2019 FD National Championship

Screen Shot 2019 08 06 at 7.10.13 PM
Flying Dutchman National Championships
By Tom Lewis
Nine Flying Dutchman competed in the 2019 National Championship/Cuspidor Regatta. Brothers Chris and Jeff Wrenn from Santa Cruz, CA were crowned 2019 National Champions after three days and 12 races of good winds and competitive racing. Following closely behind were Larry Schmitz and Jack Caires from San Diego, CA, and Doug Dommeruth and Michael Manning also of San Diego. The top WBYC finishers were Carl Boller and Jeff Barbero in fifth place. WBYC sailors Tom Lewis and Andy Mistur finished seventh. Canadian sailors Derrick and Cynthia Hiltz followed in eighth place and newcomers to the Cazenovia FD fleet the Brown family sailing a vintage wooden Mader finished in ninth place. Junior sailors John Henry and Willem Light-Olson (photo) finished sixth and won the Flying Dutchman Class Association Junior National Trophy.  
Larry Schmitz and Doug Dommeruth contributed to the high attendance by providing two San Diego boats and hauling them across country. 
The three-day event was sponsored by Empire Brewery, Owera Vineyards, and Chobani with logistics assistance from Cazenovia Equipment. Special thanks goes to Pia and Dave Murray, RC Jeff Shaw, Liz Handler, Bill Hoyer, and WBYC staff, who made it all possible!

United States National Championship

The United States National Championship was sailed in San Diego, California at Mission Bay Yacht Club on August 17-19, 2018. Six FDs sailed eight races in winds between 8-12 knots in the ocean. Boats traveled from Canada and Florida to sail in the Nationals. Paul Scoffin and Brendan Heussler won the National Championship, winning 5 of 8 races. Three teams, Paul Scoffin and Brendan Heussler, Lin Robson and Kim McDonald, and Douglas Dommermuth and Michael Manning, used the national championship as preparation for the worlds in New Zealand. All the racers attended a Hawaii Luau on Saturday evening. We convened our annual meeting. Douglas Dommermuth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Gerhard Panuschka (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) were elected respectively president and secretary of the United States Flying Dutchman class.


Dan Heussler and Paul Scoffin accepting Ian Proctor Perpetual Trophy. Photo provided courtesy of Kim McDonald.

Photo provided courtesy of Cynthia Hiltz.

Photo provided courtesy of Martin Offenhauer. 


Screen Shot 2018 08 18 at 2.09.28 PM


 Screen Shot 2018 08 18 at 5.29.09 PM


Screen Shot 2018 08 18 at 6.11.53 PM 


Three FDs competed in ideal sailing conditions Saturday.  Temperature 78 F with reasonably steady southerly winds 8 to 12.

Carl Boller and Jeff Barbero took 4 straight firsts to win the 2018 Cuspidor trophy.

Willem and John Henry Light-Olson turned in an amazing performance in their first FD regatta, finishing a very close third place in 3 races as well as capsizing 4 times.  

Capsizing 4 times enabled them to capture the gremlin trophy that migrated to Cazenovia Lake from Monomomac Lake.  This was Willem's second time sailing their FD.

Tom Lewis and Andy Mistur finished in second place. 

We raced 4 olympic course races Saturday until the wind began to build beyond our comfort level.

Sunday was a beautiful day temperatures in the high 70s. The down side was the wind was a shifty southerly breeze of 5 to 15 with frequent gusts (blasts)  22+.  

So we all stayed ashore.

Many thanks to Al Marshall and the WBYC yard staff for running an excellent regatta.

We will be here next year, so block out the 20th and 21st of July 2019 to sail in the Cuspidor.

photos by Al Marshall













USA 189








USA 367








POL 66








56th Cannonball & US National Championships

This was an amazing regatta from many aspects. Thank you to CYC for enabling us to hold this regatta, thank you to  the efficient Racing Committee chaired by Keith Calkins, and thank you for the awesome hospitality provided by Bruce McGinnis, our Club Manager, and his wonderful staff.

The US FD National Championships have been held continuously since 1955 and attracted 60- 70 boats in the early 60’s, 70’s & 80’s  with many of the top US sailors and 

FD NAT trophy v2

Olympic hopefuls participating. The FD class in the US has become a small but ardent group of keen sailors both on the West & East coasts, but  it remains a very large and active class in Europe.  Despite the FD class size here in the US,  Canandaiqua’s CYC  has been hosting the Cannonball for 56 years and continues to be one of the highlights of the FD racing schedule.

