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 . 

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