Thursday October 11, 2012 07:49PMon
Sharon and John Wake just returned from Alabama and a very nice performance (5th) in this years Wife/Husband Championships.
This is a great event and John's recap (see below) brought back memories of some 25 years ago when my wife Yvonne and I ventured out to Lake Cowan to sail in the inaugural event (which was held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Regatta). I remember we were shocked to sail in 20-25 kt conditions on Day 1 and 16 kts for Day 2. You just don't ever expect that on a small inland lake in the Summer. On Friday, we had the honor of corralling Sandy Douglas into having lunch with us and in the course of the conversation, we got to talking about Skip Etchells and his world-renowned wooden Stars, and this evolved into Sandy telling me all about his early days of building Intl 14 footers.
I don't remember where we finished in that regatta but I do remember Harry and Karen won it sailing in "First One". But I digress .........
John kindly put together a nice report of their adventures:
The word on this year’s Flying Scot Wife / Husband regatta was it was a long away – Northern Alabama but the venue – Joe Wheeler State Park was beautiful. The Park had a Lodge on premises nestled right on the Tennessee River. We could literally tie our boat up right in front of our room. A check of the park website showed a very pretty setting and a very reasonable, almost too good to be true, price per night. After a little persuasion, Sharon agreed to go – the pics of the lodge were very helpful – and I didn’t mention it was a 12 hour trip one-way. We were not alone with our analysis of the event 25 boats signed up with at least ten coming from greater than 600 miles. Going to the event we broke the trip up – leaving Thursday night stopping in Bristol, Virginia and going the rest of the way on Friday. We arrived mid-afternoon, the setup area and ramp were about a mile away from the Lodge. After setting up and launching the boat, we split up - Sharon took the van and checked into our room .I took the boat to the marina in front of the Lodge. As I pulled into the slip, Sharon met me…Uh–Oh moment of truth, was the room as advertised? Not to worry it was even better than we hoped for with a private patio off the room with a view to die for…no matter how the things went on the water we were set shore side….very good for marital morale!
We woke Saturday to the opposite of Friday weather-wise…instead of sunny and hot, Saturday was cloudy, cold with wind topping out around twelve. Out on the race course is was eerie, there was so much steam rising off the water we could barely see the marks. Traditionally the Wife / Husband is a 3 race series. This year the event was changed to five races – three on Saturday, two on Sunday. The Race Committee, after a few organizational problems, got the first race off!...to a general recall. This was repeated a couple times until the committee got wise and moved the pin. The day was a classic “connect the dots” day with huge puffs and accompanying shifts. The key was to get off the line clean and hit the first puff. It was helpful not to look around….too depressing to see boats you had just blown away, crossing boat lengths ahead…if you were patient the process would reverse itself – several times a leg. We were very lucky – we kept out of trouble and managed to hang around the lead pack. Saturday night we were treated to a dinner and a movie outside at one of the park shelters. We were advised to bring chairs and blankets, combined with a large fire in stone fireplace made for a very fun evening. The movie? Wind!...we all left the movie threatening to pull out our whompers and sail with no rules on Sunday ( if you haven’t seen Wind – go rent it – it’s a classic)
Sunday was colder and windier initially, with puffs in the low teens. Like Saturday big shifts and changes in velocity. On board the dog we apparently had left “lucky” on shore – couldn’t get off the line clean and had trouble with tying spin sheets on (going down the first downwind leg the sheet became “untied” – trying to fly the spinnaker with one sheet is very slow- take my word for it!). We had two mid-pack finishes. In the last race which was a five legged affair, the sun came out and the wind glassed off on the last leg …which again scrambled the middle of the fleet. Going in Sharon and I reversed the logistics and by 2:30 were packed, ready to go. We unfortunately couldn’t stay for the awards presentation (I had to be at work the next day, so we ended up cannonballing home, arriving Richmond at three a.m.) From all accounts event chair Wilson Jenkins once again out did himself by having Olympic styled awards ceremony, complete with flowers and metals! Amy and Jeff Linton won ( this was anti-climactic they already had won the 2012 NAC’s) and The Eric Ammons Trophy AKA the geezer trophy for the highest placing team with a combined age of over one hundred was won by ….Sharon and John Wake. (What do you expect when I get to sail with a young trophy wife?). Next year’s Wife/Husband will be held at Deep Creek in Western Maryland on June 29 &30. This will be another fantastic venue and while it will be lake sailing, with the all the Scots on the lake it promises to be a well-attended affair.