5 boats travelled from far a field:   Edmonton-Canada, CA & PA, OHIO, Maine and NY – competition was tight, in one race the separation for first and second place was 1 foot! The winds did not disappoint at all – both days blew 11-15 from the more or less West, with substantial gusts probably in the high teens to low 20’s… providing for very exciting FD sailing, wild 3 sail reaches and well exercised crews!

The typical Canandaigua westerly winds did not disappoint in catching boats of guard – Chris and Kate from Maine dumped in both the first and second race – self-righting in one but needing assistance in the second. The Gorbolds had a very close encounter on a starboard / port with the Wrenn brothers from CA & PA – avoiding boat collision by a tiny margin but culminating in a spectacular capsize that further resulted in 3 mast encounters with the mud at the bottom of the lake and a lengthy rescue by Jeff and Brennon Blogett and stand by crew Neil Atkins and Ray Teeter – thank you. Ultimately there was NO boat damage and NO human damage, just bruised pride and body parts!!

Sailing was magnificent demanding total concentration and good boat handling skills.

The Cannonball traditionally has two prized awards – the Turtle award and the Snail award. The Snail goes to the boat that has No DSQs, No DNS, No DNF,  but finishes each race and gets last place. Our Canadian Friends Derek and son Josh from Edmonton took home the prized Snail.  The Gorbolds from CYC, were awarded the Turtle beating out the other capsizes in terms of hitting the mud the most but despite the mud, did go onto win the Cannonball and the National Championship title.

At the end of the weekend – all the sailors went home with smiling faces – having had a lake full of great FD sailing at CYC – this is what it is all about and we all look forward to the 57th Cannonball in 2018!

FD Cannonball and  National Championship Results:





























































fd trailer

Coronado North American Championship

Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego, California was the site for the North Americans April 17-19, 2015. An idyllic setting for racing it was indeed, with plenty of parking, open bay for racing and breeze starting promptly at noon, a civilized time to start racing.

The small number of entries was due in part to the huge distances in the USA for many Dutchman sailors. It is four days of steady driving one way to San Diego from the New England area of the country. Because of this, some years ago four FD sailors got together and had a 4-boat road trailer built to transport their boats. It usually "lives" in Paul Hemker's Ohio shop, centrally located in the country.

Dave Ellis towed the trailer west for the Santa Cruz, California regatta last fall where it then lived at US FD President Buzz Ballinger's shop until it was time to tow it down to San Diego for this regatta. Unfortunately, Buzz's van blew its engine halfway up "The Grapevine" mountain pass north of Los Angeles. The regatta was in jeopardy with half of the fleet stranded. Ellis, who was to tow the boats back to Ohio after the regatta, got several impassioned phone calls asking for help. So, up from Southern California, through Los Angeles traffic he drove, over the Grapevine and to a small town that seemingly exists solely to fix blown up engines. Then they drove back over the mountain pass and through LA traffic and down to San Diego with the trailer and Buzz He was without his boat, for it was atop his broken van on a garage lift. They arrived there the night before the start of racing. Whew.

Friday morning was set-up time for these boats and a bit of practice for those who were there earlier. Nine boats were registered. The Wrenn brothers, after a few long distance phone calls, graciously allowed Buzz to use their boat which was still on the big trailer. So the only boat on that trailer not used was that of Lin Robson, who had shoulder surgery after an injury at the Worlds in Oz this summer. It is not a wimpy sport.

Coronado Yacht Club had nobody to be the Principal Race Officer for Friday, so Dave Ellis, with help from Wally and his rigid bottom inflatable boat and John, the anchor guy and "P" flag holder, did all the tasks.

The first race wind was from just north of west, straight from the Pacific Ocean over a narrow beach and road forming the bay. It crept north during the race for the course of triangle/windward/leeward finish, with the start/finish about 1/3 up the course. Paul Scoffin found himself battling with Buzz Ballinger and Mike Meszaros for the lead, finally getting by near the finish.

The wind veered to the NW and with one power boat to do everything the Race Committee moved all of the marks and made their best guess as to where it would settle. It worked. Two more excellent races were held, each about 45 minutes long for the middle of the fleet. In race two a solid 15 knots with some gusts occurred, with a little less in the third race.

The RC had announced during the competitor's meeting that after three races Tim Sayles was going to sail around the fleet after the finish and get a consensus as to whether a fourth race was wanted. He reported back, "All NO," from the fleet. So we sailed back to the club.

Saturday and Sunday, again with noon starts, had a little less breeze, but good courses and great racing. The Coronado Yacht Club ran our races and had other classes start on the race course, but there was little interference with the faster Flying Dutchman fleet.

