The 2014 NAs proved to be three days of working through issues, arrangements and curious weather passing through the Tampa Bay area.  Veteran PRO and FD sailor Dave Ellis ran the racing out of the St Petersburg Sailing Center, setting  windward/leeward courses relatively close to the harbor entrance.  The changing conditions interacting with shore effects were challenging and put a premium not only on boathandling but also quick responses.  The last weekend in April was in a transition period on Tampa Bay.  During this time the Gulf water temperature is still low enough to allow sea breezes to develop on the Bay, but also bookend fronts that typify spring weather still influenced overall patterns.

The 2014 North Americans will be held April 25-27, at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center in downtown St.Petersburg, FL. Many know that three FD Worlds have been held at this site, 1962, 1997 and 2006.

April is a great time to sail in St.Pete, and the Center is an easy place to stage a regatta. There will be three days of great racing in the Bay east of the city, a evening at Chez Robson and plenty of things going on for those staying near the Center.

Early registration is appreciated, looking forward to seeing as many as possible in April.  Notice of Race can be found here.

All the best, Lin

BuzzKurt-300For those who have not heard, after a long and successful tenure as President of the U.S. class, Tim Sayles has handed the reins to Buzz Ballenger of Santa Cruz, CA. Buzz is known worldwide as an expert sparbuilder, boat builder and competitor in dinghies and keel boats.

Thank you Tim for all your years of unselfish service, and congratulations Buzz, it's great that you are able to help us write the next chapter in U.S. FD sailing.

Pictured is Buzz with crew Kurt Hemmingsen on home waters at Monterey Bay.

Florida's Gulfport Yacht Club hosted the Flying Dutchman Nationals on lower Boca Ciega Bay in their usual style of minimal on-shore amenities and great on the water racing. The fleet was smaller than some Nationals because of a scheduling conflict for the West Coast fleet. The quality, however, was very good.

A front moved into the Tampa Bay area early Sayurday morning and brought rain and plenty of wind - too much in fact and that brought on a postponement.  Gusts well over 30 knots were reported on the Gulf and so plans to set of to race there were abandoned.  At 1300 racing resumed in the light air that remained after the front passed through.  Buzz and Kurt were the big winners in two of the three races, pulling in two firstplaces.  The breeze showed much variability across the course so those teams that were practiced in boathandling and paid attention to conditions did well.