The Commodore's Crow's Nest - July 2012
The summer is half gone (if you're a student). But
in our little slice of Paradise, summer has many,
many weeks left, so let's get out and enjoy it. We
have more lessons scheduled. Check the calendar and
volunteer to help Bob Graves out. We have the Rum
'n Root Beer on August 11th. Bring the family for
fun and games at the beach. The Endless Summer Sailboard
Classic is coming up on September 28th through 30th.
This is the club's biggest event of the year. So get
involved. We can always use help, planning, organizing,
and executing this event. So call, text or email me
if you can help.
The NIMBY was a smashing success from the perspective
of all the attendees that I talked with. Many got
smashed on Friday evening at Shell Island or later
at the pool. Wright's punch has the rep for inducing
the “smash” syndrome on even the professional
drinkers in our club. Saturday's long distance racing
was quite challenging for many with shifty, gusty
conditions on the first leg and choppy seas from boat
wake on the way back. We even had a bored board sailor
who couldn't wait to reach the “past commodore's
lounge”. Dinner at the St. Andrew's YC Saturday
evening was well worth the extra registration fee.
Check out our facebook
page for pictures and the newsletter for more
tales and info on this year's NIMBY.
Don't forget to join us at the monthly SPSC general
meeting at Beef O'Brady's this Tuesday, July 10th.
'Til then, festoons!!
Submitted by Bob Andrews, Commodore
2012 Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta C Fleet Wrap-up
by Tina Mazanek
At our regattas, SPSC conducts a clinic-type beginner’s
fleet called, novice or C fleet. Most folks call it C fleet
from the days when there was an A, B and C fleet, now they
are called Longboard and Sport fleet. It is designed for those
who have a basic understanding of windsurfing, want to improve
their skills and of course have fun! It also allows for other
windsurfers to assist by being the rabbit (for the C fleeters
to follow) or offering technical assistance on the race course.
Charlie Yontz and Adam Bennett were the C fleeters for the
2012 Smith regatta. After taking a sabbatical for several
years, Charlie returned to us in full force as a windsurfer
and contributor to the club. Among other things, Charlie is
determined to learn to use his harness this summer so he can
sail in sport fleet at the Endless Summer Sailboard Classic
this fall. Adam has been a participant in this event as a
longstanding member of the beer truck crew. He finally took
windsurfing lessons last year and has made tremendous progress.
Saturday began with light air, which is usual for this event.
White flag at 1:00 pm with Bob Andrews as our rabbit, the
start line was at the beach. Bob took off on time, but Charlie
and Adam, so polite, not wanting to get in each other’s
way, took about a minute to cross the line. Once they crossed
though, off they went, successfully starting the first race.
Charlie finished 24 minutes later and Adam wisely decided
to bail - a Did Not Finish (DNF) - but a very wise WISE choice.
Then we had a treat. Our very own John Gilbert - you know
John, the guy who is always helping everyone during events-lights,
digging holes, setting courses, rescuing us- literally jumped
on a board for the first time n seven years. With a 7.5 sail,
he looked like a pro.
The second race was the most interesting. Charlie experienced
the thrill of catching an angler’s fishing line, but
hey you go where the wind takes you. Charlie finished this
race in 7 minutes. I decided to go find out what was so interesting
that Adam had to continuing sailing west. Turns out he was
interested in the Hobie fleet - they let us know they were
about to begin a start sequence and we let them know we were
already commenced in a race. By this time Bob and Charlie
were in a boat warding us off from the oyster bar - funny
how close to that thing you can get without realizing it.
Adam’s scenic route took 45 minutes - yey - his first
finish of the day!
After a break, with the wind up to a whopping 8 knots, they
had their best start ever. The wind had shifted to the south
and the first mark was now upwind. We decided to leave it
in the upwind position-just like the Longboard and Sport fleets!
Charlie finished in 6 minutes. Adam decided to get a closer
view of the fishing boats in the channel, finishing in 11
The last race was the quickest-five minutes for Charlie and
22 minutes for Adam. Adam had his best run to the first mark,
just like a video. Overall Charlie improved his racing time
by 79 percent and Adam 51 percent. More importantly, they
learned and had mucho mucho fun!
My thanks to Bob Andrews and John Gilbert for their assistance.
Special thanks to the first place finisher (Welcome to Sport
Fleet), Charlie Yontz and second place finisher, Adam Bennett
for a great 2012 Stephen C Smith Memorial Regatta C Fleet.
on images for larger view
Lessons (Please at least read the Plea below)
So far this year we have taught over 60 people, half
under the age of 18. Lessons have been nonstop the last
four weeks. First lesson was on the Saturday morning
before the long distance race got started at the NIMBY
on June 16th. Just had four kids at lessons that day,
but two of them loved it and sailed for about three
After the NIMBY, we had lessons on the morning of the
23rd, the weekend when no one knew what tropical storm
Debby was going to do. Due to the weather conditions,
the class size numbered only ten, but an enthusiastic
and good class it was. Every member of the Paris family;
dad, mom, and son, were sailing very well by the time
the day was done. The weather was pretty good, though
we encountered some rain, it was not enough to stop
the lessons or get people off the water.