Paul Scoffin reeled off a series of wins except for race 5 when he had a "boat rigging issue" that he didn't want to talk about. Doug Dommermuth won that race and a popular win it was. Doug placed fifth overall at the end. But he gets bragging rights for a race win at the North Americans. After that Scoffin easily won the rest of the eight races, with the second as his throw out. He needed Lin Robson to give him more competition. But he and crew Barr Batzer sailing a new Mader, won this event convincingly.

Meanwhile, Buzz Ballinger and crew Curt Hemmintsen put together a string of seconds and thirds to take the runner-up position. Mike Meszaros with Gerhard Pamuschka was third, with long-time FD sailor Tim Sayles with Taylor Ballinger in fourth.

The weather was warm and sunny, the water refreshing and clear, the Club accommodating and friendly and the racing challenging and fair. What more could we want?

After racing on Sunday all stayed to help load the big trailer and hook it up to Dave Ellis' truck and away it drove across the country to Hemker's shop to live until another event.

Clearwater 2015 National Championship

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 south  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

  Sail Race    
Team # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 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  

Clearwater 2015 National Championship Announced

Clearwater Community Sailing Center will be the site of the 2015 USA Flying Dutchman National Championship. The event will be held October 29 through November 1. Registration will be held Thursday and racing will commence on Friday, October 30. The Notice of Race can be found here.

CCSC is a new Tampa area venue for the FD class. A number of Olympic classes have recently adopted it for training and major regattas. The Center is located just inside the Clearwater Pass and open Gulf of Mexico waters are a quick sail away. Two major hotels are next door to the Center and many more small and large are just across the Pass bridge in Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach itself is recognized as one of the best beaches in the country.

For more information on arrangements, transport opportunities and accomodations, contact

Tim Sayles: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lin Robson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Flying Dutchman ‘Till the last man standing: 2014 Nationals

NAT2014 5652 300It was a tough start for the FD Nationals at Santa Cruz on Friday. The weather forecast for the weekend promised light winds from WSW, typical for the time of the year, however the local sailors knew better and warned participants on shore that the breeze typically fills in and sure enough – we ended with heavy air, 15-18 mph from SW, gusts to exceed 25 mph which is nothing for the enduring FD's, but requires skills and perseverance.

After the first day of racing, we managed 3 races, however only one FD made it to shore without capsizing, and several competitors had to retire. US-36 a brand new Mader '12 skippered by Lin Robson, of St. Petersburg, FL (SPYC) and his crew Ian Gregg out of Brisbane, Australia lead by three solid bullets – followed by local US-1453 Buzz Ballenger from Santa Cruz (SCYC) and his crew Kurt Hemmingsen in second and US-251 Tim Sayles also SPYC and his crew Ondrej Lehecka from Seattle (Czech Republic originally) in third despite having to retire after a dramatic capsize. Going into last race of the day, a massive rain storm swept across the race course to reduce visibility to less than 100 yards, which launched the boats on 6-8 ft. rolling surf at top speed of 20-25 mph. Local US-1 skipper Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff of SCYC and his local crew Evan Diola (SCYC) had to retire with a broken goose-neck.NAT2014 5751 300

Saturday turned out to be a better day with a little less breeze on the course. "The Wounded Moose Deuce" US-1445 from Seattle skippered by Peter Carr of Sloop Tavern Yacht Club and his courageous crew Eric Andersen made it through three races to finish competitively in fourth overall, followed by local sailor Gordon Dollar of SCYC onboard "Betty Boop" US-1454 and his crew, Oregon based, Duane Ehleringer, who also owns Pacific Flying Dutchman where he builds all-carbon FD's. Competing in US-88 Mike Meszaros from Inverness YC and his Austrian crew out of Sacramento, Gerhard Panuschka had a bad spill and capsize in 1st race, filled the bulkhead with water which unfortunately ended their day.
Luckily, US-251 with Tim and Ondrej made it to the starting line despite an all-night rudder and tiller repair effort. They improved their performance to finish second for the day, still in third overall after US-1453 Buzz with substitute crew, Evan Diola in second by a 3 point lead. The regatta leader, US-36 Lin and Ian remained untouchable with a straight line NAT2014 5861 300of first finishes.

Sunday, Oh Happy Day arrived and the weather Gods had mercy on the competitors. We finished up with two light wind races, but no less drama in the middle of the fleet. The Wrenn brothers in US-301, Jeff and his crew Chris of Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD were determined to finish in good style and mix it in the top of the fleet with a best finish in last race in third. We saw some big wind shifts on the course, positions changed frequently and it was Tim and Ondrej in US-251 who came out best of the day aside from the leader. US-1452 a classic '84 Mader skippered by local SCYC sailor, Jean Jimenez (JJ) and his crew Peter Henck made it around the course to recover from the prior races challenges.

