Sabal Pines MYC Regatta Report
Drifting 101
By Kent Farndell

Something told me on Friday that this was going to be a slow weekend. We opened the lake about 1pm for check-in and practice. A few of the entrants started arriving about 3pm and continued until about 5pm. During this time we were waiting for the main entrant to arrive—wind! That was a no show. Little did those who got to the site early know that that was what it was going to be like.

To solve the lack of wind we, along with those who were arriving early retired to the Bar at the Marriott Courtyard and started to indulge and appease the party gods.

Saturday would be a study in contrasts. The day started with a great lack of clouds, there by producing an abundance of sun. With sun you get heat, with no wind you get even more heat, and the standard humidity spikes at about 92%. With all those combinations you get DRIFTING…

Skippers meeting went off with out a hitch or wind. First heat went off on time and things were rolling--slowly. Second through fifth heats were about the same and then it was time for lunch. After five heats John Bottensek and Tony Gonsalves were locked in a tie with 13 points apiece.

I have neglected to mention that we had a total of 13 entrants one of which could not participate due to health reasons (Doug, our best wishes for a speedy recovery).

When racing resumed after lunch it seemed that there was a little more breeze but not much. We would continue taking breaks after every 3 heats. Despite the light wind we were able to rack up another 10 heats for the end of the first day. In the last two heats the wind finally arrived and we sailed in about 8 to 10 knots of breeze. That breeze meant only one thing—rain. As we were packing away the boats and equipment the lightening alarm went off. (More later). With 90% of the stuff for the regatta collected it started to rain and rain. I think that just about everyone had everything loaded into the cars. We only had to load the chase boat and we would be done.

This lightening alarm is a circa 1950 air raid alarm only smaller and louder. A censor will find static charges within the area and then sound the take cover signal. Then 20 minutes later it will sound the all clear, if no more static charges are sensed.

Anyway at the end of day one, Tony Gonsalves and John Bottensek were separated by just one point at 43 and 44 points respectively. Joe Walter and Harry Strunk were tied for a distant third place with 76 points each and John Rowley was hanging close with 78.

Dinner and drinks were served at Islamorada Fish Company in Outdoor World, Dania, Florida. Sailing conditions were discussed and contemplated in preparation for tomorrow’s continuation of our first regatta for EC-12s.

Sunday dawned just as Saturday did with little or no wind. A brief skippers meeting was held and racing resumed at 9:30am. Joe Walter scored three bullets in a row to start the day and Harry Strunk put together a string of firsts and seconds for the last four heats, but neither one would catch the two leaders. We finally had enough of drifting and the regatta ended at 12:10pm. In honor of the Olympics, we presented medals to the top five skippers (3rd, 4th, and 5th were all Bronze medals).

Gold John Bottensek 61  
Silver Tony Gonsalves 66  
Bronze Joe Walter 82  
4 Harry Strunk 84  
5 John Rowley 92  
6 Bob Dudinsky 106  
7 Earl Mills 150  
8 John Garver 152  
9 Ed Gelina 166  
10 Rex Theile 173  
11 Bob Greer 177 Did not sail on Sunday
12 John Biles 216 Did not sail on Sunday

I would like to thank all the helpers from Sabal Pines Model Yacht Club for their assistance in hosting this regatta, Albert, Janot, Jim, Kim, Gordon, and Tom for helping at the lake. It would have been much more difficult without you.

I would like to thank Tony Gonsalves for sailing my boat in this regatta. Note: Tony only had one day of practice with this boat and previously had not sailed an EC-12.

Thanks again for this opportunity to host a regatta for the Florida EC-12 Association.