Florida District

The Florida District encompasses most of the fleets in the state of Florida.Active fleets include Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Sarasota, Coconut Grove Sailing Center in Miami, Rudder Club of Jacksonville, Lake Eustis Sailing Club in Eustis, Davis Island Yacht in Tampa and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club in Port Charlotte. With developing fleets in Merritt Island, Orlando and Key Largo.

Florida has an active open circuit consisting of one regatta a month from October through May. Race Schedules are posted on FSSA and Facebook. You can follow the Florida District at


Any questions about the Florida District or the Florida Circuit please contact the District Governor, Tom McNally.

2019 Florida District 4 - Davis Island Yacht Club - from Eric Bussell

2019DIwinners 2019Morgans
Winners 0 Mid fleet - Eric Bussell and Rich Wojnar, Mark and Michelle Taylor (3), Jeff and AMy SMith Linton (1) and Rob Whittemore and John Wake (2) Chris, Monica and Oliver Morgan enjoying their time in Tamo Bay!

From the Midwest District Blog - by Eric Bussell

The extent to which local regatta hosts go out of their way to welcome and accommodate travelers continues to blow me away.  During the snowbird series, the whole Florida team has taken things to another level.  Thanks to Mark Taylor and Jeff Linton, our boats were at Davis Island Yacht Club with the masts already rigged.  Andy Hayward graciously allows us snowbirds to park our boats and vehicles on his property just outside Tampa of all winter for free.   To help with logistics, Mark Taylor offers to have our car and boat at his house waiting to save on Uber costs and travel time.   They’ll always let us crash on the couch if we need to stay until Monday to catch our flight.  This past weekend, Jeff and Amy Linton hosted a football watching gathering on Sunday and offered us burgers and beds.  How do you return the favors?   

Turns out Michelle Taylor (from Kankakee IL and a fellow Cubs fan) is a huge fan of Monicals Pizza from Central Illinois so I smuggled 10 frozen Monicals Pizzas to Tampa in a cooler bag.   I planned to buy a handle of Captain Morgan for Andy and Lisa Hayward on Saturday before the racing, but Melanie McNally insisted she could go out Saturday and grab that for me while we were racing.  So even while I’m trying to repay my debt of gratitude I end up going deeper in the hole.  These people are just awesome.  Even the local PRO (not a Scot enthusiast) was gushing over how awesome, friendly and easy going our group was.  Rob Whittemore drove down 12 hours from Fishing Bay YC and finished an impressive second.  When accepting his trophy, he emphasized how special the Florida group is and how the Florida circuit is great for our class.   I couldn’t agree more!  Word will certainly keep spreading and I noticed last night that 20 boats were pre registered (with a month to go) for Lake Eustis with a large contingent of snowbirds planning to make the trip south.  I suspect we’ll have more than 40 boats on the line.

The atmosphere at Tampa was amazing.  Amy Linton and her team hosted a great regatta from start to finish.  The atmosphere at Davis Island Yacht Club is paradise, especially to those of us escaping winter storm warnings.  The Yacht club allows us vans to park and camp and they have a full service bar and restaurant so you don’t have to leave the club if you don’t want to.   Multiple hoists and plenty of dock space make getting in/out smooth.  On Friday night, we took a hop on hop off water taxi through downtown Tampa to a fun bar with live music.   So much fun!   Bill Bruss and I loaned our jackets to Tom and Melanie McNally who were struggling in the “cold” temperatures as we sat there comfortably in short sleeves.   It was a great night and we looked forward to having 28 boats on the line on Saturday.  With big wind expected for Sunday, we heard rumors that we would be getting all of our races in on Saturday.      Rick Wojnar and I would be racing together for the first time, even though he is an accomplished sailor from my home club at Clinton Lake.  Rick usually sails with his dad Chris at the Midwest District regattas and has recently started to travel more outside the district.  I picked him up at 5:30am on Saturday from the Tampa airport as he flew in on the red eye out of Denver.  I had rock star crew and the weather was looking perfect for the day with winds expected to be in the low to mid teens with gusts up to 20.   Hugh Haggerty and Allison from Ephraim also flew down for this regatta so we had multiple boats from the Midwest District representing.      The racing was incredible in a competitive fleet that reminded me of sailing in a NAC because of the fleet was so deep with talent.   We sailed very well and had a great day finishing mid fleet in the standings.  There would be no racing on Sunday.  For finishing mid fleet we came home with a huge Mad Sails flask in recognition of that milestone.   It was the type of fleet where if you slow down or get out of rhythm just slightly, you quickly fall back in the pack.   The winds weren’t quite as strong as predicted with moderate pressure and the chop since the wind blowing across the bay.  After the top 5 or so boats, it was a hornets nest of 20 boats in every race.   The mark roundings were action packed and could be treacherous if you made one bad move.   We had many good ones and couple not-so-great ones.   When we made a minor mistake, we’d lose 5 boats just like that.   The boats in front of us never seemed to make those mistakes, but many were within reach in most of the races even thought our score may not reflect that.   Rick and I kept our focus and made adjustments and feel we improved our boat speed, breaking into the top 10 in the last race.   We would finish 13/28 oats while Hugh and Allison finished 9th on a borrowed boat.  It was a solid day in beautiful conditions in a big fleet of very friendly but very formidable competitors.   It just doesn’t get much better.  

