Florida District

The Florida District emcompases 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 Central, Davis Island Yacht in Clearwater, St.Lucie Sailing Club in Stuart, Melbourne Yacht Club in Melbourne and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club in Port Charlotte.

The District Governor is Mark Taylor. Follow the Florida District on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/fsfloridadistrict/ and Fleet 168 at https://www.facebook.com/groups/98437668559/

Registration Open for 2015 Midwinter Regatta

Mids2015pic

Registration is now open for the 2015 midwinters.. Join us as we return to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron again for another great event! For additional information, NOR, & Registration link visit the offical event page: CLICK HERE

Gator Challenge and Florida District Series #3 - Rudder Club, Jacksonville FL

Gator Challenge and Florida District Series #3 (2014-15) - Rudder Club, Jacksonville FL - Dec. 6-7, 2014 

You don’t need to be a Rudder Club member very long to know that the weather can be anything at the Gator Bowl. Some years it is warm and dry; others it can be bitter cold and wet.  Some days are light wind; others can be whitecaps and blustery.  2014 was no exception.  Saturday, December 6 was pleasant temperature but was a light air struggle on the water.  After a long postponement, we started in light easterly wind.  A big shift to the left was followed by lighter and lighter wind.  The race committee shortened the course at the leeward gate.  Pretty soon, chase boats were towing the fleet back to the dock.  The cold front came through as predicted early Sunday morning.  We started in a 10-12 knot north-northwest wind, which built to 15 to 17 in the last races.  Even in the early races, there was more chop than one expects for that wind, adding to the challenge.

John Kreidler (from Western Carolina Sailing Club) and Joe Brake dominated the weekend, with a 2nd in Saturday’s light air, followed by 4 1st places on Sunday.  Second place went to Jim and Cheryl Signor (from Upper Keys Sailing Club), who finished three points ahead of Tom McNally (Lake Monroe).  Mark Taylor (Davis Island) and Michelle Robinson took fourth, and Dave and Kim Thinel (Sarasota) took fifth.

Unique to the Gator Bowl, the Wallygator Trophy (literally a gator’s head mounted on a plaque) is awarded to the district with the best overall performance.  With only 2 boats from up North, Wally Trophy gets to stay warm in Florida for another year.  In a complete shock to District sailors, Cheryl Signor (crew on top Florida finishing boat for her husband Jim) declined the opportunity to put Wally on her mantelpiece over the holidays.

The Gator Challenge has a great food tradition.  This year, Donna Mohr prepared chicken sauce picante (Saturday) and corn and shrimp bisque (Sunday), and Rob Smith served chicken and sausage gumbo.  

Jon Hamilton, Captain, Fleet 131 (Rudder Club of Jacksonville, FL)

Twinem & Horowitz win awards @ Penfield Memorial Regatta - Sarasota, FL

The 2nd stop on the Florida district championship series is the Penfield Memorial Regatta. Held the 2nd weekend of November the regatta was named after long time fleet member Jeff Penfield 4 years ago. Each year during the event the Penfield trophy is awarded for leadership within the class and district. Previous winners include Dave Thinel, Ron Pletsch, & John Domagala. This year Bob Twinem, Sarasota fleet captain, was recognized for his grassroots leadership. He and his wife Brenda have done a tremendous job the past few years energizing the local fleet, helping new members, promoting the class, & encouraging Fl circuit participation.

2014 Penfield Leadership

There was also some great racing during the weekend despite less than perfect conditions. Three races were completed on Saturday after a short postponement, allowing the dying easterly to be replaced by the westerly. Tom McNally and crew Ahad Jehanigin stayed ahead of Dave & Kim Thinel for the bullet in the 1st race. The second race saw current national champions Jeff and Amy Linton battle 2014 midwinter champions Zeke & Jay Horowitz for the front of the fleet with Jeff and Amy coming out on top. Race three results followed suit and Jeff & Amy’s 4-1-1 was one point better than Zeke & Jay’s 3-2-2 when the fleet headed back to the dock. As of dinner Saturday Dave & Kim were holding on to 3rd place with a 2-5-5. Most of the remaining sailors had both up and down results on the shiftier than usual Sarasota bay.

The rain that had started Saturday as the boats docked continued to grow and the temperature dropped as the front moved in. The cold and wet conditions drove most tent campers to fleet members couches, floors, & local hotels.. Sunday morning sailors were greeted with overcast skies and a rain that had mostly cleared. The front had brought a stronger northerly was challenging but sailable. Zeke and Jay took to the conditions,  winning both Sunday races. Jeff and Amy finished the day with a 2-4 and local sailors Marshall Pardey and Chuck Tanner enjoyed the conditions with a 4-3 performance. Marshall & Chuck’s finishes were strong enough to move them into 3rd behind Jeff and Amy. Tom McNally hung on for 4th place with Key Largo sailors Jim & Cheryl Signor riding a full regatta of top 10 finishes to 5th place overall.

Results are here.  Next up for the Florida district is Jacksonville in December, Port Charlotte in January, & Lake Eustis in February. Come down for one of these and leave your boat in Florida for the Midwinters back in Sarasota in March!!

Sailing article on Frankenscot

2014 Frankenscot

Read all about the Frankenscot and skipper Jeff Linton and crew Jahn Tihansky's adventures in the Everglades Challenge.  Story and pictures by Jeff's shore crew (for this time only) Amy Smith Linton!

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Fllet 168 is very active on Facebook and you can follow them here

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