2013 Sail for the Grail, Moraine Sailing Club, Portersville, PA
It would seem the grail of Fleet 80's Sail for the Grail Regatta hosted by Moraine Sailing Club on Saturday Sept. 21st would overflow from the persistent rain that fell that day, but not the case. The good spirits of those on 6 MSC boats and 11 from out of town displaced that rain and filled the grail with fun, competition, and camaraderie. Every person on a Flying Scot and on the Race Committee should commend themselves for stepping out of their comfort zone and facing the elements as the schedule was maintained and three races completed. The wind for the first race was lighter than expected and shifty, and the fleet got spread out. But the wind picked up for the next two races and the racing got tighter with the fleet crossing the finish well grouped together. Don't let the results fool you, everyone was very competitive. After putting the boats away and getting dried off, we enjoyed a delicious catered dinner at the Red Rock Falls Restaurant in Slippery Rock, PA. I heard a few found their way to the excellent North Country Brewery also located in Slippery Rock.
Sunday came with plenty of sunshine framed with some heavy clouds and with maybe 8-10 mph winds. Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park is a very peaceful and picturesque lake, so it is fitting to showcase it by running a Bridge-to-Bridge (length of the lake) race. With the winds from the WNW, a short windward leg was used to accommodate the start, but round the first mark, pop the chute and it's a drag race to the east end. Maria and I had the good fortune to lead initially on that leg and have the most amazing view behind of spinnakers brightly illuminated by the sun against a dark clouded background. Beautiful!! Holding a lead in this race is very tenuous though. The western half of the lake is wide and open, but the eastern half of the lake is rather narrow with several features that really mess with the wind. There are typically many lead changes in and out of this area. Trust me, the BtB race will make significant changes to final regatta standings. It’s a blast.
Congratulations to skippers Shaun Clements from Cowan Lake, Jim Diffley from Berlin Lake, Dan Goldberg, Mark Benner, and Paul Rowan from Lake Arthur, for taking the top five. And since the Challengers and Championship divisions were combined, congratulations to Tom Dawson from Berlin Lake and Jim Blackburn from Cowan Lake, for their top mid-fleet placing and claim to the Challengers awards. Thanks to Paul Rowan (Fleet 80 Capt.) and his wife Jean for organizing and running this years Sail for the Grail Regatta, to Joe Shields and friends for running the race committee, to Wolf and Joy Goothert for hosting at the Cabin and handling registration, and no doubt many others who gave their time. Also a special thanks to Marty Sweterlisch, our new Ohio District Governor, for driving out from Hoover Lake in Columbus, OH to join us. But, sailing aside, a warm thanks to everyone who traveled to our lake and joined us. Familiar faces, some new, it’s always a great time with friends. I’m looking for forward to seeing you all next year. Full results are here.