By Tim Sayles
Halloween weekend provided a new venue and great sailing for FD sailors at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for the National Championship Regatta. Over 3 days on the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach, the fleet had a range of weather conditions, largely based on a weather system that came out of a southÂ easterly direction, moving east and then back to southeast as the weekend progressed. Winds ranged from ligher 7 knots up to mid-teens over the weekend, under sunny, warm skies.
Lin Robson and AUS crew Kim MacDonald (currently living in Texas) provided the pace for the regatta, although they were challenged by a number of teams throughout the weekend. Initially Stan Hyatt and Nathanial Plant of St Petersburg got quite close in race 2. The Wrenn during day 2 were doing quite well and on day 3. Tim Sayles and Ondrej Lehecka thought they actually had USA 36 beat during day 3 until a crab trap intervened during a gybe to allow Lin and Kim a clean sweep of the series.
Derrick and Josh Hiltz spent some time still working out the intracacies of their Lindsay. Debriefing after day 2 helped to work out some of the issues, not only for them but others as the regatta demonstrated that for FDs boatspeed is not the end of the story for winning. We spend a lot of time focusing on going fast, but basic tactics never lose their relavance, as Lin demonstrated quite effectively for Tim.
Dave Ellis provided his experienced PRO skills for the regatta, assisted by Rich White, Director of CCSC, and his team. A friendly Jambalaya dinner on Saturday was very well recieved, as was the overall hospitality of the Center, which Chris mentioned more than once. The staff at CCSC were always available for assistance and information. The facilities are quite comfortable, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, just inside Clearwater Pass.
All sailors were very pleased with the new venue and we can look forward to other events there in the near future.
Flying Dutchman 2015 National Championship Results
|Team||Sail #||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||Race 7||Race 8||Race 9||Race 10||Race 11||Total|
|Lin Robson/Kim MacDonald||36||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||10|
|Tim Sayles/Ondrej Lehecka||251||3||4||2||2||3||3||2||2||2||2||3||24|
|Jeff Wrenn/Chris Wrenn||301||2||3||3||4||2||2||4||3||3||3||2||27|
|Stan Hyatt/Nathanial Plant||219||4||2||4||3||4||4||3||4||4||4||4||36|
|Josh Hiltz/Derrick Hiltz||306||5||5||5||5||dnf||5||5||5||dns||5||5||51|