paul McRoy actually broadcast the regatta on the local radio station WCIL. Harry Carpenter remembers his first Cup at COLSC (hestayed with Paul McRoy) when Eric Ammann (then president of Gordon Douglas Boat Co.) sailed as his crew. He beat Jerry Hartman by half a boat length to win the regatta! The very first commercially delivered Flying Scot participated for over 40 years in the Egyptian Cup. It was boat #4 (1957) purchased by Jack and Lois Brown of Benton, IL. Clark Ashby of Carbondale, IL became its owner and last year he donated it to the Oakland Transportation Museum near the Scot factory in Deer Park, MD.
The Cup shown here is still in use and was donated by COLSC member James “Pops” Brigham, Sr., who was an old time A scow sailor from Lake Geneva WI. Ralph Darling won the first trophy in 1959. Paul Moore later added a new base for more names. Early and significant names on the trophy include Sandy Douglas (Harry reports it was one of Sandy’s favorite regattas), Buddy Melges, Jerry and Mike Hartman, Dale Vogel and Ken Tempelmeyer.
Unfortunately management of the Crab Orchard Refuge became increasingly restrictive and the club lease was not renewed. Club facilities were turned over to a miss-managed private marina in 1985 and club activity slowed to almost noth- ing in the late 80s. Fleets at the COLSC dwindled until there were only the Flying Scots and Hobie fleets. The club continued regional regattas for those classes. By 1991 all COLSC activity ceased. When the lights of Flying Scot Fleet 30 dimmed Scot sailor Clark Ashby turned to the Carlyle Sailing Association (CSA) and Scot Fleet 83 in 1993 to continue the Egyptian Cup. The trophy was transferred to Fleet 83 and the Egyptian Cup Regatta was revived.
The Cup is alive and well today. Each year Scot Fleet 83 hosts the Egyptian Cup at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle, Illinois. It’s not unusual to find Harry Carpenter at this regatta and the competitors have included some of the top sailors in the mid west such as Ted/Florence Glass, Bernie Knight, Ryan Malmgren/ Carrie Car- penter, Bill Vogler/Jill Rendleman , Jim Harris/Betty Struckhoff, Frank Gerry/Mari- anne Gerry, Ben Williams/Deb Aronson and others. Past winners include Gordon Douglas, Harry Carpenter, Tom Pinkel, Paul Moore, Bill Vogler, Larry Klick, Susie Stombaugh and Ryan Malmgren.
This year the Regatta will be held on June 3,4 & 5. It is an opportunity to sail Lake Carlyle and check out the great CSA facilities in advance of the 2012 NAC. Why not come out and be part of a wonderful tradition. Check out the registration form under the “fleets” button and then click flying scot at . 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Two Lovely collections of Glow Photos, With more to Come!

For those of you who would like to either re-visit your weekend or, if you missed it, wish you were there. Here are two collections of photos that are so wonderful it'll make you feel like you are still at Clinton Lake!!
Sorry for the crazy-long urls!!


Let me know if there is any trouble accessing these!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Glow in the Dark Marks End of Midwest District Regatta Season

Camping Chez Torgerson. from Left, Ben Williams, Geoff Endris and Luther Torgerson ~All photos by Erin Bauer

Well, at the risk of tooting my own (really Fleet 135's) horn, I'd say the Glow regatta was pretty much a success. The weather was a little toasty, but still reasonable for camping. We had the very able PRO Dan Goldberg squeeze two races out of the light, north-northeast winds Saturday and then two more great races Sunday when the wind finally arrived from the south.

