Great Conditions, Great Racing at 2015 Wife-Husband

This year’s Wife-Husband was quite competitive. Sometimes it felt more like a NAC than a Wife-Husband! For the first time, the Wife-Husband Championship fleet had five (loooooong!) races while the Challenger fleet had the traditional three races for the weekend. 

The weekend really began on Friday with Mark and Michelle Taylor’s wedding reception. Beer, sponsored by Mad Sails, flowed and food and cupcakes were devoured. Although Mark and Michelle were married in May, they wanted to share their special day with all their Flying Scot friends, so they scheduled the reception for the Wife-Husband. Pretty appropriate, right?!

The wind at Davis Island Yacht Club was out of the east most of the weekend, making for shiftier conditions than the steady seabreeze one might expect in Tampa.  The race committee, capably led by Henry Moore, managed the conditions wonderfully. Plus, the conditions were pretty darn wonderful. Jeff Linton did say at the end of the weekend that these were the best conditions he’d ever seen in Tampa in October. Nice going regatta committee!

The winds were probably steady 15 with puffs to 18 on Saturday and seemed a little lighter on Sunday, though maybe that was wishful thinking.  In order to really get our money’s worth, Henry’s race committee kept changing the course on us. Every time on Saturday that we got to the leeward mark, there would be the change of course flag, with a big, fat “+” sign. At first I thought they had misplaced the green and red flags, but noooooo, they were signaling that the course had been lengthened. Because we weren’t having enough fun hiking and playing the vang as it was!

After three races (the challengers did two) we all headed back to the club to rinse the salt water off our boats and our bodies, refresh ourselves with Mad Sails-sponsored beer and tuck in to a hearty Cuban style meal, while serenaded by an eclectic assortment of love songs. At the end of the day, Jeff and Amy Linton led the pack comfortably, with three bullets. But (almost) newlyweds Carrie and Tyler Andrews were in hot pursuit with 8 points. Mike and Jennifer Faugust were also in the hunt, tied for third with the true newlyweds, Mark and Michelle Taylor (19 points).  The party faded gently into the night as everyone headed off to rest their weary heads.

The next morning before we went out for more racing we met Lynn and Bill Bruss. Ryan had mentioned them to us because they bought Rob Fowler’s boat (a friend from Chattanooga, and current governor of the Dixie Lakes district) and he’d just sold them a suit of sails. Lynn introduced herself, just saying she was new to the class, etc, but when we heard their last name we were so enthusiastic, I think it startled them (or maybe even alarmed them!). Lynn was telling us about her tuning woes, and so Ben and I made sure to introduce them to Carrie and Tyler who, in Flying Scot Inc., tradition, showed up with a truck full of parts. Lynn skippered the Bruss’s boat and won the award for the top-finishing female-skippered boat. Congratulations to Lynn!

I will say, in looking at the results, it is particularly striking that only the skippers’ names are listed. It’s an unfortunate flaw, I find, with regatta tech's site…..

Anyway, as I said, Sunday’s wind was, thankfully, a bit lighter.  The Challengers did a single, four-leg race and the Championship did two. The courses, just like on Saturday, were a good mile each leg. I sure feel like we got our money’s worth!

Although October/November marks the beginning of the Florida District, for us northerners our next sailing adventure will be the Midwinters in April at Pensacola’s St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club. I’m not sure how many people in our district have sailed there, but the stories of past FS Midwinters there are epic.