Sunday, June 25, 2017

The NAC has Begun

And It Is So Much Fun ...  Even though we haven't even sailed yet! Everyone at Sandusky Sailing Club is so so friendly and helpful, and Marty Sweterlitsch has gathered a crack team of people for
Flying Scot is an outstanding class because we stick so closely to one-design principles. This means no body gets an advantage through special equipment or spending more money. It's all down to the skipper and crew.
Eric Bussell is up to his usual outstanding publicity efforts. Just this morning he took this video to show all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into holding a national event like this!

Unfortunately, the wind is so high that the women's and juniors' event is under postponement. It doesn't look too good, but we'll see. Ben and I are going to duck out with Lynn and Bill Bruss from Chattanooga to eat some local perch. I love sailing!!  ;-)

Next year's NAC is at Rush Creek Yacht Club at Lake Ray Hubbard and they brought FIVE boats to this year's event and to study how to host this kind of event, so that's really really awesome!

Monday, June 19, 2017

22 Boats on the Line at Carlyle Egyptian Cup

from left, Chris Wojnar, Angie Hunt, Rick Wojnar and Bryan Hunt

CLSA teams, including Andy Hall in the red tshirt and Anne in front of him

This year's Egyptian Cup boasted 22 boats on the line(and there would have been more if there hadn't been an over abundance of weddings this past weekend) and outstanding conditions, not to mention amazing food and plenty of dark and stormies! We were sad to miss the Pharaoh, Mike Pitzer, but we understand he had a previous commitment. Popular guy!

Before we began PRO Ted Beier announced that because conditions for Sunday didn't look too good, we might sty out for four races Saturday if the winds held. And they did. The race committee ran two windward leeward races before lunch in winds out of the west-southwest of between 8-12. Each leg was 3/4 mile long. After lunch, race committee tossed in an Olympic Modified course and then another WL course. Four races made fora long, long day, but the winds held steady at about 8-12. Racing was highly competitive with a different boat winning every race. At the end of the day, the top four boats were separated by only five points.

We all came off the lake about 5;30 exhausted. Happily there were showers, beer, dark and stormies rum and ginger beer) and a delicious dinner once again prepared by Greg and Melissa Ziegenfuss of Butler's Pantry. Yum!!

from left, Marianne Gerry, Rachel and Bronson Bowling and Heather Johnson

Saturday night in the middle of the night a major storm blew through. The thunder and lightning and buckets and buckets of rain continued for about an hour — the rain for many many hours — and the temperature dropped significantly. As I lay in my tent I was really happy we knew it was coming and everyone made sure to tie their boats down very securely.

Sunday morning we had one more race to do. It took us about two minutes to drain all the water from our boat! The winds were quite high at 7 am, but by 9, when the race started, they had moderated to about 10-12 with some gusts. Even the gusts were quite well behaved, however. The day was overcast and some looming dark clouds on the southern horizon were a little nerve wracking, but as one sailor said, with Ted as our PRO we were in very good hands.

Bruce and Lynn Kitchen sailed another strong race, finishing first. Frank and Marianne had a great overall regatta, finishing second. Ben and Deb caught Bill Vogler in the race Sunday morning to snatch third. But one of the best things about the weekend was that nine boats traveled to Carlyle from Clinton Lake Sailing Association. Considering Eric Bussell's dream last fall was to have 10 boats traveling within five years, we all felt pretty darn great about that accomplishment. In addition to the Gerrys, Ben and Deb, and Eric — with crew Lisa Harshbarger, the CLSA boats included Anne and Andy Hall participating in their first regatta and Tom and Debbie Yeagle (I believe this was Tom's first regatta in which he skippered and it was definitely Debbie's first regatta, yay!). In addition we had Rick and CHris Wojnar, who had a strong showing despite not finishing Sunday's race, Angie and Bryan Hunt, who had a single digit finish Sunday, Stephanie and Chris Tesdal, just in from Las Vegas and looking good, and Heather and Trent Johnson, who after doing the Egyptian Cup last year and Cowan Lake a few weeks ago, are regatta road warriors now!