Dan working his magic

We had 24 boats, which is a nice crowd. It goes along with what I've noticed all season: that every regional regatta we went to had 20 or more participants. We missed the Chattanooga contingent (their districts conflicted), Tom Dawson (lost his crew), the Benners (family wedding) and our own Eric Bussell (wife Nancy's birthday trip to New Orleans), but we managed to have a good time anyway.

from left, Dan, Nacho/ and Rick, Sarah and L.A. 
In Saturday's first race, in light wind, Bill Vogler and Jack McClurkin caught Bruce and Lynn Kitchen, who have been having an outstanding season. In the second race the Kitchens came back and, as the wind died, snuck up the right side of the lake, while Ben and Deb tried the left side, barely missing a few stumps and branches! It was a relief to the whole fleet when the RC shortened the course from five legs to three in dying breeze.
Bill, with white spinnaker, leading the fleet
This was the first year we used regatta network for scoring and apparently it was amazing. As soon as Trent Johnson got off the water and entered a few numbers, voila! The results were up! This is a far cry from back in the day when we hand wrote results on the white board at the pavilion.  I know not everyone loves registering on line but it sure did make scoring tons easier. ....

After everyone pulled their boats and started drinking beer we started the steak cookout, with the able assistance of Chris Tesdal. We really need to buy him a chef's hat one of these years. We had the usual amazing beers from Madison courtesy of Deb and Luther Torgerson, as well as many other adult beverage contributions, and chocolate cake to die for from Heather Johnson.

In addition to the fabulous food, we had fantastic entertainment courtesy of Jamie Cash and his wife, Jeannine. It was too dark to take a photo but it was impressive to see everyone happily surrounding Jamie and his keyboard and the bonfire and just mellowing out. Heaven. I really really REALLY hope they come back next year!
Jamie in the orange hat, on Mango, with Ken Johnson, Mango's owner.

Unfortunately this year, particularly with the light wind I think, we had to contend, not only with flies but an alarming number of yellow jackets. We have never had yellow jackets before, but I think by the end of Sunday we'd had three or four stings at least. Poor Linda Budden got stung on her tongue and Jamie's daughter also got stung. Ugh. Note to self, fix that.

Sunday's wind was a little more assertive, which made most people happy. Nothing like having a light wind day to appreciate one with a little more pressure. For those without radios there was some confusion about why the race committee kept setting up and then moving. It turns out there is a mythic underground obstacle somewhere along the shore near where the race committee set up. We urged them to move, which they did. Then, when Bryan Hunt and Tom Yeagle sailed by to check on their placement, WHAM! They hit the darn thing. So the race committee had to pick up and move again, this time farther out into the lake, which necessitated them changing the course from a W4  to a W5. For those who didn't understand what was happening, that added even more confusion when they realized boats were still racing after the fourth leg!

It's a funny thing when you complain for years and years about something and never get bothered enough to fix it. Well, that changed Sunday, and after the awards were done and everyone packed up, a few intrepid club members went out with a sonar device and marked the trouble spot. Was it a ridge? A chimney? The Loch Ness monster on holiday? It's hard to say...

Sunday was Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu's day, with two bullets. The Kitchens hung tough with a second and third place and the overall win for the weekend.  Congratulations Bruce and Lynn!! I know Angie took photos at the awards, so I'll put that up as soon as I get it.
Ryan and Stacey rounding the mark and heading upwind, t he rest of the fleet trailing well behind.
In addition to the gorgeous Glow in the Dark trophies made by Frank and Marianne, we had travel trophy awards.District Governor Bronson Bowling made the funkiest trophy ever: pieces of tire tread (relatively clean!) with each participant's name and sail number attached. Hilarious!! Fabulous! Ben and I won the trophy, but I'd say the winners were all the folks who traveled hundreds of miles to party and sail with their fellow Flying Scot sailors!

That's all for now, but there is a link to some photos that Erin Bauer took. More will come, I'm sure.

Craig Rost rigging his new boat at the dock

Charlie sailing Mango. Charlie is planning to join CLSA and
bring Mango, his uncle Ken's boat, with him!!

Frank and Marianne getting ready to leave the dock Saturday
They brought, not only Friday's brats, but made the
gorgeous trophies this year

Monday, August 22, 2016

Are YOU Eligible for the Travel Trophy?

