It’s great to be back! Seems like just the other day I was embarking for a “Giro di Sardegna” (Tour of Sardinia). I competed in the Windsurfer LT Italian National titles in Porto Pino, a resort area about an hour west of the major city of Cagliari at the south end of the Island. One thing that inspired me was the windsurfing clubs I was introduced to and their variety.
My first stop was after landing in Rome at the nearby beach town of Fregene. My friend Francesco put me up but I wasn’t feeling well so I just laid low. I did get to see the club however, where the boards were kept about 2 hundred yards from the beach and folks paid an annual fee.
In the north east end of Sardina near Olbia were two informal clubs. One a group of sailors who approached a beach bar to allow them to keep their boards there for a fee. Another out of an architect friend Giorgio’s back yard at his beachside cottage that stored 8 boards.
I trained with these welcoming folks for a few days despite them not knowing a word of English and my paltry Italian skills.
Later, after the nationals and just before heading back to Rome to depart for the US, my friend Alberto introduced me to the Cagliari windsurfing club. At 580 members its a big deal but what do you expect when Cagliari has an actual Windsurfing Museum!
I lived in Miami for 30 years and thought Biscayne Bay was probably the best sailing location in the world but Sardinia has changed my mind. In Cagliari a morning stroll can take you from an America’s Cup Challenger HQ to a WingSurfing World Cup, and a Windsurfing club with almost 600 members and 30 Windsurfer LTs! And a casual lunch might find a Windglider and Windsurfer class World Champion!
The Atlanta Fall Classic 2023
Once again, Chris Voith put on a wonderful event and those of us who stayed at Old Federal dodged a bullet when congress passed the budget and the federal park stayed open. Rumor has it that the park may be turned over to the county to run allowing it to stay open year-round instead of for just six months. The downside will be an increase in price from the $12 a night we elderly enjoy.
There were well over 20 boards on the water and the Open unlimited included three windsurf foil racers and two wing foils. The SPSC had a great showing of people and Chris Voith ran a Novice fleet for the first time in a long time. He convinced one of his big boat sailing mates to run it and, with Tina’s help and advice, there was a novice fleet!
On the trip up, those of us pulling trailers (Joe, Tina, Richard, Chris, Randy, Becky) stopped at Georgia Veterans state park near Cordele. Beautiful place, but starting sometime near 10pm, the skies opened up and it poured until about 7am the next morning. The weather cleared for our remaining ride to Lake Lanier, even though it was a bit drizzly Friday morning, dashing plans to ride Chicopee bike trails nearby. Saturday the weather cleared and the wind from the West/Northwest was blowing, with gusts to 28. Congrats to all those who stayed out there and finished all three races run that afternoon. Sunday morning brought a little cooler air, but the wind was not as strong, and two more races were run.
Overall, this was another wonderful Atlanta Fall Classic and one I hope to continue going to as long as Chris continues to have it. It was great to see him have help this year from other members of the sailing club.
A Spooky Adventure at the Atlanta Fall Classic ~ by Laura Least
Last weekend, the Atlanta Fall Classic at Lake Lanier provided an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. As I embarked on this adventure, fresh from my reconstructive hip surgery earlier in the summer, I couldn’t have anticipated the excitement and eerie encounter that awaited me. The organizers, Chris Voith and William Fragakis did a fantastic job planning and executing the entire affair. They orchestrated a magical weekend that galvanized both participants and spectators alike. But what truly added the cherry on top was the timing of it all. Picture this: sailing on a haunted lake during the weekend of a ring-of-fire solar eclipse, set against the backdrop of Friday the 13th. Insane, right?
Due to the recent surgery, my mobility was limited, so I was primarily seated, taking in the races with my own eyes. However, fate had other plans for me. In a moment of trust and probably madness, Chris Voith handed over his camera and asked me to capture some pictures. Now, let me make it clear—I am no professional photographer. And it showed. Every snap was dark and difficult to make out, leaving me scratching my head in confusion. Little did I know the solar eclipse that I mentioned earlier was to blame for the darkness, not my questionable photography skills. It was both a relief and a revelation when the shots became clearer and more transparent. I had unintentionally encountered the perfect conditions for capturing some ethereal and mysterious moments.
As the evening descended upon us after the first day of racing, we all gathered at the sailboard clubhouse—a stunning event space adorned with a large stone fireplace. The cozy ambiance drew me closer, prompting me to inquire about the rumored haunting of the lake. The tale that unfolded sent shivers down my spine. Legend has it that in 1958, two women—Delia Parker Young and Susie Roberts, dressed to impress for a nearby party—sped out of a gas station without paying. Tragically, they never made it to their destination. The car veered off into the lake close to Lanier Bridge, and both women mysteriously vanished without a trace. A year later, a fisherman made a chilling discovery—an armless body and the remnants of a blue dress, eerily like the one Delia was last seen wearing. Sadly, the coroner was unable to identify the body, and the mystery of the “Lady of the Lake” was born. Locals claim to have witnessed a haunting figure, an armless woman in a blue dress, walking along the bridge on moonlit nights. Interestingly, no findings were reported of Susie or the vehicle until many years later when the bridge underwent construction. As the workers swept the bottom of the bridge wreckage, they made a shocking discovery, a 1954 Ford was identified as twisted in half with the bones of Susie Roberts still inside. There is chatter of other spirits and stories, including an underwater ghost town, but, to learn more, I recommend attending next year's Atlanta Fall Classic.
On a lighter and less haunting note, after the windsurfing races concluded for the weekend, we all got together for a potluck-style meal near the crackling campfire. We indulged in martinis and an array of food and treats. Among them was the infamous campfire banana, something I had never heard of. Curiosity got the better of me, and I threw a banana onto the fire, following the lead of my fellow club members, waiting for the magic to happen. After about 15 minutes (or once you remember), you retrieve the banana, cautious of its hot exterior, and you are left enjoying a warm pudding-like dessert. Luckily, it was a fun take on the traditional banana and a recipe I can remember. Whether you’re into haunted ghostly apparitions or prefer the simpler delight of a campfire banana, the Atlanta Fall Classic is the place to be. Until next time, may the winds be in our favor, the campfires crackle, and the adventures roll on.
2023 Atlantic Fall Classic Race Results
SPSC Club Minutes, Tuesday, 10/10/2023
Place: District 850
Had 20 members in attendance and a rare sighting of Danielle. It was also good to see Deb and Amy!
Minutes approved at 7:10
Commodore: Still in Italy.
Vice Commodore: Thanked everyone for all that they do especially as it relates to the Endless Summer
Scribe: Thanked Tina for her great article on the Novice fleet and to all those who submitted Limericks and Haikus.
Expenses rose a little bit for the Endless Summer but the beer costs were down due to multiple factors.
Membership is 66 after just one month. Doing good!
Training Trailer: Has a guy coming to look at the tongues to see what he can do in welding a replacement.
Club Social Hour: October 27th, 4:30ish, Proofs on South Monroe.
Food was good but more expensive.
Jack thanked Rick and Judy for the great wings.
Bob A thought this was the best ever in the amount of racers.
Deb gave a big thank you to the training program for the size of the novice fleet
Will forth, who opened the Fire House for us, was impressed with the cleanup our folks did.
Safety Plan: Has been done and is posted. Huzzahs to the group that got it done!
Lug nut award: Though Wright accepted it on behalf of Roadies last month, he admitted to trailer failure after the Endless Summer and is now the proud solo owner of it.
Program: Watched some good videos from the Endless Summer.
Adjourned at around 7:44.