My favorite skipper gave the boat the –– I hope temporary –– sobriquet of "Work in Progress." A brand-new, styrene-scented, shiny white Lightning, boat #15590 came fresh from Allen Boat Company in Buffalo, NY this spring.
No, not ours: the boat is owned by Steve and Jan Davis of Denver, Colorado. (Check out what they do when not sailing!)
Jeff and Steve and I assembled the parts and took our first sail on a mild-mannered Saturday. And then started racing in earnest on a less mild-mannered Sunday at the 70th annual St. Petersburg Winter Championships.
Three races in breeze, a case of strep throat for Mr. Linton, two additional days of light-and-flukey, and we finished the regatta in sixth place, leaving a regrettable pile of points on the table.
Sometimes it's possible to pinpoint exactly the eight points separating oneself from the top five. Sigh.
Bill Clausen is one of the shining lights of the International Lightning Class. He's taken wonderful action shots of regattas for years, and then shares them freely. Here's the whole Flickr album from the regatta.
Also on the water taking great photos -- Phil Pape, who does a really lovely line of artful photos of sailing events. Here's the link to his page for the Winter Championships in St. Petersburg. www.philpape.photography/p587696734.
Our Southern Circuit continued in Miami, where the weather forecast offered some sort of WindPocalypse. Light air, snorting breeze, atmospheric lightning –– we had it all. Racing was called off one day –– when WeatherUnderground shows a maximum puff was 45 mph. A nice day to mooch around Coconut Grove and check out the peacocks.
On the last day of the Midwinters, regatta organizers put together four races in fresh (high teens) breeze. I don't know if I can regret not having photos, but we finished the third race in 22nd place, after a brief but refreshing swim. Something happened mid-gybe when we were in fourth place trying for third. Oops.
Work in Progress was quickly re-righted, our rummage sale of gear was returned to us by a nearby coach boat (Thanks Nick Turney! Thanks Brian Hayes!), and we pulled ourselves together enough to finish the regatta with a bullet. As a special bonus, Steve Davis got to wash Biscayne Bay sand out of the top of the brand-new mast and replace the spreaders! Got that out of the way, knock wood! Yay!
It's a pleasure to sail with the Davises –– we always laugh a lot and eat well and sail as hard as we can. Thank you Steve and Jan for including us in this Work project.
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