|Here are some of the Midwest District participants (except Eric Bussell and Ben Williams, Harry Haack and Eileen Mueller and including Bruce and Lynn Kitchen, honorary Midwest District members)|
Today the wind had come down enough to sail so we went out at 10 am for the qualifying rounds. It was another long sail upwind for an hour to get to the course, just like at Newport last year. That's life, I guess...The wind was still quite high, and more than a dozen boats stayed on shore, happy to be put in the Challenger fleet. A few more came out of the harbor and then returned. That's all good; people need to sail at their comfort level.
In my house I always tell my kids that if they do something they don't think they can or don't want to do it will be a growth experience. Not surprisingly, they hate when I say that. But I will say today, many people who sailed that first race had a growth experience, in a good way. Specifically, John Cassada of Carlyle Lake had a great growth experience day. As a new sailor and a first-time NAC participant, he had an amazing growth experience to sail in those conditions. Anyway, the first race was a four-leg, downwind finish. I will say this, the wind may have been high, but the gusts were not out of crazy directions or sudden, so it felt mostly manageable. Everyone flew the spinnaker, for example. I use that as an example, because the second race the wind came up enough that another dozen boats went in.
Perhaps the less said about the second race the better. The wind was very very strong, to the point where not only was the main flogging, but I often had to pop the jib so we would not go over. ... and that was going upwind! We were in the first start the second race and as far as I could see no one flew their spinnaker. Former NAC champ Jeff Linton said, when we got back to shore, that was the first time in his Flying Scot career that he did not fly the chute. That is saying something!!
Anyway, we had only two races. Sustained 18 mph with gusts to 24, and that was that, we headed in!
Tomorrow we start the finals. Midwest District boats in the Championship division are: Eric Bussell and Perry Cameron; Frank and Marianne Gerry; Jennifer and Michael Faugust; Bronson and Rachel Bowling; and Ben Williams and Deb Aronson. The Challenger fleet, meanwhile, has got Bill Vogler and Jack McClurkin, Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu, John Cassada and Nadia Reynolds, Shirley Bild and Christine Beutler, Eric Sutton and Ed Yingling, and Harry Haack and Eileen Mueller of Delavan Yacht Club.
Off to take a hot shower!! More tomorrow.