by Sandy Eustis, FS5610
A record 25 Flying Scots showed up at the Keowee Sailing Club in Seneca, South Carolina for the 2016 Grits 'n Haggis Regatta. The event, held on May 21-22, also served as the 2016 Dixie Lakes District Championship Regatta. Only 2 races were held on Saturday, due to the effects of a violent squall after the end of the second race. PRO Jake Kohl had wisely shortened that race and sent the fleet scurrying for cover from a fast approaching squall which had unexpectedly turned more than 90 degrees to the right and headed due south to our venue after passing well to the north and west of Lake Keowee earlier in the afternoon. Most of the competitors were well aware of what transpired at the ACCs last year when a monster squall hit the racing fleet, so almost everyone at Lake Keowee was wearing life jackets, and several skippers had wisely turned into the approaching storm, taken down their sails, raised their centerboards, and they remained upright when the squall hit. With about 10 boats already at the dock, and with most of the mid-pack group almost home, the southbound freight train met the 15mph breeze moving northward right off the end of the KSC docks. 8 boats were almost instantly capsized, 4 of which turned turtle, and another remained upright but lost her mast, all within about 10-15 seconds. At least 2 Scots had crew members on their fore decks with docking lines in hand when they were suddenly capsized.