Florida District is STILL in Full Swing While it's a Bit Cold Up North


Are you missing sailing because it is too cold where you live? Did you know that the Florida District is on the FIFTH of eight regattas in its District Series?  So get yourself to one or more of these events before the winter is over.  The winners so far Florida 1 - David Hemlick and crew, Florida 2 - Jeff and Amy Smith Linton, Florida 3 - Jeff and Amy Smith Linton, 4 - Jeff and Amy Smith Linton, Results to date can be found here.  Oh, and don't forget the Midwinters at Sarasota Sailing Squadron coming up in March.  Here's the full schedule:

2018 Florida

Get Fast and Stay Fast - by Zeke Horowitz, NAC Champion


Important factors that affect your Flying Scot boat speed




© Art Petrosemolo

We’ve all read it a million times from all of the sport’s top performers – “boat speed is king,” “the key to winning consistently is boat speed,” “you have to have top boat speed to win”…. There’s a lot of ways to say it… But how do we achieve it? THAT is the question.

In the Flying Scot, one of the most important factors for boat speed both upwind and downwind is the center board engagement. When sailing upwind we need to accurately trim the sails, put the boat on the right heading, and get the body weight in the right spot so that the boat can get going fast enough to allow the centerboard to start working and achieving maximum lift. If any one of those three trims are off, the boat will experience some sort of stall which will decrease lift of the board and increase the distance between us and the fast guys!

The generic tip is “speed before height”. This is a simple concept that most of us understand – but it’s the execution of this technique that can be difficult. It all starts with positioning. The boat has to be in a place where you are able to ease the sails a bit, put the bow down, and let it rumble. If you are sailing with someone to leeward, you aren’t able to make this move and instead you are stuck trying to live in high mode which can be very unforgiving. It’s crucial to make every effort to make tactical decisions that keep people away from your leeward hole. Make sure that you have a big hole to leeward of you right after the start.

A couple keys to achieve that are:

1. Use a “high kill” in the last minute where you get the boat to coast at head to wind (without losing flow/steerage). If the boat to leeward of you isn’t matching, then that hole is getting bigger.

2. Accelerate the boat in the last 10-15 so that you can ultimately “pull the trigger” at 2 or 3 seconds which allows the boat to be already close-hauled at full speed at the gun. Of course this requires accurate knowledge of where the line is, but if you can already be full upwind with the center board working when the gun goes off, you are going to have plenty of room to leeward of you to let the boat rumble.

2018 Midwinters at Sarasota Sailing Squadron, FL - WInners

2018 MW Douglas

Each year the competitors at the Flying Scot Midwinters nominate a fellow sailor to win the prestigious Allen Douglas award, given to a sailor who portrays the best example of sportsmanship at the regatta. Several people were nominated for their various actions which is a testament to the camaraderie in our class.  But the one with the most votes gets the award, and this year's winner is Jim Cosgrove from Clinton Lake Sailing Association.  Jim was seen before and after races helping one team after another getting their boats on and off the dock and the class definitely appreciates this!

2018 MW Champs

For the first time ever, the Flying Scot class has a third time winner of the Midwinter Championship to be engraving their name once again on the Mary Meno Perpetual Trophy.  Zeke and Jay Horowitz were the best of the 40 boats in the large Championship fleet and their consistent sailing is evident in the results.  Zeke gives his Dad all the credit and of course Jay gives Zeke all the credit - it's an incredible team.  Jay just beams when you talk about what a great sailor his son is and he says sailing with Zeke is one of the greatest joys of his life.  Congratulations to Zeke and Jay once again!  Wiil there be a fourth win in their future?  Stay tuned.

2018 MW Chall

In the 23-boat Challenger Division there was some pretty close racing at the top.  But in the end, our president Bill Vogler and his crew Peg Woodworth and Carey Seven are the proud winners of the Brenda Pollack Perpetual Trophy   Bill and his crew were pretty consistent and won 2 of the 5 races in the series, not always easy in a fleet that large.  Congratulations to Bill and crew - hope you can sail here again next year.

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