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The Commodore's Comments - March 2014


While rummaging across old news clippings in the desk I came across this Mark Wallheiser photo of Pat LeMehaute on a classic original windsurfer gybing around a mark off Shell Point Beach. It was about this time 30 years (or so) ago that Men at Work had a big hit with “Downunder” and the FSU Sailing Association hosted an intercollegiate windsurfing event, complete with triangle racing, freestyle (to music) and slalom (using the windsurfer class parallel marks system). Pat was a training partner in Miami a couple years earlier when he was completing high school and a natural talent on the board. He went on to complete an engineering degree at UF and co- founded Berky composites. I think he’s living in the Keys these days.

Speaking of the Keys, from the photos on Facebook, it looks like everybody had a great time, especially Chris Graves, who married his sweetheart Terry while enjoying Fiesta Key. I know Father Vito Sarducci was there representing the Vatican but I’m not sure if he resided over the ceremony.


This month is our biggest spring event: The Wind Ceremony

 

The Wind Ceremony is presided over by the Swami, who leads his followers in the chanting and incantations and offerings to the fire that will ensure we have good breezes for the rest of the year. Even though the Swami supposedly saw his shadow on Feb 2nd, thats no guarantee we won't be covered by some Polar vortex of calm all summer. So get out your prayer flags and fire offering sticks and join us on March 22nd to make sure we have some good winds this season!

See you all at the Wind Ceremony!

Remember, Go Long or go Wrong!

Mark Powell, SPSC Commodore, 2014

 






Wind Ceremony 2014

Come one come all to the annual Wind Ceremony at beautiful Shell Point Beach on March 22nd, 2014! WE NEED WIND for this coming year, so get ready for some cosmic fun lead by Swami and his misfit band of Festoons! The band this year has lots of new songs and of course the classics that will get you off your butt and moving your feet, or at least tapping a toe, except for Rick.

The main event, the music, starts around 6:30pm in order to get in 3 hours of foot stompin’ music before 10pm rolls around. Registration for this event is just $20 which gets you one great Swami designed long sleeve shirt, and, if you brought a food dish, a meal ticket as well. If you don’t bring food, you cannot participate in the feast . The pot luck will begin sometime around 5:30. There is no theme for this year’s dishes, so bring what you make best. Registration on the beach starts at 3pm. If all you want to do is listen to the greatest wind surfing band perform, you are welcome to come and listen to the music, no fee required.








View from the Vice BobbyG

(Click on images for larger view) I know my job is to report on the vice in the club, but I can’t this time. The debauchery and partying that took place in the Keys, stays in the Keys. However, I can tell you about the wonderful things that did happen there.

First and foremost, my brother, Chris for those who don’t know, got married to a wonderful lady, Terry. The wedding was held at sunset point at Fiesta Key and the weather was beautiful. This was such a special event, that we broke with Martini tradition and did the first slap before the ceremony and the happy ending ceremony when the wedding was done. As with my wedding, Tina did a wonderful job conducting the ceremony. Everyone was dressed in the finest Hawaiian shirts and Chris and Terry had the reception at his trailer with beer and burgers for all, including some veggie burgers. Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Though the wind was iffy, the weather the entire time was beautiful, with temperatures in the upper seventies and low eighties everyday and the little bit of rain came at night. Some of us got some sailing on a couple days where the wind was between 10 and 14 and then we had a day where it was 28 to 30 and the big dogs hit the water.

The entire week was kicked off on the first Saturday night when folks dressed up in outfits modeled after the TV show Saturday Night Live! Ours was “Live from Fiesta Key, its Saturday Night!” The costumes were great and can be seen in the pictures up on our website. Thanks to Sherry and Dan for coming up with the idea and coordinating the event!

On an up note, the new management at Fiesta Key is doing a whole lot better job than the last. Though there is still work to be done, it was encouraging to see the folks there starting to get it done. Hopefully we will be going there for more years to come.


Club Meeting, February, 2014

There was no club meeting in February because we were in the Keys, the scribe has documented the activities that happened.


Fear and Loathing in the Feista Key - Part 1

We were somewhere around Moorehaven on the edge of the Everglades when the biscuits began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; you should keep driving...” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge ibises, all swooping and screeching and diving around the truck, which was going about 65 miles an hour with the sunroof open to Fiesta Key. Then it was quiet again. My martini mixologist had taken his shirt off and was pouring left over gravy from the diner on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. “What are you yelling about?” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wrap-around coke bottle sunglasses. “Never mind,” I said. No point mentioning those ibises, I thought. He will see them soon enough.

The back seat of the truck looked like a mobile back bar. We had two bags of martini glasses, 2 monster jars of queen olives, four packages of high-end blue cheese, a miniature bottle of vermouth, a penguin full of toothpicks, and a horn and also a fifth of limon rum, and a case of Mexican beers. All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of highspeed driving all over Wakulla County – from Sopchoppy to Shadeville, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into serious martini preparation, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. It was almost noon, and we still had more than a hundred miles to go. They would be tough miles. Very soon, I knew, we would both be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out. Registration was at the camp ground, and we had to get there by four to claim our primo spot. Dave Denmark had taken care of the reservations, and with this huge Dodge truck we’d loaded down like the Clampetts skipping out on the rent, we headed south from Shell Point... and I was, after all, the SPSC scribe; so I had an obligation to cover the story, for good or ill.

