2015 ACC at Blackbeard Yacht Club, New Bern, NC - Squalls!

r2015 ACC Aftermath

Info from Deb Aronson and Joe Brake, photo by Mike Funk

Ben and I decided at the last minute to drive to New Bern, NC, for the Atlantic Coast Championships. We had always wanted to participate in that event, one of only four national events the FSSA sanctions. Plus, we've always wanted to sail at Blackbeard, since it is near Ben's parents' home.

2015 New England Districts at Massabesic YC, Manchester, NH

           2015NE3      2915NE2 

Massabesic Yacht Club in Manchester, NH, hosted their first New England Districts with 15 boats from 4 New England fleets - Massabesic, Massapoag, Quannapowitt and Rockport.  We elected our new District Governor, Ned Jeffries and said thanks to our outgoing Governor Skip Miontello who had senved us well for 6 years in the role.

After a forecast of thunderstorms threatened to put a damper on things, the weather and winds cooperated fully with temps in 70's and south/southeast winds from 6-10 and occasionally higher. We had 5 races, a combination of Olympics and W-L with the last race coming just in time before the deadline of 3:30. We all had a great time. Shore side hospitality was great and we thank Dennis Dobe and crew a great regatta. Roger and Laura Sharp won the event - full results are here.

2015 Dixie Lakes Districts - Muscle Shoals Sailing Club, Killon, AL

Dixie Lakes District Championship - Muscle Shoals Sailing Club, September 5th and 6th, 2015


Normally we like to hold our District Championship in the Spring or Fall. If you’ve ever sailed in the Southeast in the summer, you know why. It’s usually very hot, very humid, and little to no wind unless there’s a thunderstorm nearby. Despite the potential challenges, Joel VerPlank, Willson Jenkins and the rest of the crew from fleet 190 forged ahead with plans for a regatta to be held the first weekend in September. I was confident that should the wind get scarce, we would be entertained in some way. Fortunately, the weather gurus got it wrong, and we had minimal, but sailable breeze all weekend, enough to get 5 races in! Fleet 190 makes its home at Muscle Shoals Sailing Club on beautiful Wilson Lake, near Centre Star, Alabama. MSSC is located about 12 miles east of Florence, and about 40 miles west of Huntsville, along the Tennessee River.

2015 Midwest Districts and Egyptian Cup - Carlyle Sailing Association, IL


The Midwest Districts began Friday 9/4 when Brian Hayes of North Sails conducted an all day seminar on how to improve set up, sail trim and boat handling. Demonstrations of tuning and sail trim were held on a boat in the shade. That was followed by in class power point review. Then we launched boats in light winds for on the water exercises. Brian had just raced with his son, winning the New York District in a Scot. His insights were very helpful to all. We are looking forward to racing Saturday with our new level of understanding the dynamics of sail trim.

Saturday at CSA was hot and winless. We were unable to race but Brian Hayes continued instruction with strategy and tactics. The afternoon found the competitors anxiously looking at the water and getting to know one another. Once it became hopeless all turned to their libations at the wine and cheese party.  Our professional chef sailor Greg Ziegenfuss presented a fabulous dinner. After dinner we were entertained by ourLinda Ditzler who wowed the crowd with her singing.  Fireworks lit up the sky as darkness fell upon the day. A good time even without wind. 

On Sunday our astute PRO Ted Beier called for the competitors to leave the harbor at 8 AM. Racing commenced shortly thereafter and two races were finished in light air. After the results were tallied Ryan Malmgren of MAD Sails and crew Stacy Rieu led all 21 competitors to the finish line in both races. Bill Vogler and crew came in second followed by Ben Williams and Deb Aronson. Frank Gerry and Marianne took Fourth with Jim and Betty Harris in Fifth. (Tyler Andrews and Carrie Andrews finished second in points but were only qualified for the Egyptian Cup as Deer Park MD is a long way from the Midwest District).

2015 Pacific Districts - Sequim Bay YC, Sequim, WA

2015 Pacific Districts: Wild, Weird, and Wonderful!

Twelve Flying Scots and seven Thistles lined up for the annual SBYC Sequim Bay Regatta which was held on Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th.  The racing was wild and intense as a rare October wind storm (in August!) came through Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula on Saturday.

2015PD1  2015PD2Waiting for the wind to die down                                                  Fighting the microbursts

The boats had to wait on shore on Saturday until the gusting winds of up to 35 knots died down into the mid-teens. At around 1:30 pm the race committee felt the conditions were safe and headed out of the marina for the bay.  What they and the racers faced on the water was intensely weird. A calm southerly breeze was replaced by several micro-bursts and 360 degree wind shifts.  Back to calm and then suddenly boats where off planing.  A Flying Scot nearly capsized and the wind shifted to the north, then south, and so on.  This all happened before the race committee was able to even set a course.  It was wild.

After numerous tries to set a course due to the changing wind, the race committee finally settled on a south – north windward-leeward course.  The Thistles started first with the pin and left side being very favored. Five minutes later and the Flying Scots were off and what looked like a favored left side suddenly became a hole with no wind.  Scots that tacked out early to the right were greeted with wind from the west and were able to pop their chutes on the windward leg. At that moment the Thistles had rounded the windward mark under spinnakers headed directly for Flying Scots under spinnakers.  That was certainly weird.

2015 Scots on the Rocks Regatta - Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC


Fleet 158 was pleased to host its 11th annual “Scots on the Rocks” Flying Scot regatta the weekend of September 5th and 6th – 2015.  Eighteen competitors, including one in the Youth Division, came to play in two days of moderate temperatures and spectacular sailing conditions.  

Day one saw fairly consistent breezes averaging around 7 to 8 knots with enough gusts, lulls and oscillations to keep everyone on their toes.  ”Winds were generally out of the northeast with occasional north tossed in to keep our race committee engaged.  Early forecasts of “T” storms kept the committee boat closer to shore with fairly short courses, but none of the bad stuff materialized.  We had three great races and a hungry crowd swarming the club to do justice to cocktails and great Southern pulled pork BBQ from Farm Boys, our local go to guys for such delicacies.

Day two was better!!!  At the 0930 warning signal, winds were pretty steady out of the northeast averaging around 11 knots with plenty of gusts between 15 t0 17 or so.  No threats, so our race management crew set up in open water with some nice long legs to help us shake out the morning cobwebs.  Sailors who spotted the headers and tacked to pick up the lifts early really stretched out to early leads.  Discipline had to be maintained, however, when the headers were in during the lulls.  The patient ones kept moving in the “soft” spots and went for the pressure waves marching down the lake.

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