A dominating winner of the Flying Dutchman Nationals 2014 – Congratulations to US-36 by Lin Robson and his Aussie Crew Ian Gregg who sailed a terrific regatta and good luck at the Sydney FD Worlds in December!
Overall top finishes 7 races, 1 throw-out:
1. Lin Robson, SPYC, US-36 and Crew Ian Gregg - 7 points
2. Buzz Ballenger, SCYC, US-1453 and Crew Kurt Hemmingsen and Evan Diola – 17 points
3. Tim Sayles, SPYC, US-251 and crew Ondrej Lehecka – 18 points

NAT2014 5923 300All in all, a great regatta – fantastic job of the race officers and volunteers of Santa Cruz Yacht Club, led by PRO Mr. John Buchanan.

Pictures by Krystle Quynh Pham

2014 North American Championship

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.

Read more: 2014 North American Championship

2014 NA Results

Flying Dutchman

2014 North American Championship

Final Results

provided by Dave Ellis, PRO

held April 25-27, 2014

St Petersburg Sailing Center

        Friday Saturday Sunday
Place Sail# Skipper & Crew TOTAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 36 Lin Robson & Zach Marks, Tony Francis 10 1 1 1 2 2 1 -3 1 1
2 301 Jeff & Chris Wrenn 19.5 2 2 2 3 3 2.5 2 -4 3
3 219 Peter Commette & Stan Hyatt 23 3 -5 4 1 1 4 4 2 4
4 251 Tim Sayles & Scot Shuman 24.5 -5 3 5 4 4 2.5 1 3 2
5 3 Paul Hemker & Dan Elliott 36 4 4 3 5 5 5 5 5 DNF

2014 North Americans

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

Meet the President

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.

2013 Nationals Wrapup

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.

Read more: 2013 Nationals Wrapup

Day 2 of Nationals

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. 

Read more: Day 2 of Nationals

2013 Nationals Results

2013 USA Flying Dutchman National Championship

Gulfport Yacht Club, Florida

Boat Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Overall Place
36 Lin Robson/Arthur Anasov 1 1 1 1 3 1 -3 2 1 1 1 1 14 1
1453 Buzz Ballenger/Kurt Hemmingsen 3 5 2 3 2 2 1 1 3 7 -7 5 34 2
301 Jeff & Chris Wrenn 6 2 5 2 1 5 2 3 4 5 3 -6 38 3
3 Paul Hempker/Andreaj Leheca 2 3 4 5 5 3 4 -6 2 2 5 4 39 4
251 Tim Sayles/Gerhard Panuschka 4 4 3 4 4 4 5 4 5 -6 4 2 43 5

Peter Carr/Albert Smalls

5 6 6 (DNF) 6 6 6 5 7 4 6 7 64 6
219 Stan Hyatt/Peter Commette/Jim Pardee DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS (DNS) 7 7 6 3 2 3 72 7

Derrick & Josh Hiltz (Junior sailor)

7 7 7 6 (DNS) DNS 8 8 DNS DNS DNS DNS 88 8

News from Nationals

After six races on Boca Ciaga Bay Lin and Arthur have a commanding lead with 5 bullets. The rest of the fleet had good close and tight racing during which time winds were up to 14 knors gusting to perhaps 18 with the wind getting particularly shifty and gusty reaching the top mark. PRO Dave Ellis had planned to set the course to sail on the Gulf Saturday however with a front moving through and winds up to 30 knots racing was postponed and will probably sail on the bay again.

While waiting the class had the annual meeting where Tim turned over US Class President position to Buzz Ballenger.

Read more: News from Nationals

2013 U.S. Nationals

The 2013 U.S. Nationals will be held November 1-3 at the Gulfport Yach Club, Gulfport, FL. We're expecting some great fall sailing, and social events. Measurement and registration will be held Thursday, Oct. 31 at GYC.  Gulfport was the location of the successful Midwinters Championship earlier this. Dave Ellis will again serve as PRO.  It is located on Boca Ciega and racing will be held there and also on the Gulf of Mexico, just off Pass-a-Grille Pass. 

Notice of Race can be found here.

Please print and send your entry to Lin soon to assist in planning. 

Read more: 2013 U.S. Nationals

The Mug Race, an FD Milestone

When Kathy and I returned to the United States late 2004 after living in Italy for nearly four years, we had to relocate to the east coast due to Kathy’s work commitments. We chose Orange Park, Jacksonville from five options, for various reasons, one being that water was close by and I could return to sailing once again.

