Monday, May 9, 2016

42 Boats: Can't Think of a Better Way to Spend Mothers Day!

There were 42 boats at Lake Norman this weekend, which is pretty impressive all by itself. Factor in that it was Mothers Day weekend, and it's extra impressive.  I counted only about six wife-husband boats,  so an awful lot of sailing wives were on their own on Sunday....

Joe, Beau, Stacy and Beckett Brake

But Stacy Brake, sailing with her husband, Joe, (below, right) and their two boys, Beau and Beckett had a pretty much perfect weekend. They sailed all together as a family for the whole regatta, and it was blowing stink!! This was the first regatta for Beau and Beckett, though they sail constantly with their parents. I'd say both days the steady winds were about 10-13 with gusts in the low 20s. BOTH days. Whew! They got multiple ovations during the awards ceremony, not to mention several top five finishes.

And speaking of cute family things, check out this sweater!! That's Joe Brake on the right, whose friend, Laura Bolin, knit it for their boys, Beau and Beckett. Joe is passing it on to Tyler - and Carrie- Andrews. Carrie couldn't come to Lake Norman, but Tyler was a happy recipient of the little treasure!

Joe Brake (right) passing on a treasured handknit sweater to Tyler Andrews, whose wife, Carrie, is expecting their first child. The sweater was knit for Joe's boys by Flying Scot sailor (now of the Pacific District) Laura Bolin. and has been outgrown by them. Can't wait to see it on the soon-to-be-born Andrews, Harry and Karen Carpenter's first grandchild, btw. Also, apparently it's been worn by several other Flying Scot sailors' offspring, which I hadn't realized!!
The race committee this weekend was masterful. They got races of promptly, with no messing around. They communicated well with the fleet over the radio. They probably did well with flags and horns too, but it was so windy I never heard them and I was too busy hiking to see the flags!
Sean O'Donnell hosted the event and it was his first time. So, in addition to running the show he somehow had energy to also place second overall in a very decisive performance. Way to go !

In addition, the fleet hosted a clinic Friday afternoon with both Brian  Hayes and Bill Wiggins. Although it was gusty Friday also, they managed to do some on the water video-ing and then analyze it exhaustively back on land.

And speaking of videos, Sean O'Donnell's son took some great videos that are really fun to watch!

As for Midwest representation, we had three boats I think: Eric Bussell (Windtalker) with Geoff Endris (Blown Away) crewing for him; Frank and Marianne Gerry; and Ben and me. Frank and Marianne  made it in time for the clinic, only to tip over. In all the years I've known them, that's the first time they've capsized .. and they didn't even turtle. Marianne said the water was nice and warm, so they washed their boat out nicely. I think they capsize  once per decade, so the two CO2 cartridges we were able to give Frank (we don't have that kind of vest anymore) should last him for quite a while! Seeing that, Eric and Geoff decided to wash out Windtalker, too. Only they did it the last race Saturday. Did I mention how gusty it was? They also didn't turtle. Nice job! Eric calculated they were in about 10th when they went over and I know they had several other very good finishes, so all in all it was a very successful weekend for them. Ben and I were also very happy with our performance, except for a poor start in the third race on Saturday. Those were pretty trying conditions and we are both still a little sore. How awesome is it to be able to go away for a weekend and have such an exciting and challenging experience?

Results are already posted at day we'll even get host clubs to include crew names!!

Speaking of results, I have to give an enormous shout out to Bob Fields of the LNYC Flying Scot fleet, who made these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Lazy Susans out of reclaimed wood. To hear him describe each type of wood and point out the nail holes was just fabulous! I will treasure these forever!!
There is Bob Fields, who made these beautiful trophies, in the background.

Attention Midwest District members: next race up and the first in our travel trophy series is the Indianapolis regatta May 21-22. I'm sorry we've conflicted with Carlyle's Open House, but hopefully others will be able to make it!!great video

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Headed to the Great 48: Caught in the Derby Crush

Just on our way to the Great 48 and putting a few hours in Thursday after work. Little did we realize that even starting in Indianapolis, hotels are all booked solid - Derby traffic!! We had one option, but they were charging $250! At that price, Ben and I will sleep in our car. But we finally squeezed into a La Quinta in Columbus, IN, for a mere $139. Feels like a bargain! Plus the woman on the phone was so friendly and she had such a calming voice. Just what I needed.

In other news, some of you may know that I have a book about racehorse Rachel Alexandra  coming out this time next year. Well, tomorrow is the Kentucky Oaks, the race that is the filly equivalent of the Derby. In 2009 Rachel won it by more than 20 lengths, and tomorrow her daughter, Rachel's Valentina, is the  favorite at 7-2 odds. Hope I get to Lake Norman in time to watch her race on television. I would NOT want to be at Churchill Downs this weekend. It'll be an absolute mob scene.

The Oaks is at 5:45 pm, 11th race of the day. Tune in, if you can!