Punta Gorda "Holiday Regatta" Report
Saturday morning opened with chilly
temperatures for southwest Florida, but soon rose to near 80. The wind
was on the boarderline between A and B rigs and the 24 skippers had some
big decisions to make. Several skippers bounced between the two rigs,
but by late morning, it was clear that this was now a "B" rig
Fred Pfeil opened the day with a well sailed win. He was one
of 9 skippers who would win at least one race in the course of the regatta. By
the end of the third race, two skippers were starting to set the pace over the
rest of the pack—Alan Perkins and Al Dion. They were tied with 11 points and
Perkins already had one of his throwouts (a 6th) and no firsts. That soon changed
with Alan getting 4 firsts for the day enroute to 7 bullets for the regatta.
(Some people do share, Alan) The leaders traded positions for the next five races
before Alan closed the day with 2 wins. Al Dion (2), Greer, Hedderick, Steacy,
Kaighan, Cromie, Dudinsky and Ward rounded out the group with a first place finish.
Saturday evening found 22 of us including 12 skippers
at Phil's 41, a fine local restaurant for a lively evening, at least a my table.
Sunday morning was a little warmer and windier. Guste
topped 13 before the first race of the day and were routinely over 20 before
the racing ended. At least one boat tried to play submarine and there were
more than a handfull of wipeouts which resulted in at least one dismasting. One
major tangle-up on Sunday, now know as "Hedderick's Headache", was
resolved with 5 boats being granted redress in one race! I'll bet that's
a new record. There were more than a few fouls, some caused by the high winds,
but none made it to the protest table. A few argued their respective points somewhat
vociferously, but calmer heads prevailed and the disputes were resolved with
only a few bruised egos.
New comer Dave Boulanger had a tough time with only an "A" rig
and had to sit out a couple of high wind races. Bud Cassidy came down with the
flu Saturday morning and had to withdraw. He's back to good health now.
While the top two finishers were within 9 points of each
other, they were almost 30 points ahead of the third place finisher, Doc
Greer. The top two winners were really "ON" which is more than
can be said of Jon Luscomb who launched his boat at least once without turning
On at least two ocassions skippers needed a "hold" for
repairs and several other skippers immediately jumped in to help. It is this
kind of camaraderie that makes this sport so special and rewarding.
A big "Thank You" to Art Hawes and his crew
of Sun Coast Model Sailing Club volunteers. Also my thanks to those who
came from such far away places as Tallahassee and Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. Trophies
went 5 deep plus the Ancient Mariner award to Fred Pfeil. There were 8 seniors
in the fleet.
Let's try for a 30 boat turn out for Naples to start
here for pictures