I investigated what type sailing existed in or close to Jacksonville and the primary result from my search was some race called the “Mug Race”. It was too vague for me to understand but once settled in Jacksonville I found that the logistics of this race weren’t suited to my sailing plans, although each year I would read the newspaper results and see again a photograph and report of the Bill Roberts designed and owned 32’ Supercat with the three crewmen on trapeze wires and giant masthead asymmetrical gennaker, once again leading the fleet home for line honors.

Read more: The Mug Race, an FD Milestone

2013 Midwinters

For many years we have held the FD Midwinters at SPYC in downtown St. Petersburg. Due to some scheduling and other reasons we moved the regatta site this year, to a place I had not sailed out of since a teenager.

Gulfport Yacht Club is one of the old Florida clubs that is small on buildings and ceremony, but big on friendly atmosphere and the real reason we got to these things, the sailing. We easily beach and ramp launched, with a short sail to the course site, which was Boca Ciega Bay. The bay is protected, yet close to the coast, so getting some breeze is always more likely than at other local sites.

Read more: 2013 Midwinters

US Nationals 2012

When Paul and I arrived at the SC yacht club most of the participants were already there working on their boats. The Wrenn brothers were hectically finishing rigging their recently refurbished boat. Everybody was questioning if they can make it by the first race the next day. They did, and good for them.

Lin and his crew Paul Von Grey were the only boat out on the water practicing. There was a reason for it, the weather was not exactly ideal. There was a front coming through from the North, bringing fresh breeze over the land to the SC bay resulting very shifty and gusty conditions.

Read more: US Nationals 2012

FD North American Championship

sailing301-300Santa Cruz Yacht Club has posted the Notice of Race for the 2012 Flying Dutchman North American Championship.  Online registration is available on the same site.  Key dates:  The event will be August 2-5, 2012.  After July 10 a Late Entry Fee will apply.   The organizers wants everyone to know that all entries must be paid online in order for your registration to be completed. Check the NOR for the specific schedule.

This is our last major regatta before the 2012 World Championship in September.  Beau Vrolyk will again be PRO for the event, getting his team all prepped for that big event. 

Site for the event is:

FD Nationals NOR

The 2012 USA National Championship Notice of Race has been published and the signup period is open.  The event is hosted by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, May 25-27.  The NOR is available at the above link and also on the Santa Cruz Yacht Club website:

Key date to keep in mind: May 2, 2012  after which a late fee will apply

Registration is online, see the NOR for details.  CharlieRoskosz is the Regatta Chairman and Beau Vrolyk is Principle Race Officer, as they will be for the World Championship in September.  Of course, Santa Cruz will be hosting that event and we all get a chance to get some Flying time at Nataionals. 

HPDO / North Americans

Every year over Columbus Day weekend in October, the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, hosts the HPDO. HPDO is the acronym for High Performance Dinghy Open. It is a regatta that has become a big fixture in the Fall on the East Coast, with many dinghy classes in attendance. In fact several classes held their North American championships at the regatta this year. They throw a nice dinner and gathering afterward. We had the pleasure of seeing a few FD sailors from years past, it was good catching up with Guido Bertocci and others.

Read more: HPDO / North Americans


Hurricane Irene had several effects on the regatta held in Kingston, Ontario this past weekend.

After racing Friday night, NED 308, the team of Willem and Maarten, had to return to Connecticut to prepare for the storm. Their home is in Darien,CT, right in the expected track area .

We did have two good days of racing, with beautiful, but on the light side breeze conditions. Saturday morning all of the weather data was pointing to a rainy and very breezy day Sunday, so the decision was made to break down and not sail the last day of the weekend. All the data I saw the next day indicated that was a good call, winds with gusts in the thirties.


Read more: CORK

Whidbey Island: Blessing & Curse

The first edition of DWI- Dinghies Whidbey Island, was a blessing and a curse... the blessing of wind, the curse of it going away.

This is the second year of dinghy racing as part of Race Week, the premier week of keelboat racing in the Pacific Northwest, and the first year of having the FD as a class. With the expected boats not showing, we still reached the minimum of 4 for a class start: Duane Elhringer and Mike Mezaros in "Henry", their green carbon fiber machine, les frers Jones, Andrew and Josh in the "Chelan Flyer", an old school Plastrend, Derrick Hiltz and his son Jason on the "Mexican Boat", an early 80's Mader,

Read more: Whidbey Island: Blessing & Curse

Noroton FD Nationals

Lin Robson along with GBR crew Richard Philips showed he would not be denied a return to leader of the pack at Flying Dutchman National Championships, hosted by Noroton Yacht Club.  Long Island Sound delivered a three day event that had pretty much every condition, although without the 20 plus conditions of the last Noroton event.  Strategy, cool heads and perseverence paid off as generally lighter conditions with local breezes but also persistent shifts combined with a variety of current conditions to challenge the competitors the entire regatta.

