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Commodore's Corner - July 2009

The month of June saw the NIMBY come and go. As you could see from Chris’ article, the winds were challenging and many of us (yes, us, meaning me and others) gave it up early, others hung on until later. Outside of challenging sailing, Wrights Saturday evening concoction went down soothingly. The martini’s on Friday night, made by the martini master himself, Master Perry Morris, went down (cough, cough) smooooootttthhhh. Chris and Dan from Atlanta came down to join in with the merriment. Missed y’all who couldn’t make it but certainly enjoyed the company of those who did.

Did I mention Tikimon, Tiki Mon, Tiki man, Tikiman, was introduced? He was and what a mighty fine looking Tiki he is. The Keys will be rocking when he shows up, no doubt. His exploits have started!

Once again we had very successful lessons thanks to the leadership of Tina with assistance from Linda and Mark Powell. We had our first young’un (11 years old) take lessons in some time and he did real well. The wind started out very light from the east and shifted around to the south around 12:30. Chris Austin, Nancy Donovan, Patrick Holiday, his son Jeremiah Holiday, Sue Bickford, and Kim Field were the students for this lesson. All of them were able to sail on their own in no time. The higher winds in the afternoon were challenging, but many of them stuck with it.

Thanks to those who volunteered their time to help and to those students who came out to learn. Though the tides were out, a good time was had by all.

Don’t forget the Rum n Rootbeer coming up in August.

NIMBY XIII Race Report

by Chris Voith, Atlanta Boardsailing Club

I was vacationing for a week on St. George Island with 18 of my family, and as luck would have it, the annual NIMBY regatta put on by the Shell Point Sailboard Club was held this past weekend at SGI. I had been sailing off the beach among dolphins (and one 5' shark) all week long, getting in some good action on my Equipe with sails from 9.5 down to 7.5. The NIMBY kicked off Friday evening, with racing beginning Saturday morning.

We did the Long Distance race Saturday on the St. George Island Sound side. I sailed my Equipe w/ a 9.5. Dan Burch rode his scooter down from Atlanta and raced on a borrowed F2 Lightning Race with a borrowed 8.5. Paul Hansard (visiting from Colorado) was on a very cool looking Exocet Warp X longboard and 9.8 VMG. Steve Bogan from Pensacola sailed his IMCO with an 8.5. I reckoned they were the ones to beat – but lots of different skill levels jumped in for the adventure. Wright Finney of the Shell Point Club, is the prime force behind the NIMBY. He put together a great crew of help and a small flotilla of boats to make it happen.

The wind was building to maybe 15-18 mph as we launched for the start around noon. Twelve boards left the beach at the launch point, but only 9 crossed the nearby starting line – the heavy chop was a little much for some of the Sport Fleet folks. It was about 5 miles tacking upwind to Little St. George Island, where we met the support boats with lunch, water, and (in the Shell Point tradition), a few obligatory beers. I think 6 made the trip the entire way upwind to the turn-around point. It took me 55 minutes; Dan was 2nd, just 3 minutes later. Paul was 3rd, then Steve. Linda Downey, from Shell Point, showed a ton of grit to get there in a little over 2 hours non-stop. Julie and Scott Williams (also from SP), did a tag-team husband/wife race to complete the course. They had some good stories of trepidation and excitement to tell.

Little St. George Island is interesting and beautiful – very pristine & uninhabited. We refueled, explored a little, swam, and socialized before heading back for the downwind leg.

The return trip was a riot. The wind had increased to about 20 mph, and the chop was building. Of course, everyone still had the original sails that they started the race with. There was some carnage out there and a few towels were thrown-in, but I held on, and despite falling twice, made it back in one piece (and 10 jibes) in 23 minutes. Steve was a few minutes behind me. Dan was giving me a close race on that giant F2 on the upwind leg, but he said it was an ornery bear trying to get it to go downwind in 20 knots. Paul bailed out completely about half way down the course, catching a ride on one of the support boats. So I won again – woo-hoo. (I really had an advantage being on St. George all week and sailing in the same conditions – by Saturday, I was pretty dialed in).

My sister and I caught up with the NIMBY throng again at Harry A's Saturday night, where they were impressing the locals with some big-city dance moves. It's an interesting scene at St. George. It's kind of where vacationing Atlanta meets the Redneck Riviera meets the "Plantation" set....., with a few PhDs and the usual suspects from Tallahassee thrown in this weekend for laughs. Good clean fun.


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