We have one more District regatta and that is the Glow in the Dark scheduled for September 24-25 at Clinton Lake. (sign up NOW!) So I went through my records and have determined that we have five boats who are already eligible and EIGHT more boats eligible if they attend the Glow. If you wonder if that is you, contact me and I'll let you know!

To be eligible you must sail in three of the six qualifying district regattas (Eagle Creek -Indy; Egyptian Cup - Carlyle; Ephraim; Sheridan Shores - Chicago; Delavan Districts; Glow in the Dark). And next year we hope to add the Wooden Duck regatta at Medicine Lake in Minneapolis. It's no further than Ephraim, I'm telling you!

This year we will recognize every sailor who participated in the Travel Trophy. it's important to remember that the point of the trophy was to actively encourage traveling, so what better way to do that than to celebrate the travelers?

47th annual Smackdown now a Tradition!

Fleet 135 (Clinton Lake) and Fleet 83 (Carlyle Lake) continued their tradition of an annual smackdown regatta. Some of you might remember the awesome belt that Bryan Hunt created last year for the first 47th annual event. We hosted this year at Clinton and came up with some gorgeous weather. The Carlyle sailors, just two boats this year, came up the night before to join us for our annual Venetian night and cookout. We had a record 60 people attend the steak cookout and moonlight sail. Unbelievable! Sunday was crisp and bright with winds probably about 10 but up and down, dropping by the end of the day to more like 6, I guess. Rod Bussell ran five races and Bronson Bowling from Carlyle Lake came out on top, with Rick Wojnar from Clinton Lake winning the Fleet 135 trophy as the top performer from our fleet. The belt, however, stays with Clinton because as a team Fleet 135 outperformed Fleet 83 ... barely! It'll be interesting to see who prevails next year!
John Cassada trying on the belt with, from left, Lisa Harshbarger, Chris Tesdal, Rachel Bowling, Bronson Bowling, and on the right, Tom Yeagle

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Happy Ending to the Missing Trophies Story

Hi All! A quick up date on the missing trophies saga. I will not keep you in suspense: they have all been found! The single-hand was at Carlyle but turned over so only its back was visible. Hiding in plain sight! And the Wisconsin Cup, which does end up being a trophy specific to Ephraim, was sitting in that club's trophy case, having been retired many years ago.

So! It was great we sent out an APB and especially great that they have all been located. Bill Vogler promises to send Larry Klick the single hand trophy. Fleet 135 might get the fleet trophy next week, and the Wisconsin Cup is tucked safely in its home at E;hraim!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Districts Wrap Up .. and the Tale of the Missing Trophies...

So we waited, we waited, and we waited a little more. The motor boats came out and made enormous waves, a little wind winkled by, more motor boats drove by. We watched. We waited. Larry Kmiecik, of Delavan brought me inside to see all the great photos his crew took on the water Saturday and he and I went through all those, picking which ones he'd send to me. People started packing up their boats. ... And then the horn went off and that was it. The regatta was over.

The districts ended more with a whimper than a bang, which happens, as we all know, and I will say here that I think Delavan did a very good job on this event. Kudos to them! Yesterday's conditions were great, and we had far more wind than the predictions I saw called for.

Meanwhile, the trophies were handed out. I'm proud to say Fleet 135 won the Fleet Trophy, with the three highest finishing boats (1st, 2nd and 5th). Hopefully that trophy will be found in the coming week and delivered to Clinton Lake soon...And when I get the photos Linda Vitt took you'll see we wore our neon shirts just like we did at the NAC. Subtle, we are not! At the districts we also have a century trophy for the top finishing boat whose captain and crew's combined ages are 100 or more. That described all but about two or three boats this weekend. We've talked for awhile about the need for a Whippersnappers Trophy or something. We really need a trophy for the team whose combined ages are either under 100 or under ... I don't know ... 50? Am I right? Let's do this!!