Read more: Noroton FD Nationals

2011 North Americans

The NOR has been posted on the CORK Kingston web site for the Classes regatta. As part of that group of classes we will be using that regatta as our North American Championship, August 26-28. The site address is:

For those who have attended CORK before, you know about the excellent regatta management and sea breeze in fresh water.

Accomodation is cost effective at the college dorms near the dinghy park, let's get a big turnout for a nice event, important in advance preparation of 2012 Worlds.

Best Regards,

Lin Robson

2011 Midwinter Championship


The hot team at Midwinter Championship: Lin & Maarten

FD teams from as far away as California, the Northeast and Ohio converged on the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for a three day weekend of sailing and get togethers. We shared the bay Saturday and Sunday with the Snipe fleet.

Conditions ranged from 2nd grommet for a lighter team on Friday, to lighter the rest of the series, but in the end seven races had been ably run by the SPYC race commitee. There were the usual current and particulars of a north breeze that St. Pete is famous for, with dividends being paid to those selecting the correct (usually left) orientation to the strong flood current upwind.

Read more: 2011 Midwinter Championship

NY400 Recap

With challenging winds, current and local traffic, part 1 of the NY400 FD Championship completed after two days of racing.  The third day of racing for the first regatta was canceled on Thursday due to 30+kt winds on New York Harbor. This resulted in first place for the van der Pol brothers,  Bas and Marc of the Netherlands.

Read more: NY400 Recap

2011 FD Nationals Announced

Noroton Yacht Club has announced sponsorship of the 2011 Flying Dutchman National Championship, to be held over Memorial Day weekend.  NYC, home club to Job Sandberg, former North American Commodore, was also the site of the 2006 Nationals that provided great Long Island Sound conditions and was immortalized in some of the great photography by Kevin McCabe.  Notice of Race and associated information to be published soon.

New FD Website

The Flying Dutchman Class organization announced the launching of a new website that will help local fleet developers with the tedious tasks of organizing sailing events and present a new face for the Class. After many years of a web design that has been used since its first publish date, the site will now feature not only the expected class information, news and schedules, but also a section that allows FD sailors and friends to sign on and participate in local events and discussion. 

Read more: New FD Website

Follow Us on the Garda! Blog


All the US sailors, families and friends going to the World Championships at Malcesine on Lake Garda in Northern Italy thought it would be fun to share the trip with everyone.  So we have set up a Web log page to do just that.  Just click the Garda! menu item on the right side of the USA Class home page and you can see what we are up to, hear from some of the competitors and officials. and maybe even chat with a chef from that tiny cafe we liked so much.  We'll try to keep you up to date on the goings on and of course links to daily and overall results. The Worlds run from June 30 through July 9, but most of us will be there before that, practicing, preparing and just enjoying what Italy has to offer.

Read more: Follow Us on the Garda! Blog

Column: Lin Robson

Lin's regular column. Watch for it here!

Column: Paul Scoffin

Paul's regular column. Watch for it here!

President's Note

Welcome to the new USA Flying Dutchman website!  We are pleased how it has turned out visually.  But more importantly, the entire site is filled with features that will hopefully involve all class members, as well as friends of the FD class.  We thought long and hard about this project before starting.  Just coming up with a bright shiny and new website would be nice, but hardly worth the effort.  We have very specific goals with this new design which are:

  • Help fleets grow with an integrated set of organizing tools
  • Foster a community with dynamic information and idea sharing
  • Build an extensive, search-able body of FD knowledge on many subjects over time 


Read more: President's Note

NZL-145 Epilogue

Paul & Pavel (red kite) searching for a clear lane

Was it worth it? A typical question after a mediocre performance. In my case the answer is an emphatic yes, not only because it was such a beautiful venue but also lessons learned. Catching up with old friends and acquaintances was also a big highlight.

Pavel and I arrived had no preconceived idea how we would perform, as we had not sailed together for over a year before the Nationals. We had decided to refurbish US-1453, a 1984 Lindsay, with the latest ideas that included new spars and foils. What we found at this years worlds, was that we were lacking in most departments including equipment, large fleet experience,against teams that I firmly believe have improved since we last sailed against them. Therefore, Lin and Richard’s placings are probably more indicative of the state of the US FD standard than ours.

