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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 minutes.

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.

Click 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 hours.

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.

Plea: 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 SPSC.

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 foe?”.

Venturing Scouts

by Bob Graves

(Click 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 to help.

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)

As 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 took place.

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 one.

There will be prizes galore, something for everyone, thanks to Corner Pockets on Apalachee Parkway. This is a family event.






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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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