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.

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