Sheridan Shores Had Wind and Party Atmosphere

Bahai Temple behind Sheridan Shores Yacht Club

 Sheridan Shores, just north of Chicago, has a small club with tons of boats. It has a gorgeous view of the Bahai Temple, just to its west. Cool building, if you are ever in the neighborhood.

 Ben and I have never been to this regatta, Sheridan Shores Race Weekend (July 27 & 28), mostly because it is a multi-class regatta and, for whatever reason, Scots in our district don't tend to travel to it. Still, it is part of our Midwest Travel Series, so Ben and I wanted to support it. We had three out-of-town boats, us, Mike Pitzer from Carlyle Lake, and Henry Schultz from Neenah, WI.  Henry we don't see much, but he is a fast, fast sailor. His crew, Pierce (whose last name I did not catch), has moved back to Neenah, so maybe we'll see them on the circuit some more this year. That would be awesome!

Meanwhile, back to the harbor: to get many of those (sometimes enormous) boats in the water they have to use this monster hoist, requiring professional operators. Using it to put Sophie in the water was a little overkill, but still, it worked. And check out the size of that hoist!

Monster hoist putting Sophie in the water

 The wind Saturday was pretty windy, but more challenging were the waves, which were about 4-5 feet. I almost got seasick! Things got really hairy in the middle of the last race, when we got a puff of about 24 mph that almost knocked Ben and me over. To make matters more chaotic, my foul weather pants had fallen down to my knees. They've been a problem before: I tend to put them on over everything else, including my life jacket and the shoulder straps are just not tight enough to keep them up. It wasn't a problem until our almost capsize when I couldn't move fast enough to do my part, being "leg cuffed" in my pants.

Once we got past the risk of capsize i wouldn't do anything until I got my pants off and got my shoes back on. By that point we were half way down the downwind  leg and the wind was honking. Ben started thinking we should put the chute up and then he saw John and Chris Wright almost capsize gybing without their chute and he decided to play it a little conservative...

Of course, John Wright apparently had some trouble with his foul weather pants too...We'll have to find out the details!

The sailing was thrilling! I never imagined I would say that. I was sopping wet and a little terrified, but it was also really really fun. Of course, that also could be because we did well, catching Chris and John on the last leg of that race and catching Henry and Pierce on the first race. It's also because after traveling and sailing so much I have been almost completely de-sensitized to fear on the boat. Almost, mind you.

After two hair-raising races (actually more like hair plastered to my face) we came in and still had time to sink into a hot bath and take a nap before the lobster fest.  The party ("Clause for Celebration" har har) was the club's chance to celebrate re-earning the lease on the property. There were some ugly politics and it looked very likely that one-design racing, especially in dinghies, was going to get flushed down the pipes, when the lease was not renewed. But then, thanks I'm sure to some backroom maneuvers, the club got the lease back. Whew!

Lobsters, yum!

Sunday the wind had moderated a tiny bit and clocked more northwest so the waves were not quite as bad. I also don't remember any puffs like we had on Saturday.  You can see the Chicago skyline in the photo below ... kind of!



Sunday, no waves!
After we pulled our boat, jumping in line ahead of a J-24 — have you ever seen a J-24 hoisted from the water?! — the club had a really nice hot lunch grilled on the patio, where we joined our Flying Scot pals and relaxed in the sunshine. It was an awesome weekend and we'll do it again next year!  
Fleet Captain Mike Fuller with his arms up celebrating