This time next week we'll be at the North American Championships and we'll try to do brief daily updates from there on this blog. For results for the weekend you can go to

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Midwest District Travel Series Begins at Eagle Creek

You heard it here first folks: The Flying Scot Midwest District Travel Series has officially started. OK, OK, so I’m a bit late in posting this, but that doesn’t make it any less official.
Team Wreckless and Kitchen Sink III racing neck to neck

Eagle Creek Sailing Club and local legend Geoff Endris hosted a wonderful event. A Friday night welcome party was held as well wishers from the club joined Scot Sailors cool their traveling heals.  Several stragglers missed the welcome party. The Bowling’s (Team Wreckless) were late leaving their junior sailing camp and stopped to get a hotel room on the road. Lame-os.  The most late of the stragglers was none other than Stacey and Ryan sporting their new travel van.  Just after the competitor’s meeting, a MAD Sails Van rolls up.  Their tardiness was due to a faulty road, causing a tire blowout and emergency stop on a long stretch of highway somewhere. Stacey, never to shy away from a dirty job, jumped right to getting the tire changed. Hey, that’s the story I heard. Anyway, when they rolled into the parking lot at Eagle creek, a little behind the 8-ball in regatta preparation mode, you’d have thought that NASCAR was holding try-outs for pit crew of the year. The tire blowout had done some damage to the fender and while Stacey spun off the old and spun on the new, nothing could be done to adjust the damaged fender. No worries as it only prevented the trailer from going backwards. Here’s where the pit crew tryouts began. First was Bruce Kitchen, attacking the carriage bolts but didn’t quite have the technique, or second tool. Then Tyler helped with some local knowledge regarding the trailer, flying scot sailboats and helped Ryan and Stacey set the mast and rig the boat. Then Bronson tossed Bruce a 9/16” wrench and some chanel locks and before you knew it, the boat was splashed and the Regatta was on.

I can’t say now what we were thinking. I can tell you that the ride out to the battle grounds was only slightly more tricky that the racing that day. Anyone reading this and who knows just a little about how the ECSC is situated knows how narrow and shifty that long dogleg entrance can be. Especially when there’s some serious breeze on the outside.

 Rachel and I started the first race well and managed to play the oscillating lottery wind machine to make up for our poor sailing ability. But, like all games of chance, the house eventually wins, as team Wreckless slipped further and further back in the standings.  The breeze was moderate to puffy with equal chances of a lift or a headed that could make or break your race. Keeping your wits about you was the name of the game.

One more kudos to  Geoff Endris and his well-oiled Regatta Team . They made sure that everyone was well lubricated and even better fed with some awesome BBQ with all the trimmings.

The night closed down as the ISS (International Space Station) did a perfect fly-over. While those scientists and go fast pilots make the trip around the earth about every hour, only once or twice a month can they be observed (weather permitting). You can’t say you didn’t learn something today.

Racing continued after a hearty breakfast into some even more serious winds. 2 races (I think) were sailed. The first was a bit light, with more of the patchy, puffy conditions. Race 2 was a bit more about survival, keeping the boat down and not slipping sideways so much. Rachel and I did a little better than our average, we seemed to find our grove and relax in the physically trying conditions. While the race committee pondered beginning a third race, our good buddy John Cassada and new to Scot sailing crew Paul Dixon, were both in the water observing how a flying scot sails downwind on autopilot. For more on this, check out the last 75 or so photos on eagle creek sailing club’s facebook page of the event. I’m sure John will be happy to narrate the play by play.

All’s well that ends well and we returned back to the harbor for a filling lunch and fueled up to hit the road. For me, it was one the first time in the season that I had seen and visited face to face my Scot family of friends and boy, we had a great time.  We’re looking forward the Egyptian Cup Regatta at Carlyle Sailing Association next weekend and the North American Championship the week after.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Better Late Than Never ..

