East Meets West In The Sarasota Bay Blender

The MC Fleet held the last race of Series One with the Scots Saturday. It turned out to be a real challenge for the sailors and RC committee alike. The day began with the course board reading I, C, G, I for the Scots I, C, I for the Scows. Up went the Postponment flag. Moved the RC boat and got the Scot’s off to C. The Scows went next with a huge favor to the boat end. The Fleet tacked to the right managing the train of “Darkies” coming off shore. As each one hit, the velocity went up about 10 with a 20 degree shift right. You definitely wanted to be on the left side of the “Cat’s Paw”and you needed some in the bank at the windward buoy as the tide was filling the Bay. Around the buoy we went chasing the puffs on the right. All is well but the puffs seem less frequent and the boat feels weird. Coming up on the finish line, looking for the favored end, all of a sudden, the water is glass, the tell tails drop and the boat is dead. Another look at the finish. So close! What’s this? Eight ball coming from “G” with her spinnaker up. “Holy Scow”, it’s gone west. Andy Hodgson and John Tarrant read it perfectly making up boats. So, East meets West and we are spinning around in the blender.

Race Two. Scows go I, G, I, Pin looks favored. The sky is clear over the Gulf so it should hold. Up goes the Postponement. Move the boat. Line looks square but the wind looks to the right of “G”. We’re off. The Fleet went left getting lifted all the way. Working on boat speed the buoy came up fast. Hail the pod of Dolphins fishing at “G” for “Buoy Room” and down we go. The wind is steady and the swell angles are just right for some fun rides down. Kept a Paranoid Eye on the wind and fleet to a square finish.

Race Three. Move the RC boat. Scows go I, H , I, pin end favored, wind square to “H”. After putting on a real show for Dave, Donna and Magellan Hillmyer in their recently christened ‘LOON’ that Dave built, the Scows were off to the left “ALL Clear”. AMAZING! Wind continues to go right but it seemed mushy without much lift. Must be tumbling over the Key. Randy and Richard chase each other while Andy smiles as he moves up on them both. Two tacks to an orderly rounding and down we go. The puffs are more frequent and from the left. The swell isn’t as big and from the right. Not as much fun. Clouds start forming over the Gulf. Continue a paranoid eye on the wind as the Fleet consolidated to the finish.

As we sailed back to the Squadron in a T shirt and shorts in January looking at the skyline and watching the sea turtles, fisherman, beautiful (read expensive) power boats with some really nice people I thought North met South and the Sarasota blender was finished.

By Randy Scott

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