In which we sign for some silver. And do some cannonballs into the cool cool water.
Three races in surprisingly fresh breeze (5 to maybe 10 knots), slung the Speckled Butterbean along smartly on the final day of the Flying Scot North American Championships.
Beginning the day with a 4-point deficit behind Al Terhune, we didn't have high expectations. Nevertheless, the skipper sent us racketing up the left-hand side of the lake, trying to play connect-the-dots with bands of stronger pressure while most of our competition went right. At the first windward mark, we nipped in ahead of Team "Baby Daddy" Morgan, and then led for the rest of the three legs. By the downwind mark, Al rounded the right-hand mark, while we picked left, and the Butterbean took off some unfortunate scalded creature, galloping. At the downwind finish, we took first with Al just behind.
Race #2 of the day went nearly the same way -- we found breeze and took an early lead and then held onto it with both hands while Al chomped on our heels. As they say in the craps table -- two points the hard way.
In Race #3, we saw Al heading for a pin-end start. It did not work out well for him. We started just to the right of him and our start wasn't fantastic, but we managed to wiggle across on port tack. Fellow Tampa sailor Mark Taylor was on our lee bow, plowing the way across the fleet and making us sweat to stay off his quarter. He finally shook us off about three-quarters of the way up.
We rounded the top mark in around sixth place, and hung tough to gain a couple of boats somewhere. We were busy trying to keep track of Al -- even with half-a-dozen boats between us, he and his wife Katie are very fast and are not likely to roll over when the odds go against them. We ended the series with a 4th place -- we couldn't quite catch Rob Whittemore at the finish line -- while Al had a 12th, which put us at the top of the leader-board. Yay the Butterbean!
The boats headed into shore, where unusually mild chaos reigned as 70 boats attempt to haul out, pack up, and put all their toys away. Celebratory cannonballs at the dock and general sharing of bevvies marked the end of racing.
The extensive loot-awarding ceremony went at a spanking rate (Yay Carol Claypool!), and most everyone hit the road by 5 pm on Friday. Outgoing class prez Diane Kampf and her husband Greg took top honors in the Challenger Division.
The Tampa fleet took fleet honors (good thing, since we forgot to retrieve the Fleet trophy from Captain Andy's house. Oops!). Mark and Stew took took top Father-Son in 7th overall. Team Butterbean earned a major haul of loot, but false modesty dictates I should just shut up and close here.
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