Meanwhile, it pains me to mention that we have not done a great job as a district keeping track of our perpetual trophies. The fleet trophy was not in attendance but we think we know where it is. The Single Hand trophy (which Larry Klick won Friday evening) is missing, as is something the Faugusts remembered as the Wisconsin Cup, which is a big, silver-colored champagne bucket-shaped trophy. No one is clear on its history, but if someone comes across it, please let us know! And perhaps we need to begin a practice of keeping a ledger of the trophies we do have and who is in possession of them. It's a shame to lose track of this treasured objects.

I know I mentioned photos, and there are some. I just don't have them yet, but when I do, I'll post them here, pronto.

Next and final district regatta of the season is the Glow, September 24-25. We heard from many people this weekend who are planning on coming. Hope to see you there!

Oh, as a P.S. : Larry Klick actually sold Popeye to a couple new to the Flying Scot who had been shopping around the last couple of weeks. I didn't catch their last name, but they are Jim and Jennifer? Janet? from Mills Lake, just an hour from Delavan. They bought Larry's boat and then Jim convinced him to come to the Glow and crew for him. It's gonna be epic!!

Where Will Districts Be Next Year?

This morning we awoke to virtually zero wind, so while we waited to see what might happen, we had so much fun visiting one another. From my perspective it was great to see the Delavan sailors, who we don't often see on the regatta circuit. Ironically, it is because they have such a strong club racing program. They are understandably unwilling to leave town and jeopardize  their club standings.

I also got to catch up with Larry Klick and Mike Minsk from Medicine Lake, MN, who I haven't seen in a long time. You all may remember Larry sailing the bright red boat, Ketchup. He recently sold that boat and this weekend was sailing "Popeye." Also, I met several other sailors from Medicine Lake, including Mariah Minsk, Caroline Urban, two young women and enthusiastic sailors from that club. We talked a lot about making sure to include the Wooden Duck regatta, which I believe is the last weekend of July, in district publicity and to make sure we include it in the regattas eligible for the Travel Trophy. I will definitely be going to the Wooden Duck, since I now have family in the Minneapolis area. Also, if anyone knows the sailors from Neenah-Nodaway, that's another club I'd love to see become more active on the regatta scene.

Meanwhile, as we were all standing around, Bronson decided to hold the district meeting. That's how it works, remember. Every year we hold a district regatta and at that event we discuss district business, like where will we meet next year, how do we get more people to travel, how to grow membership, where and when are the national, sanctioned events, etc etc.

The most important question is, where will districts be next year? It was decided, a little unfairly, since no one from that club was here, that it was Madison's turn! Now, I will say, we haven't yet checked with the good people in Madison, but I hope that, if we all stand ready to lend a hand in any way we can, that we can make this work. We'll keep you posted on that dream! Another important element to "voting" for Madison is that, like Delavan, it enjoys a relatively central location. We all marveled at how central Delavan is within our far-flung district. Not too far from Ephraim, not too far from Clinton...Carlyle and Eagle Creek a bit far, but you can't have it all. And our friends in Iowa....well...there's always Medicine Lake!

Similarly, Madison not too far from Delavan, might also be pretty well located, which is bound to help attendance.

We also elected Chris Tesdal as Bronson's "lieutenant governor," a position we didn't know was a thing until this weekend. Chris will help Bronson get the word out about all the things listed in that top paragraph. Bill Vogler gave a report about upcoming national events. Nationals, for example, start June 25, 2017, and are being held in Sandusky, OH. It's going to be a great venue, plus there are tons of things your kids and spouses would like to do, like go to Cedar Point Amusement Park. Stay tuned for more details. And speaking of kids, if your kids have spring break March 12-16 consider taking them to New Orleans. While you sail, your family can enjoy the delights of things like the Insectarium, the WWII museum (best museum I've ever been to), fantastic food, delightful waterfront and warm weather. I got up and urged everyone at this event to consider traveling more. You all have heard that spiel enough I won't repeat it here!

How About This?!