June 30th was a special day setup for the Venturing
Scouts that went well and are the subject of a separate
article. This past weekend, July 7th, was the first
lesson after our efforts were published in the July
5th edition of the Wakulla News, page 8B. Though the
last paragraph of the article asks you to reserve a
space, we had two walk-ons which we gladly took, and
about 15 people overall. Though 15 is a lot, everyone
had a great time and we had several that became very
adept on the water.
This last paragraph is a plea for anyone who has decent
gear they no longer use to donate it to training. We
prefer not to use any sails over 5.0 and could really
use some lighter booms and masts and more stable boards.
I am amazed at what the club has been able to do, starting
back in the nineties with Chris G., Tina, and others,
in the training arena. With little to no club money
being used for training (with the exception of the $1.2million
salary the training coordinator deserves), a very successful
training program has been created. We are one of the
few windsurfing organizations in the country that is
actually growing while many are disbanding. Much of
this can be contributed to the training done by the
Note: The pictures above
show students getting up and falling in, not uncommon
with new learners. However, who is that guy with the
blue hat? Why is he always around when they fall? Stay
tuned for “The Guy in the Blue Hat, friend or
by Bob Graves
on images for larger view)
First off, I had no idea what a Venturing scout was. Turns
out they are great kids from ages 14 through 20, both boys
and girls, that love to experience different activities. The
group we had numbered about 14 enthusiastic kids with enough
energy to light Tallahassee. The parents that accompanied
the group were as enthusiastic and helpful as the kids.
The scouts got to the beach a little after 10am and brought
about five kayaks with them. They all assisted in removing
equipment from the trailer so that lessons could get started
at 11. The wind was blowing nicely from the west at around
7 knots, perfect wind for teaching. What surprised me most
was how relentless some of these kids were in wanting to learn.
I believe some stayed on the water the entire 4 hours that
lessons were being taught. We have some promising looking
sailors in the group and the scout troop is looking at buying
a windsurfer so the kids can continue to practice.
I want to thank all the folks from the club that showed up
to help train. Bill and Charlie got there early on, before
10:30, then around 11, when lessons got under way, we were
joined by Amy and Mark P. Even later, Deb and Adam came down
After lessons, the wind picked up to around 14 and Bill and
I had a blast, though the water was going out quickly. The
Summer series got off to a great unplanned start.
Summer Race Series
(Click on images for larger view)
unplanned, the Summer race series started July 1st at 4:30,
after Mark Powell left the beach. The wind was kicking around
13knots, so Bill and I felt conditions were good to get
the series started. Sadly, Bill and I were the only racers
on the water. I can’t understand people not showing
up after no planning or discussion for this race series
Even thought there were only two of us, the racing was heated
and contentious (see picture). Since the wind was so good,
we decided to do a couple races. I won both of them. Bill
has filed a protest, upset that I would never tell him when
the racing started, and, being a student of Mark Voigt’s
school of officiating, his protest was filed appropriately.
The Summer series will go on as unplanned. Maybe.
Rum & Rootbeer Regatta
Mark your calendar for August 11th when the R&R
takes place! This year’s theme is Camullet, which
is Camelot with a Wakulla flavor. If you want to know how
to dress for the affair and what many of the games will
be loosely based on, see Monty Python’s Holy Grail,
a Knight’s Tale, and similar fare. There will be jousting,
sword play, the Holy Cast Net of Panacea, dragons, and battles
with the Black Knight. We will have three tribes; French,
English, and Vikings, all of whom must hurl insults at one
another throughout the festivities. Kids are welcome to
participate and we will have activities for the real young
There will be prizes galore, something for everyone, thanks
to Corner Pockets on Apalachee Parkway. This is a family
Club meeting minutes June 12th
Called to order at 7:38. 16 present.
Don promised article on NIMBY.
Beach regulations. Most people there know SPSC folks should
get in free.
Smith Regatta made 16k for the American Cancer Society.
Mark Voigt decided to finally join us. Jack just came in.
Deb and Amy’s entrance now make 20 members present.
See, 16 at the start, plus 4 more, equals 20.
Bob A. spoke about lessons and mentioned someone who took
lessons from Mississippi donated $50 to the club from lessons
and someone else joined. People from all over are taking lessons
from the SPSC!
We have a positive balance in our checking book and our insurance
is paid. Lots of discussion on insurance. Typical nanny state
requirement forced on us by the insurance companies and attorneys.
Summer racing is not going to happen. Or is it? Bob G. suggested
racing on Mondays at 1pm, but not too many people could make
it, which was precisely the reason Bob suggested that time
since HE could make it.
NIMBY – discussing the course. Be there Friday at noon
for the boat trip out to snorkel. Saturday will be the long
distance race to Shell Island. Hope to have the Trophies presentation
on Sunday around 1pm. Training will be Saturday morning from
9-11 at the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club.
Someone must have adjourned, because I quit taking notes.
Maybe I fell asleep. Anyway, TH TH TH THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!