I won’t go too much into the starting issues as Lin has already commented elsewhere, but I will add that there seems to be different standards between regattas as to what the RC will tolerate. I agree with Torban Graels recent comments and feel that a crackdown on starting at this level would make racing fairer. His comment on bringing out the black flag for the first start, certainly at this level, and perhaps making it for the formed triangle only, combined with a consistent tough stance by the RC’s, could cut out the nonsense that currently persists.

The regatta got more difficult for us after race six, when the fleet was split into gold and silver. Being in the gold fleet, we found that being grouped with the top sixty-five boats meant even more aggressive starting techniques and less clear lanes and gaps to maneuver in. This meant that it became even easier to have poor results if you made even the slightest of mistakes. The decision to run three gold/silver fleet races on the final day and with the morning race being abandoned after the second windward leg, effectively made it a four race day. This took it’s toll, and left me both physically and mentally exhausted. A lesson here is to get fitter.

The basis for attending the Worlds on Lake Garda was to gain a realistic perspective of where we are at present and use this as a platform to build toward getting internationally competitive for next years worlds in Santa Cruz. In our case, some of the system changes we made saw knock-on effects that caused handling difficulties. These probably wouldn’t have been so obvious if we hadn’t been competing at this level. The aim now is to finesse these improvements as well as spend some time on the water together. There is a steep mountain to climb and the journey for us begins today.{jcomments on}

Getting There and Back

Kurt on the wire in Santa Cruz

On Friday our container with all our boats and equipment left Genoa for the return trip to the US.  On board was an additional boat belonging to Javier Valdes from Mexico, who plans on moving it out to Santa Cruz to participate in preparations for the 2012 Worlds. 

The arrangements for all this can be difficult for the uninitiated, but Kurt Hemmingsen and his team from Agility Logistics is making it all happen without skipping a beat. Kurt, an FD sailor with the NorCal fleet, filled us in with some perspectives on shipping boats around the world. 

How is shipping sailboats and working with sailors different from your usual projects?

Kurt: Shipping someone's personal items is always nerve wrecking because I know how much the owners care for their FD boats and gear, and I know that the FD boats travel on a schedule to make it to the sailing events in time. Commercial customers apply a fair amount of rationale and have greater tolerance for unforeseen delay and schedule interruption. I am happy to say that I never had to tell a sailor that they couldn't sail an event because their boat was left behind or delayed on schedule.

It is very typical that loading of boats into containers commence shortly after a regatta. We all want to use our FD boats longest possible and while they are on the water we have no use of them, so we try to plan it so FD boats are available for use as long as possible and on arrival as early as possible. This makes for a tight shipping window. I am fortunate that I work for a very large logistics company, Agility Logistics, with a global network which comprise of more than 550 offices. I have colleagues in every corner of the world to step in and help if containers are not moving as planned. We have Customs experts in proximity of all major sea ports. Because this is important to FD sailors, it is equally important to our team to make sure that their expectations are met.

Read more: Getting There and Back

Worlds review

Lin & Richard heading upwind

After all the stories and images before coming to Garda, I'd have to say in this case the anticipation could and did not exceed the reality. As all those attending know, we sailed in one of the World's most beautiful places.

Racing could be a very one sided affair tactically, although in some races the unapparent side held advantage. I was struck by the emergence of more teams sailing at very high levels, with no one equipment approach holding dominate. In the end it was the best prepared packages and tactical decisions on a difficult race track that carried the day.

One note about the starts, I would like to see going forward a tougher stance by race commitees on using and enforcing the black flag. There were too many premature starters that went undetected. Enforced black flag starts keep starts legal and save time in the end.

Richard and I did not achieve our goals, but the process was challenging and we did have some results we were happy with considering the limited time we had to sail together. Now it's back to the gym and refocus on Santa Cruz.

Great scenery, people and racing during a work week, that's a really fine way to go!

More later as bandwidth gets better,


Long start line with 3 rows
Reaching toward leeward mark Crowded rounding for the leaders
Pavel having a good day Nigel & Jonathan at the Cafe Lin & John Best talking it through

Photos courtesy of Caroline Kramer{jcomments on}

La fine

The 2011 FD World Championship finished up on Friday with HUN 70 taking top honors, closely followed by DEN 21 and NED 26  Results from both fleets can be found here.

The early 09:00 start did not work out as the morning northerly continued to slowly die out and the race was first race was abandoned.  The fleet went ashore with racing postponed.  Then return to the course at noon, but no racing started untill 14:00 at which point 3 races were run for both fleets, making for a very long day, but the  scheduled 9 races were run. 

