President’s Message, March 2012

From the President

Diane Kampf, FS 5857

Dear fellow sailors,

What do you do when you live up north and your sailing club is closed for the winter?  Some are lucky enough to have a place down south where they continue sailing all year round.  But those of us who are Northerners and miss sailing during the fall/winter downtime can consider sailing in the Flying Scot Midwinter Championship.  It is held in mid- to late March each year, and anyone who is a member of the Flying Scot Sailing Association (FSSA) is welcome to skipper in the regatta.

Since the decision was made to alternate venues between Southern Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Sarasota Sailing Squadron on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Sarasota, each club has hosted one Midwinters.  The two venues are very different, but both are enjoyable, and both clubs have very active Flying Scot fleets.  The March 2011 event was hosted by Sarasota and chaired by John Domagala.  Anyone who attended that regatta can tell you what a great venue Sarasota is, and how much fun and what a challenge the sailing was.  This year’s event, chaired by Larry Taggart, is being hosted by Southern Yacht Club, with lots of places to go in the area for eating, shopping, or just walking on the beach.

The FSSA sanctions four events:  the North American Championships, the Midwinter Championship, the Wife-Husband Championship, and the Atlantic Coast Championship.  Each of these is a very special event and gives us the opportunity to race against some of the top sailors in the class in the Championship Division.  If you’re not looking for that, or not ready for that, compete in the Challenger Division and get more experience sailing in a large national regatta.  Seeing so many boats on the line when you start a race is quite exciting.  There are clinics after racing where you can learn from the experts and the leaders in the regatta.  If you don’t sail in the event, you can still attend as a spectator and enjoy the social activities.

Even for the competitors, it’s not just about the sailing and the racing.  Think about how you can make it a family vacation.  Come early and enjoy New Orleans on the weekend with your family, sail during the week, and enjoy New Orleans at night.  The National World War II Museum is really interesting, and the night life in New Orleans is loads of fun--music, shopping, great food.

Look for the Notice of Race and registration forms on the Web site.  If not the Midwinters, think about some of the other national events.  You’ll meet so many fellow sailors and--who knows?--you might come home with a trophy.  You’ll definitely come home with some great memories that you won’t soon forget.  Hope to see you at one of the events!

Happy sailing!