Dixie Lakes District

The Dixie Lakes District encompasses several fleets in the South that are not on the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts, and span Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

In Georgia we have Lake Lanier in Atlanta. In Tennessee we have Privateer Yacht Club in Hixson. In South Carolina we have Western Carolina Sail Club in Anderson and Keowee Sailing Club in Seneca. In Alabama we have North Central Alabama in Birmingham, Mussel Shoals Sailing Club in Lauderdale and Brown's Creek Sailing Association in Guntersville.

The District Governor is Rob Fowler.

2017 Grits and Haggis Regatta, Keowee Sailing Club, Seneca, SC

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Despite a very iffy weekend weather forecast, 19 Flying Scot crews attended the 2017 Grits and Haggis Regatta on beautiful Lake Keowee, in the Blue Ridge foothills of South Carolina, on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

But Keowee was not very beautiful for this year's event. In Saturday's hot and very muggy first race, Richard Wade and super crew Jim Leonard had an OCS start in near drifter conditions, then restarted, caught up to the leading group by the end of the first leg, but then drifted into the weather mark, yet somehow managed to come all the way back to record an impressive third place finish. They then won Saturday's very light air second race by several boat lengths to lead the regatta at that point. First race winners Don Smith and Chris Kacinski from Lake Norman followed their win with a third place finish in Saturday's second race to stand second on the day. Locals Sandy and Keith Eustis, with a fourth and a second, and Barry and Tracy Hambrick, from Birmingham, AL, with a second and a fifth, were close behind, and the fleet made it home before the rains began.

Saturday evening featured dark 'n stormies for all, a cut-and-grill-your-own sirloin steak dinner, and the “Fleet 193 Olympics” as evening entertainment. The Olympics included a thrilling game of “Pin the Blame on the PRO”, as well as “Boat Number Bingo” and a golf ball roll on a gravel drive to “Win the Starting Line.” Among the delicacies provided by an overthe-top food committee were a dark 'n stormy cake, both non-alcoholic and rum laced bread
puddings, and a platter of genuine Scotch eggs.

Sunday morning dawned to a steady downpour during our signature Grits and Haggis breakfast. Food Captain Cheiko French's famous Haggis cassarole recipe includes only a small amount of Haggis (oh thank you, Cheiko!), which went nicely with the scrambled eggs, South Carolina grits, and various other dishes. About half the fleet, including Smith/Kacinski and Sam Secrest/Sharon Hamilton who stood fifth after Satureday's races, then decided to
not go out for Sunday racing. Some of these competitors just didn't want to sail in a steady rain, while other simply had waaaay to much to eat at breakfast.  Sunday's racing included two more races in a relatively steady 5-7 mph breeze with diminishing rain; it even stopped raining altogether about halfway through the final race. Wade/Leonard won both Sunday races by 5-10 boat lengths each, while the Eustises and the Hambricks both recorded two more top finishes apiece to take 2nd and 3rd overall respectively. John Kreidler and junior crew Mitchell Brannon from nearby Lake Hartwell scored a second and a fith on Sunday to get back into 4th place overall, while Fleet 193's Fleet Captain Bob Graves, with Roger Sulhoff as his crew, managed to recover from a disastrous 18th place finish in race #2 on Saturday to take 5th overall in the final standings. We look forward to seeing all of you here for more Southern hospitality and much better racing conditions in 2018.

If you want to view two short but excellent drone video programs by Wilson Jenkins of the Muscle Shoals, Al, Flying Scot fleet, OR if you want to browse the complete set of over 600 downloadable pictures taken by KSC member Liz Keenan, you can visit the Keowee Sailing Club's website at http://www.keoweesailingclub.com.  Just click on the regatta story posted there.

Full results are here.

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2017 Choo Choo Regatta - Loads of Hospitality, Not Too Much Sailing

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The Privateer Yacht Club in in Hixson, TN, hosted the 2017 Chatanooga Cho Choo Regatta that featured lots of fun and hospitality this year, but Mother Nature had other ideas.  On Saturrday, 29 boats, count them, 29, went out to see how they could do in very light air.  There just was not much wind and the race committee was able to get just one race in.  On Sunday, it was just too wet to go out, so the regatta was decided by just one race.  And the top three boats went over the line together with just inches between them.  Cheers to the RC fo figuring that one out.  Privateer always puts on a great event and the folks who went all had a great time. For example, each traveler was partnered up with a sailor from Privateer Yacht Club for the cornhole tourney. Unfortunately the tourney was cancelled due to rain, so Eric Bussell and John Cassada remain the defending champs.  Wait until NEXT year!

The pictures posted in tis story are courtesy of Eric Bussell.  Eric shared all his pcutes on Facebook here.  Oh, and the winners, Rob Fowler, Mark Taylor and Ryan Malmgren.  Thanks to Rob Fowler and Privateer for another fun event!

Quote from Dixie Lakes Sailing Facebook Page by Rob Fowler - "Thanks to everyone who made the 2017 Chattanooga Choo Choo Regatta such a great time! 29 boats showed up and I think everyone had a great time. We did a "cook your own steak" for dinner, drank Dark and Stormy's, played corn-hole and had a traditional English Breakfast on Sunday morning. The only thing in short supply? Wind."

