Monday, April 24, 2017

29 Boats at Chattanooga, Though Not Much Wind!

 We had so much fun at the Chattanooga Choo Choo this weekend, even though we did a lot of this:

and not so much of this: note, this photo is from 2016!
Of course, we all know you cannot control the weather!

Ben and I couldn't leave town until 4:30 Friday so we spent the night on the road, and drove from Nashville to Chattanooga Saturday morning in pouring rain. Miraculously, the rain cleared as we arrived in Chattanooga and there even seemed to be some wind. We set up our boat, visiting with a few folks before the skippers' meeting.We caught up on the latest news, which was that Bill Vogler from Carlyle Lake had taken delivery of his brand new boat. We heard rumors of other regular racers getting new boats and Ben and I talked a little bit about the possibility of a new boat...But it's all talk on our part at this point!!

Anyway, 29 is a lot of boats for a regional regatta, and one of the locals had the idea to pair up the out-of-towners with the locals, in a kind of quasi team racing that served also as an ice breaker. They had two pots with names, one with locals, one with visitors and they called out the names in pairs so everyone knew who was paired with who (actually I guess technically that should be "whom"). There were plenty of hoots and hollers about the pairings and it lent a very fun element to the event. There was no actual team racing on the water, but the team with the highest finishes won a special trophy at the end of the regatta. The winner (spoiler alert) was Lynn Bruss and Tyler Andrews. Woot Woot!!

Anyway, we all headed to the course and got ready to sail. The wind had dropped a bit, but there was plenty to race in....Still, 29 boats on the line and you know what happens.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1, START: Toot Toot!! General recall. Okay, try again, this time with the I flag: 5,4,3,2,1 START Toot Toot! Another general recall! Okay, let's see, third time's the charm? Yup! Off we went on the first leg of a four-leg race. The less said about our particular leg the better, but the wind got lighter and lighter and lighter as the race progressed, to the point that, by the time everyone had rounded the windward mark, the race committee had shortened the course to just two legs. The race committee set up for another race, but soon realized there just wasn't enough wind. We happily waited on the water for close to an hour, but by then we began to give up hope. Plus, the beer keg was calling!

On shore we enjoyed margaritas (thank you John Kreidler!) and dark and stormies (Thank you Privateer volunteers!) and then a delicious cook-your-own steak dinner and lots and lots of visiting. We caught up with sailors from Birmingham and Muscle Shoals, Alabama,  Lake Hartwell and Lake Keowee, SC, from Cowan Lake and  Moraine State Park, both in Ohio, Tyler came from Deep Creek, MD,  Ryan and Stacey came from Madison, WI, Bill Vogler, John Cassada and Rachel Bowling from Carlyle Lake, Mark and Michele Taylor came from Sarasota, Florida. And I"m sure I'm forgetting some clubs. It was like the United Nations of Flying Scot sailing!!

Sunday dawned rainy and it just got rainier. When there was a little wind the visibility was so poor the race committee made the call to cancel. We all de-rigged in the rain, but even though we were damp our spirits remained high!!

Next regatta for us, and perhaps other Midwest sailors? Great 48 at Lake Norman first weekend of May. Hope to see you there!

The final results were:
Scott Cline on left, Rob Fowler on right

  1. Rob Fowler and Scott Cline
  2. Mark and Michele Taylor
  3. Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu
  4. Richard Wade and his crew that I don't know
  5. Bruce and Lynn Kitchen

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