Wednesday February 20, 2013 12:36PMon
This past weekend, the Florida Flying Scot District Series continued with the George Washington Birthday Regatta, hosted by the Lake Eustis Sailing Club. Lake Eustis is located northwest of Orlando.
John Wake and I arrived at the club Friday afternoon. When we arrived there were 6+ boats out practicing and getting dialed in for the weekend. There was talk of a 30+ boat turnout, but given the expectation of a strong cold front passing through Saturday afternoon, the turnout maxed out at 29 boats.
After setting up 5566, which we had stored at the club since the last event in January, we headed to the Oyster Troff (yes that is how you spell it – only in Florida). This is an annual tradition at this event. There may be some teams who come to this event just for the oysters! Hard to believe we do not have a place like the Oyster Troff in Deltaville.
Saturday morning we arrived at the club hoping to be able to get two races in before the front pushed through and the winds increased to the forecasted 20-25knts. We rigged and launched the boat and got the boat out to our mooring. By the time the skipper’s meeting rolled around the breeze was already ahead of the forecast. There was little movement by the competitors off the dock when the Race Committee headed out to the course. Finally a few of us headed out to the course. It was certainly blowing over 20 with gusts that were likely 25. As we got to the course, the committee was sending the three boats that made it to the course back to shore. So we had a great ride back to the club, packed up the boat for the evening and spent some time catching up with friends.
Sunday the temperature was 36 degrees when we got to the boat. Welcome to sunny Florida! We launched the boat and put all the clothes on we had packed and headed out for a day of racing. Throughout the morning the breeze had been building. At the time of the first start it was blowing 15, but with the temps as low as they were it felt much more than that! But the winds diminished and the temperature warmed through the day and we got in three tricky races (it is a lake). We ended the shortened event with a very consistent 5, 5, 4 to finish in 5th place. We were 1 point out of 3rd and 3 points out of the two way tie for 2nd. As usual, Jeff and Amy Linton won the regatta.
This was the last event for Team Patriot down in Florida this winter. I am not able to make the Mid-Winters Warm-Up at Davis Island (March 9-10) or Mid-Winters at Sarasota (March 11-15). However, John will be there crewing for Mad Sail’s Ryan Malmgren.
I am not going to sugarcoat it, this series is a big time commitment; however, there is no better way to get better than hitting the road and travelling and sailing against better competition. I have had more fun attending these three events (while learning a ton) than I have had in any of my previous travel events in the Scot. I would highly encourage you to think about packing your boat up and enjoying the Florida sun at this year’s Mid-Winter’s and to think about making the trek down next winter to enjoy the fun.
As a follow up note, John Kreidler, a good friend of many Scot sailors, has a new name for his boat. After an interesting incident on Saturday, his boat is now named "In the Weeds" (Not after the TV show or the stuff you smoke). Be sure to ask him next time you see him.