Gulf District

The Gulf District encompasses several fleets along and near the Gulf of Mexico from Florida's panhandle to Louisiana and one fleet in Arkansas.

Active fleets in Florida include Choctawhatchee Bay in Ft.Walton Beach, Garcon Point Spirited Sailors in Bagdad, St.Andrew Bay in Panama City and Pensacola Bay in Pensacola. In Mississippi we have Bay St.Louis and in Arkansas we have Grand Maumelle Sailing Club in Little Rock. In Louisiana we have Lake Arthur in Lafayette and New Orleans and Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans.

The District Governor is Larry Taggart, who is also FSSA Parliamentarian.

2014 Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Day 4

MW Day 4

On Wednesday, the sun was shining bright with temps in the 70's and the wind was strong at first in the morning, giving us hope that we would go out and enjoy a few good races.  But as the time drew near to launch, the wind had died and we all took an hour to get out to the race course, But the Race Committee never despaired and sure enough, about an hour later we had steady northeast winds,  5 - 7 knots, sometimes slowing to 3 knots.  We had 3 good races before the wind died down a bit and we sailed in a bit slowly, but we got back to the docks without needing a tow or needing to paddle. 

With half the fleet going right and half the fleet going left, it was hard to say which way was better, because the leaders came from both directions.  Our builder, Harry Carpenter, won 2 races and local Benz Faget won the 3rd in the Championship Division.  Alanna Strong from Texas won all 3 races in the Challenger Division.  After 2 days, Zeke Horrowitz leads the Championship Division and Alanna Strong leads the Challenger Division.

This was followed by the seafood boil at the club with yummy crawfish, shrimp, sausages, potatoes, mushrooms and corn on the cob, with bread pudding for desert.  No one walked away with their belly empty!

Results to date are here.

2014 Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Day 3

2014 MW Day 3 Pic 1

After we made our way out to the race course on Lake Ponchartrain in the sunny 60-degree weather, today's first race was postponed in anticipation of a south wind filling in, but it just did not materialize. The winds continued to shift from northwest to northeast so the Race Committee went with that and ran two 4-leg windward-leeward races in 4-7 knot winds. We had great hope for a 3rd race which got through 2 legs before the wind died and left boats stopped all over the race course, so the Race Committee abandoned the race. As boats began to be towed in, the south wind finally came up and gave us a thrilling ride back to the Club.

2014 MW Day 3 Pic 2   2014 MW Day 3 Pic 3

As of the end of racing today, local skippers Dave Bolyard for New Orleans Yacht Club and Larry Taggart from Southern Yacht Club are 1st and 2nd, and Ryan Malmgren from Ephraim Yacht Club in WI is 3rd in the Championship Division. Jim Legette from Brandon, MS, and Alanna Strong from Dallas, TX, are 1st and 2nd in the Challenger Division.  As is planned each day, there was a debrief session after the racing.  Dave Bolyard and Benz Faget did a super review of the day's racing and eagerly answered questions from the participants.  Another fine day at Southern Yacht Club!  Results to date are here.

2014 Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Day 2

The day started out in the upper 40s today but got up to the 50s before the start of the Midwinter Warmups/Leukaemia Cup Regatta.  Ten teams made it out to the starting line on Lake Ponchatrain in 8-12 knot somewhat shifty wind with the lake a bit lumpy.  Harry Carpenter, our builder, and Melanie Dunham from Deep Creek Lake in MD were first, Roger Sharp and John Eckart from Massapoag Yacht Club in Sharon, MA, were second, Ryan Malmgren and Joe Brake from Ephraim Yacht Club in WI were third and John Domagala and Larry Brown from Sarasota Sailing Squadron in FL were fourth.  Full results can be seen here. 

2014 MW Terhune Racing Review    2014 MW Carrie and Nancy

Following the day's racing, there was "the keg" everyone waits for after the day on the water.  Then Allan Terhune from North Sails held a racing clinic, sharing his observations about the day's racing.  He spent an hour answering sailor's questions about what's different about racing on Lake Ponchatrain, what tactics to use in light air versus heavy air, and how to tackle the waves and the chop. 

The evening was topped off with a super welcome party at the Club, with some gifts give by Larry Taggart  to our President Frank Gerry,  In turn, Frank presented plaques of appreciation from FSSA to Commodore Wilson of SYC and Regatta Chairperson Larry Taggart, who works tirelessly with his team to ensure a good time is had by all at the regatta.  Larry also presented gifts to the judges, the PRO and several of the volunteers.  There were awards for the oldest skippers, first time skippers and for the skippers who drove 1500+ miles get to the regatta, all followed by awards for the top 4 skippers and crew from the Warm-up Regatta.  And as if that were not enough, Nancy Claypool and Carrie Berger presented over 75 raffle prizes donated by our WONDERFUL sponsors, so everyone who was present for the raffle won something - from hats and t-shirts to artwork created by local artists. 

Racing for the championship starts tomorrow - stay tuned!

2014 Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Day 1

2014 MW Board Meeting

Sunday 3/16 was the first day for skippers and crew to register at the Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club after travelling over the last few days to get to New Orleans.  It was also the day for the FSSA Executive Committee and Board of Governors meetings.  In the picture above, you can see your Board of Governors hard at work taking care of important business before we can all go out and play.  Registration continues on Monday 3/17 - don't forget to wear green, everyone is Irish on St.Patrick's Day!

We have 30+ boats registered for the Midwinters at this point, and several will participate in the warmup Leukemia Cup Regatta on Monday 3/17 benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  This is a great way to get ready for the Midwinters with many of the sailors getting on the water for the first time since last fall and at the same time give back to a wonderful organization that helps improve and save the lives of so many people.  Results of the warmup regatta will be posted as soon as possible after the racing, which is followed by a racing clinic, competitor's meeting and the welcome party,  Midwinters racing starts on Tuesday 3/18.

2013 Hospitality Regatta in Jackson, MS

2013 Hospitality Regatta, Jackson MS

On October 19 and 20 2013, the Jackson Yacht Club hosted its annual fall regatta, the Hospitality Regatta.  In the past, this has been a premier regatta for sailors all classes in the Deep South with several hundred boats participating at its peak including a large Scot fleet.  Unfortunately participation has dwindled over the years.

Thanks to the tireless work of regatta chair, Sherrye LaCour, that trend was reversed this year.  Our record turnout for recent years featured Flying Scots, J22s, multihull, PHRF spinnaker and cruising fleets.  In addition, area Lightening has added Jackson to their traveling circuit. 

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