Hello to all the Southwinds Sailing Club members. I have seen several of you on the lake at our events and am looking forward to seeing more as the water temperatures climb and we start rafting up together. We had a Spring SOS race on the 15th with five boats on the water. I was in my little 14 foot home built boat as I was waiting on parts to fix the forestay on my Hunter. Was a bit intimidating playing right of way with Joy and Doug in their 30' boat. Have posted some pictures Steve Gully took for your amusement. I took a DNC (did not compete) as PHRF doesn't do well with small lightweight boats making it hard to assign any sort of accurate handicap rating.
April 28th to the 30th we had our annual St. Thomas cruise with six boats at Red Top Lodge dock on the evening of the 28th and four boats at Sweetwater on the evening of the 29th. Mike Magnus, a sailor from Mississippi showed up to participate in a Drascomb Lugger. A very interesting 21' boat designed for shoal water with a 5 inch draft, leeboards, and a bow centerboard to prevent her falling off too much when tacking. Speaking of tacking, our sail from Red Top Mountain Bridge to Sweetwater campground (and beyond for Steve Gully and myself) was a tackfest filled with wind velocity ranging from nothing to holy sh***! and wind direction coming from many different directions but all contrary to where we wanted to go (Allatoona as usual). Mike Mangus, veteran of the arduous Texas 200, a 200 mile sail down some of the most desolate and hot coastline of Texas, said our one day event was harder than the whole Texas 200. Once again I was in my little 14' homebuilt both because I still haven't gotten the mast up on my Hunter and because I wanted to do a shakedown cruise before taking her to the Florida 120 May 17th to the 21st.
Speaking of upcoming events we have the Halfyard Regatta (long-distance) this coming Saturday, May13th. I am hoping to get my mast raised at 8am...we did get the mast raised on Paul's new Benneteau 23 this past Wednesday so I expect to see him on the starting line. I assume we will do the staggered start again meaning the slower boats will start first and then the faster boats with the plan of more arriving at the finish line together. On May 20th we have our first official Raft Up! I won't be there because I will be with around 40 other boats sailing in the Florida 120...a cruise in company near Pensacola where we try and sail the full distance with minimal use of the iron wind (motor). This year we start in Lillian, Alabama, spend Thursday night at Sand Island, Friday night at Navarre, and Saturday night at Sailboat Cove.
Continuing with events, we have our Memorial Day picnic on May the 27th, a summer SOS race on May 3rd, a raftup that evening, and the BEER cruise running from June 8th until the 12th. The latter event may cause a number of our regular members to not make the meeting.