The only thing that really worried me was the vermouth. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a less than desert-dry martini. And I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next sunset. We had loaded up on biscuits and gravy in Avon Park. And then do the next hundred miles in a horrible, slobbering sort of food induced stupor. The only way to keep alert after biscuits and gravy is to crank up the volume – not all at once, but steadily, just enough to maintain the focus at 65 miles an hour through the ‘Glades.

“Man, this is the way to travel,” said my martini mixologist. He leaned over to turn the volume up on the radio, humming along with the rhythm section and kind of moaning the words: “Like the legend of the Phoenix, All ends with beginning.” Ends with beginning? You poor fool! Wait till you see those ibises. I could barely hear the radio... slumped over on the far side of the seat, grappling with iTunes on my phone turned all the way up on “Sympathy for the Devil.” That was the only Stones mp3 I had, so I played it constantly, over and over, as a kind of demented counterpoint to the radio. And also to maintain our rhythm on the road. A constant speed is good for gas mileage – and for some reason that seemed important at the time. Indeed. On a trip like this one must be careful about gas consumption. Avoid those quick bursts of acceleration that drag blood to the back of the brain.

Your Scribe, Bill Olson


Mid Winters Report


(Click on images for larger view) Like a number of you that enjoy racing events, I used to go to MidWinters regularly (97-01). For me it was exciting to be part of, even if I had no business on the water with the rock stars. Imagine 150+ racers, including a bunch of the guys you normally only see in the magazines. It was a huge learning experience. Then my work schedule got too crazy and the ole bod too tore up. After a 10 year break, the Lost Boys talked me in to giving it a try again. Thanks for the push guys! This was the 4th year I’ve ventured to Cocoa Beach area for a long weekend of racing and glad to have done it each time.Usually good spring wind. Last year was particularly challenging; very cold and very windy, 20-25+ kind of windy. When you race Kona, your sail size is weight based and you don’t get to go smaller during the event even though conditions might call for it. Wind max for Kona racing is 25.

This year the forecast was sunny, high 60’s/low 70’s but lighter wind, 8-10ish. Not enough to get excited about but it is a great event anyway. Some have fussed about the entry fee being high compared to SPSC and Lake Lanier standards but MidWinters includes 3 days of racing, 3 lunches and 3 evening meals. Suzie and crew feed us very well, quality and quanity. If you haven’t been, Kelly Park is a great venue to sail. Most wind directions are good, many spots in the river are chest deep (thankfully..) and the park is dedicated to windsurfing so you can safely leave your gear rigged overnight. Surprise, surprise.. the wind last weekend was nearly perfect at 15-18 Friday & Saturday afternoons. Sunday was a little lighter but decent.

There were four A fleets: Kona, Formula, RS:X, and Longboards. I raced my Kona, Friday with A fleet. Saturday, purely in the spirit of international diplomacy, I joined Kona Sport to round out the class with some darlin’ Swedish guys. On Friday, Perry Morris came to mind as I realized how out of shape my arms were and should have been working out a little over the winter holidays.. A poorly rigged sail will wear you out when the wind picks up. Also recalled Mark Powell’s comments in the last newsletter about checking out your gear in prep for the season. Missed one start with a broken tendon. (No visable signs of age but a good twist test on land would have revealed the weakness.) Missed two other races due to naïve rigging. That little mast cap the sail head webbing fits in.. yeah you really need it when the webbing is barely an inch wide and you already have too much downhaul. Good news is the first time the mast popped out, I had a major confidence build by finding one on those chest deep spots and re-rigged on the water. Really big deal for me. Should have changed masts or found a cap that fit when we took a break but it looked fine… haha. Later that afternoon it was crankin and my group was called for next race. Was haulin butt down wind, in the straps, to the start line squealin like a kid and BAM. Spectacular wipe out. Lost my hat and glasses as I tried to crawl out of a crimpled sail. Sounded like a mast breaking but it had just popped out again and the sail ‘violently’ collapsed.

Ended up taking 3rd but had a great time and learned a lot. Typical LBD, when me and my gear were tight, I spanked their cute blonde selves. Overall, the gents were steady ready and deserved their 1st and 2nd place trophies.

Congrats to SPSC affiliates Dan Olivier for 1st in LongBoard and Steve Bogan 1st in Kona Grandmasters.

One really fun thing about MidWinters is the international element. Love to hear various languages around the beach and see the varied Olympic style country flags on sails. There is usually a strong presence of Techno kids from many countries but they had just had a race in Mexico and unable to make MidWinters too.

I know this event is really tight after our Keys trip but if you race at all, please give it some serious consideration next year.

Linda Downey






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