Well, it's been 10 days since the Cowan Lake Flying Pig regatta that we went to the first weekend of June and I feel terrible that I haven't written about it before. Time flies when you are having fun, I guess!
from left, Trent and Heather Johnson, Deb Aronson, Ben Williams, Marianne and Frank Gerry, Eric Bussell and Tom Yeagle
First and foremost, we had a great time!! We had FOUR boats from Clinton Lake: us, Frank and Marianne Gerry and Eric Bussell with guest crew Tom Yeagle and Trent and Heather Johnson! We were especially excited that the Johnsons joined us because they just got bit by the regatta bug last year and now they are all in. I will say they are professional campers and bring all the right touches, so if you can ever pitch your tent near them you might benefit from their beer and food collection and their masterful management of ice. Trent has  PhD in beer and ice management. Just sayin'. It is especially fitting that they start their regatta season off at Cowan because  they bought their boat, Kitchen Sink II, from Lynn and Bruce Kitchen who are members of  Cowan Lake.

On a more somber note, for those of you who hadn't heard, Frank and Marianne's beloved boat, Eva, got totaled in a traffic jam outside Indianapolis on the way to the Hoover Lake regatta. The guy behind them was at fault, but even so, he got Eva's mast right through his windshield. Happily no one was hurt but meanwhile, Frank and Marianne are borrowing boats as they can until Flying Scot Inc can build them a new boat. This weekend they got a strong blue boat called Puff Daddy that Bruce found for them. They seemed very happy with that boat and made a particularly strong showing Sunday, when we had some real decent wind.

Speaking of wind, let's just say the wind Saturday was the kind of day you have nightmares about. Just little ghosting bits of wind skipping randomly around the lake. The first race stands out as particularly frustrating. We were battling with the Kitchens downwind when we heard that dreaded sound of other hulls cutting through the water. Sure enough, behind us the wind began to fill and and everyone behind us went right on by us. We will not reveal what words were spoken on our boat. Nor will we discuss the language on Mark and Maria Benner's boat by the end of the day. Let's just say in light wind voices carry really really really far!!

We were all relieved when race committee decided to call it a day after two races, hoping they could get three in on Sunday, with better winds forecast. Poor Trent and Heather came off the lake not so sure they liked sailing anymore. Happily, Sunday changed their mind back to loving sailing. Phew!!

Anyway, we had a delicious dinner and a wonderful band, which I don't have a photo of. The music brought out the hip shaking in some of us and the rest of us really enjoyed the evening as well, even if we didn't expend as much energy.
We had a BAND! And, as you can see, dancing!! We can still party (at least some of us!)
Ben Williams, Geoff Endris, Frank Gerry after sailing Sunday

Sunday dawned with very very light wind but we all dragged our carcasses out to the course. Eternal optimism of the sailor! And, lo and behold, the wind filled in and we had three lovely lovely races!! The Benners, despite the language on the boat Saturday, had two fantastic finishes this weekend. Remember, "they can't take that away from you!!"

Trophies, both Flying Pig and Ohio District

Anyway, it was a great weekend and I have to thank Heather for being so good at taking photos! Makes all the difference, right?
 Results are at so head on over there and check 'em out!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sailing Season Shifts into High Gear

Here comes June and with it, regattas every weekend, at least as far as some of us in the Midwest District are concerned. Granted, this weekend is an Ohio District event, the Flying Pig at Cowan Lake (Fleet #1), but since it’s only four hours from us (Clinton Lake sailors) we tend to think of it as a local event (don’t count the time zone change). Next week is the IndyRegatta, not to be confused with the Indy 500, which was last weekend, but almost as fast!
 It looks like there will be a great turnout for that event. The club is just off I-74 on the west side of Illinois. This is one of my favorite clubs, with the open air clubhouse up on a bluff and overlooking the harbor.

And then, and THEN, the following weekend just keep going west on 74 … well you have to merge onto 70 W at a certain point, but you get the idea. … anyway, the next weekend is the hallowed Egyptian Cup at Carlyle Lake, IL.
This year the big change is we are allowed to camp on the grounds rather than next door at the Eldon Hazlet State Park, so that’s really awesome!

And, if that isn’t enough sailing for you Midwest District enthusiasts, don’t forget the 60th Anniversary NACs!!! They are being held this year at Sandusky Sailing Club in Sandusky, OH. And, although the event is being hosted by the Ohio District, we all really, really want a good Midwest District showing. How many people have already registered from the Midwest? Can I have a show of hands?!

By my count we’ve got 12 boats from the Midwest registered. Let’s go for 20 and do the Midwest District proud!!

If you haven’t already registered, go straight to this link and get cracking!