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 .