Well the wi-fi isn't working right now or I'd put up the photo of the results from Saturday, but I'll just tell you: a FOUR-WAY TIE for first place!! and a tie also for second place!!
Four boats have nine points, Ben and me, Frank and Marianne, Michael and Jennifer and Cain and Gordy. And then Eric Bussell (with Isak Petersen) and Bronson and Rachel Bowling are tied for second.

okay, here's the photo of the results...okay, it's not a great photo, and you'll see that with a tie breaker Eric is, in fact, ahead of Bronson, but still!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Day One of Districts

A quick post, no photos (and still looking for Ephraim photos, btw) before dinner to report on a great day of sailing. I think the fleet has 25 boats from all over the district, including district governor Bronson Bowling from Carlyle, Larry Klick and his crew, Jeff, from Medicine Lake, MN, who I haven't seen in several years, many local Delavan sailors who we don't often see on the circuit, and the Faugusts and Cain Goettleman and Gordy Roberts from Ephraim. We are missing Ryan Malmgren, who went to the Saratoga regatta, and Jay Lott, from Ephraim, and John Cassada from Carlyle, but other than that we have a great turn out!

The predictions were for light wind and on Delavan, which often has tons of motor boat traffic I was anticipating a lot of bouncing and not tons of sailing. But two things happened. First, it was gray and kind of cool, which kept the motor boats away. Second, it did, in fact, blow, so we had some good racing!

Delavan always holds one race in the morning and then breaks for lunch. We had a five-leg windward-leeward run by a highly competent race committee. Competition was tough, but Frank and Marianne Gerry got off the line first and fastest and led the entire race, occasionally being pressured by Cain and Gordy and by the Faugusts.

We took a break for lunch and spent a lot of time worrying about our boats bashing up on the docks (see above, re motor boats). I honestly think it might be worth it next time to pull our boat at lunch. Because we had about an hour and a half break. Everyone enjoyed a delectable lunch and shared stories of their on-the-water escapades. We were all admiring how Cain's boat was managing to not get banged around and just was hanging out, a nice distance from the dock and away from other boats. We wondered, did he have an anchor out? We couldn't see an anchor line. .. and then, gradually we realized the boat was just floating away!! I went to find Cain, who came and stood on the shore scratching his head. Then, next thing we knew, Rick Wojnar, from Fleet 135 (here sailing with Chris Tesdal, and so great to see him here!) and jumped in the water and pulled the boat to safety. Yay Rick! I think there was another young guy, don't know his hame but he's sailing a bright yellow boat, who was disappointed he didn't get a chance to jump in. It's nice to know we have people on hand game to come to the rescue!

We were all feeling pretty darn snoozy when the race committee sent us back out, but I imagine we all got into race mode in time for the next race. We had two more five leg races. Each moment we thought the wind would die, but it never did. It came up and down a lot and shifted a lot, but it never left us entirely. I will say, not to toot our own horn, but Ben and I did have a fun race, the first one after lunch. Somehow we rounded first at the mark and then got slingshotted out ahead of the fleet. Eric said after we rounded that first mark the wind died. In any case we led the whole fleet by almost a leg for about three of the five legs. That was fun, I admit it!!

Anyway, as soon as I can I'll post standings, but now it's time for dinner!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Districts at Delavan

The weather prediction is looking great for our districts this weekend at Delavan! Moderate winds and moderate temperatures will guarantee an awesome weekend. Remember to pay your FSSA membership before you come, if you haven't already re-joined, and bring your party shoes! There are some links to hotels, etc, at the Delavan Yacht Club website, if you need help finding housing.

See you there!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lots of Boats, Not Much Wind, But Tons of Great Racing and Fun

This Ephraim regatta was remarkable for its decidedly light winds (from the north) mixed with lots of waves.  But PRO Dan Goldberg managed to use every bit of wind we had.

Meanwhile, Ben and I had what Linda Vitt later described to me as the “cloud of doom” over our heads Saturday morning as everything we did kind of went to sh**. First we managed to drop the pin that holds the rudder on the gudgeon into the water at the dock. Plunk! Buh-BYE … Happily, Ben was able to buy another one since Karen Carpenter had traveled with Harry and was manning the parts truck!  Later that day we lost the white plastic top of our boom crutch when it fell in the water and sunk like a stone. Not to mention, my brain felt so discombobulated I forgot about three things I usually bring on the boat, including my shoes! At least now I know this syndrome has a name. Thanks Linda!

