Dixie Lakes District

The Dixie Lakes District encompasses several fleets in the South that are not on the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts, and span Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

In Georgia we have Lake Lanier in Atlanta. In Tennessee we have Privateer Yacht Club in Hixson. In South Carolina we have Western Carolina Sail Club in Anderson and Keowee Sailing Club in Seneca. In Alabama we have North Central Alabama in Birmingham, Mussel Shoals Sailing Club in Lauderdale and Brown's Creek Sailing Association in Guntersville.

The District Governor is Rob Fowler.

BIG WIND AND NO BREEZE AT CONFEDERATE ADMIRALS’ REGATTA

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by Joe VerPlank

Memorial Day weekend at Muscle Shoals Sailing Club started out hot and sunny with a nice breeze that we all anticipated for the Saturday and Sunday races.  By the time we had finished the Skipper’s Meeting and lunch, the breeze was beginning to pick up to a nice Southeasterly.  Our flawless PRO, Gar Bouse, had set a perfect windward-leeward course two times around.  By the time we had our first start, the wind had puffed up to around twelve knots.  Then the skippers had to decide whether to take the route closer to shore where there is usually a lift or to go up the middle where there was more wind.  It didn’t seem to make much difference which route you took since we all met at the windward mark about the same time and we were all competitive.  Going downwind was a different story.  The shifty winds started taking its toll on the boats that were not quite as skilled on their spinnakers.  As we rounded the leeward mark, the boats that could douse their chutes the best and trim windward surged further ahead.  There were puffs at eighteen to twenty as the wind built higher.  Some boats were going into survival mode but fortunately, no one went over.  The wind stayed up the duration of our three races on Saturday.

2016 Grits 'n Haggis - Dixie Lakes District Regatta, Keowee Sailing Club, Seneca SC

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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. 

Chattanooga Choo Choo a Real Hoot

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The fleet! gorgeous, right? The orange spinnaker belongs to Rob Fowler's new boat photo: Jim Davis

Well, Chattanooga sure was a blast again this year! 

With 29 boats, about double the typical turnout, it was as if all the stars aligned: Birmingham Sailing Club, one of the largest southern fleets outside of Florida, decided to start traveling and three or four boats came from there; Lynn and Bill Bruss from Chattanooga spent the winter racing in Florida, and so Mark and Michelle Taylor returned the favor, traveling up from Tampa for the weekend; Lake Keowee sent three boats; and the Midwest District continued to support the event with five boats from Madison, Carlyle and Clinton.  

2015 Scot-A-Hootchee - Lake Lanier Sailing Club, GA

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Fleet #111 hosted the 2015 Scot a Hoochee Regatta on Lake Lanier in Flowery Branch, GA.  A drizzly rain came and went, but the wind stayed for both days, ranging from 10 to 20.  5 races were sailed on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.  The competition was close for the top spot, with Tony Milligan winning the regatta with a bullet in the last race.

One of the highlights was the trophies, handmade tote bags from an old main sail, made by one of our fleet member’s wife Indu Kowalski, pictured above with the Scot fleet.  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

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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.

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