|The Lake Monroe SC (Sanford, FL) annual regatta has changed from the "Kettle Cup" to the "Santa Sailfest" but all else remained the same and the Windmills continued the gradual increase in fleet size with 7 boats including sailors from PA, OH, MD and VA.
Very light air prevailed on both days giving rise to "slow motion" racing. All races were simply WL with a downwind finish but took a reasonable amount of time. In the first race Lon & Meg (sailing 5070 "Pig Headed" but using a main borrowed from Ethan Bixby showing 5700 and having the now experimental full length upper batten) led Allen & Sarah (5586 Beauty & the Beast) to the left side of the course in a small patch of wind. Eventually B&B sailed lower and faster to almost overhaul Pig Headed, ducking when tacking to port and then holding a narrow lead at the weather and close offset mark. As these two started the run to the finish, the rest of the fleet, originally on the R side of the beat) was far astern but finally began to move. With Pig Headed close to rolling over B&B, Allen & Sarah jibed towards the wind on the left (looking downwind) and the boats split well apart. Meeting as the approached the finish, B&B took the gun with a 40 yard lead while Pig Headed was easily 2nd. Colin Browning & Eric Mann (5252 Bella) led the rest of the closely packed boats across the line.
The second race was similar except that Lon & Meg played the beat beautifully & tucked several Sunfish between them and B&B which was battling closely with Pat & Janet Huntley (5707 Graffiti) for 2nd. The run to the finish saw Pig Headed extend the lead while the Huntleys positioned themselves perfectly to hold off Allen & Sarah by a boatlength. Lisa & Jake Fath 4028 Elvis) gained and a final jibe to port near the finish just failed to move them up from 4th. As the wind totally vanished, the RC ended racing for the day leaving Pig Headed with 2-1, B&B with 1-3 and the Huntleys (6-2) tied with the Faths (4-4), just a point ahead of Bella (3-6) and two ahead of Go Blue (Ralph & Sandy Sponar with 5-5).
Sunday brought promise of light winds slightly more than Saturday but those hopes were soon quashed and the fleet sailed up the beat in scattered patches of air. This time Colin & Eric played the beat perfectly to round 1st and head downwind with a nice lead over B&B, Pig Headed and Elvis. All these boats made big gains on Bella but Colin & Eric alertly defended their position to win. The other three approached the line with everything in doubt but Lon & Meg were best positioned for the last puff of the day which gave them race second and regatta 1st with Elvis & B&B following them closely across the line. Again the wind died completely and the Windmills elected to abandon--followed 25 minutes later by the RC which cancelled further racing for all classes!
Difficult sailing conditions requiring focus on finding boat speed (relatively speaking) and constant searching of the water for any available puff. Challenging but a good time for all, including (see photos on website & Facebook) lots of off the water fun & camaraderie. In addition to Bella taking regatta 3rd with the last race win, Colin Browning was the clear winner in the 1st ANNUAL UGLY SWEATER contest organized by Sandy Sponar!