With 37 boats, the largest turnout of an Ephraim regatta that wasn’t a district event, the starting line was very crowded. Dan set a good, long line, but that didn’t prevent several general recalls caused by too many sailors who lost sight of where the line actually was. Dan was patient with us, but put up the “I” flag on Saturday (can’t be over the line one minute before the start and if you are, go around the ends) and the “Z” flag on Sunday (same as “I” plus a 20% penalty if you are over early) when it became clear we needed some extra encouragement to stay on the proper side of the line.

We were on the water for about five hours Saturday and managed only two full races, though not for lack of trying. After a general recall, the first race got started just as the wind died. The course was so long that no boat made it to the first mark in the 40-minute time limit. I think that might be the first time I’ve ever been in a race that exceeded the time limit, but Ben and I were very relieved because we could not get the boat moving no matter what we tried! We even heard of people drifting backwards! Without wind but with waves, I can see how that might happen. We were not the only boat that, when we saw what was happening, shifted our compass from tactical mode to timer mode and breathed a sigh of relief when the abandon horn sounded.

Still, who can complain about being on the water in Ephraim? The skies were bright blue, the air was crisp (though toasty by the end of the day) and the water was refreshing (I jumped in between races).  It helped that, soon afterwards the abandoned race, the wind really filled in just fine and we had two good 50-minute-long, three-leg races. I think we even hiked some. 

As I mentioned, 37 boats participated this year in the event, the 111th running of the Ephraim regatta. It was notable for the geographic range of sailors, which besides including almost 10 boats from other clubs in the Midwest district, also included two boats from Ohio (Benners and Kitchens), one from Chattanooga, TN (Rob Fowler and Linda Lind), Maryland (Harry Carpenter and his crew Melanie Dunham), Louisiana (Larry Taggart and Carrie Berger), and Tom McNally, all the way from Florida. Tom had business in the area and managed to time it just right so he could join us at Ephraim. Organizer Jennifer Ikeda even found him a boat owner who was looking for a skipper! The stars aligned, which is always nice when it happens. But in addition to the travelers, my understanding is that every single Ephraim boat, including two that were kind of in storage of site, were used.

And yet, due to some amazing organizing, there was space for every single boat except one at the Ephraim pier. Only one boat was at the public dock, and, believe me, I think they were thrilled to have a little peace and quiet!! (Looking at you, Frank and Marianne!).

Sunday’s predictions looked really light — as in winds of one mph with gusts to three  — and we were not feeling too optimistic as we joined Stacey and Ryan and the Benners and the Kitchens at the local coffee shop for breakfast. But, surprisingly, when we got to the club the wind was pretty steady. We didn’t really trust that it would hold, but we still saddled up, got the boat in the water and headed out to the racecourse. Where we had, much to our surprise and delight, two very good, long races before the 12:30 deadline. Four total races in a very light wind weekend is the mark of a very successful regatta, if you ask me.

Ben and I had planned to leave right after the regatta, but once the boats were put away, one protest was heard and the awards were given out (congratulations to Ryan and Stacey who won, and to Bruce and Lynn Kitchen, who on their anniversary weekend opted to come to Ephraim for the first time and caught every boat except Ryan and Stacey), we decided to stay one more night. Ryan and Stacey very generously shared their family home with many sailors this weekend, including us. We were having so much fun we decided to stretch our weekend a bit longer.  And, as often happens at Flying Scot events, one thing led to another Sunday evening and their house soon filled with almost 20 sailors, making and drinking mixed beverages and snacks, admiring the sunset on the water, eating pizza and retelling sailing stories from the memories we made this weekend, plus from many many other weekends.

And, in the end, isn’t that why we do what we do?

Photos to follow. Results are at