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2016 Great Scot Regatta at Birmingham Sailing Club, AL

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Story by Barry Hambrick

The Great Scot is in the record books and what a weekend we had with the help of Hurricane Matthew! It all started Friday night with a cookout for all. Stan and Donna Graham cooked 40 hamburgers for our visitors from out of town along with our fleet members. The following morning, we had boats arriving from Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. 29 boats in all setting an all-time record of attendance. The biggest concern, however, was winds blowing around 25 plus! We had 18 boats attempt to race and were only able to get in one race due to the fact of the wind’s speed and shifts. A couple of boats encountered hardware problems and needed a tow and a few others had trouble remaining upright. Little did we know that this race would be the only one for the weekend due to Sunday’s conditions being worse than Saturday.

That did not stop the regatta! The Scot Fleet had a great party planned with a number of members handling various duties throughout the weekend. I can’t say “thank you” enough for everyone jumping in and taking care of what was needed and to be handled. Stan and Donna Graham, David and Beth Hardwick, Dave and Toni Hackney, Tim and Pam Pack, Richard and Billie Wade, Patrick and Denise Whatley, Marty and Charlie French, Doug and Kim Fox, our fleet captain Andrew Fox and my favorite fan club, Tracy and Emily Hambrick. We would also like to say a big thank you to Bob Blythe, PRO and the members who served on race committee this weekend. It was a difficult task and conditions were not easy! Thank you to those of you who sponsored the event with a generous monetary gift. We could not have hosted the event without your help. It was an over- the- top anniversary celebration.
Highlights from the evening….We had an awesome appetizers and dinner catered by our friends at Butts to Go. Wade Reich and his team do an outstanding job with food! Right before dinner, we held our annual Great Scot Raffle. There were so many prizes and it was a huge hit with everyone. Even if you didn’t win a prize at the raffle, no one went home empty handed. Every guest received a 40th Anniversary F/S etched mug filled with tea and tea cookies to carry out the Scottish tradition at our Great Scot Regatta. Once again this year, we had a wonderful DJ, George Buchann, who kept us dancing all evening as well as providing music for the Awards Ceremony. At his suggestion, we are proud to have paid tribute to our great nation by playing the Star Spangled Banner before the festivities got started. We also had a guest speaker, Mr. Sandy Lawton, who played an important role in getting the Scot Fleet started at The Birmingham Sailing Club some 40 years ago.

At our Awards Ceremony, we honored Harry Reich for his continuing support of our club and our fleet. We also paid tribute to Tim Pack and Dave Hackney as former Fleet Captains for reviving the fleet to where we are today, and thank them for their contributions. Richard Wade received an award as our District Champion, and Andrew Fox was recognized for winning the Challenger Fleet at Mid Winters. Patrick and Denise Whatley received the Harry Reich Sportsman Award, and on behalf of the Scot Fleet, Andrew Fox accepted the Fleet of the Year Award from our District Governor Rob Fowler.

Thanks to Denise Whatley, we have photos to share from the race on Saturday. If you would like to view them, please visit here.  They will be up for 180 days.

As you can see, we had a wonderful 2016 Great Scot Regatta. If you were not able to attend this year, we encourage you to please make plans to do so next October! We’d love to see you there.

Results are here.  

BIG WIND AND NO BREEZE AT CONFEDERATE ADMIRALS’ REGATTA

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by Joe VerPlank

Memorial Day weekend at Muscle Shoals Sailing Club started out hot and sunny with a nice breeze that we all anticipated for the Saturday and Sunday races.  By the time we had finished the Skipper’s Meeting and lunch, the breeze was beginning to pick up to a nice Southeasterly.  Our flawless PRO, Gar Bouse, had set a perfect windward-leeward course two times around.  By the time we had our first start, the wind had puffed up to around twelve knots.  Then the skippers had to decide whether to take the route closer to shore where there is usually a lift or to go up the middle where there was more wind.  It didn’t seem to make much difference which route you took since we all met at the windward mark about the same time and we were all competitive.  Going downwind was a different story.  The shifty winds started taking its toll on the boats that were not quite as skilled on their spinnakers.  As we rounded the leeward mark, the boats that could douse their chutes the best and trim windward surged further ahead.  There were puffs at eighteen to twenty as the wind built higher.  Some boats were going into survival mode but fortunately, no one went over.  The wind stayed up the duration of our three races on Saturday.

2016 Grits 'n Haggis - Dixie Lakes District Regatta, Keowee Sailing Club, Seneca SC

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by Sandy Eustis, FS5610

A record 25 Flying Scots showed up at the Keowee Sailing Club in Seneca, South Carolina for the 2016 Grits 'n Haggis Regatta.  The event, held on May 21-22, also served as the 2016 Dixie Lakes District Championship Regatta.  Only 2 races were held on Saturday, due to the effects of a violent squall after the end of the second race.  PRO Jake Kohl had wisely shortened that race and sent the fleet scurrying for cover from a fast approaching squall which had unexpectedly turned more than 90 degrees to the right and headed due south to our venue after passing well to the north and west of Lake Keowee earlier in the afternoon.  Most of the competitors were well aware of what transpired at the ACCs last year when a monster squall hit the racing fleet, so almost everyone at Lake Keowee was wearing life jackets, and several skippers had wisely turned into the approaching storm, taken down their sails, raised their centerboards, and they remained upright when the squall hit.  With about 10 boats already at the dock, and with most of the mid-pack group almost home, the southbound freight train met the 15mph breeze moving northward right off the end of the KSC docks.   8 boats were almost instantly capsized, 4 of which turned turtle, and another remained upright but lost her mast, all within about 10-15 seconds.  At least 2 Scots had crew members on their fore decks with docking lines in hand when they were suddenly capsized. 

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