There was a lot going on and we should be getting more descriptions, photos and wrap ups from contestants.  Check back with us over the next few days and we should have more details.

Garda Lays Down

Thursday was to be the first day of the final Gold/Silver fleet series but the wind was no where to be seen.  Even such famous sailing venues as Garda can have their off days, it seems.  And yet while we are here for racing, there is something very satisfying about looking up at the mountains surrounding the lake.  The fleet floated around for a couple hours but racing was finally called off.  In an attempt to finish the racing on Friday without the use of a reserve day on Saturday, racing was scheduled to begin at 09:00 on Friday with the potential for 3 races.  We shall see how that works out. 

Front Row Seats...sometimes

A better day for the US team. Paul and Pavel led at the first mark on the 1st race; got passed by Hungarians in the 2nd reach. Stayed in touch and 4th in that race, 2 boat lengths behind 2nd place. Pretty exciting stuff.  Staying on top requires not only good starts in such a large fleet, but also consistency in boatandling that minimizes mistakes.  HUN 70 has been sailing together as a team for many years and in addition to being great sailors, their teamwork is really something to see...if you get close enough to watch!

The wind was stronger as the fleet left the club, so much that pretty much everyone had preset on second grommet.  However it backed off a bit and back down to 1st the fleet went.  The lighter - although still full trapezing breeze meant back to close left shore hugging as the center lake pressure got noticably soft. 

In the 2nd race Lin and Richard were 2nd at the top mark and held on to finish with a great 3rd placing. The wind had kicked back up, going to to near 2nd grommet conditions.  Here, the left was still favored but a transitional band developed between shore and center breezes that could be quite gusty and a helming challenge.

Paul and Pavel were 12 th until last beat and then broke their boom and had to retire.  The gooseneck insert fitting separated from the boom section.  Serge and Tim had their own damage issues. As they avoided a particularly ugly gybe mark rounding mashup of 5 other boats, an AUT boat came flying into the fray and hit 251's hind starboard side, taking out a chunk of rail.  Yes, a protest was called.  AUT acknowledged. 

After Race 6 the fleet was reassigned to a Gold and Silver fleet for the final 3 races, based on standing.  Current results here. Lin and Paul attained Gold status while Jonathan/Nigel, Paul/Peter and Serge/Tim decided Silver was more to their liking. 3 races left.  Interestingly, the reserve day was scheduled for the last day, which means WC 2011 could be over Friday. 

The Breeze Fills In

Still going left, but less concentration and more open lanes

Garda revealed more patterns on Day 2 as more wind filled in, particularly for the second race of the day.  With more pressure, winds were more even over the course allowing for more open lanes to develop.  As on previous days, most of the fleet went left toward the shore but rather than short tacks up the side, ventured out toward the center.  A number of boats went right. Because sections of the course there were lifted and with fewer boats to maneuver around, they did reasonably well.

Serge and Tim planned to go right on race 1.  But after a reasonable start, could not find a lane to go right and when they did, fouled a boat when attempting to duck.  After a 720 they were well out of the pack and off pace.  On the second reach the spinnaker pole launch line broke.  So they decided to take a DNF and headed back to shore for a quick repair in order to be ready for the second race. 

Coming in at the same time was FD builder Dirk Bogumil (GER 199) with a foot long gash in the side of his brand new boat.  Ouch!  The rear of the boat had plenty of water.  Dirk was out for the day, but after a quick patch appeared ready for Day 3.

USA 36 in for a quick fix between races

Lin and Richard in USA 36 had reasonable two races, though not as good as the previous day.  Taking advantage of the time between races, Lin came back in for a quick fix on some headsail issue.  Paul and Pavel had a much better pair of races, finding stride and no major issues. 

Jonathan and Nigel struggled some along with others and had some issues as the wind piped up in the second race.  Almost the entire fleet was on the second grommet.  One of the interesting features of the left side during this second race was that it was possible to go too far into the bank.  While some found better lift, it was at the price of more turbulent breezes that began to wrap round points along the shore.  Again, more lessons to put into the lexicon of Garda breezes. 

After racing a dinner with music was provided at the sailing club.  Anna Gorbold had organized a trip to Venice for the day and could not be there.  (We expect a full report!)  Tim and Vicki took their entourage to dinner in the town and enjoyed more of the shops and sounds. {jcomments on}

Opening Races

The opening races for 2011 WC were both exhilarating and sobering for many.  After two races HUN 70 is on top, closely followed by DEN 21 and NED 25.  Lin and Richard in USA 36 had 12th and 16th place finishes.  The rankings are based on scores across the 4 groups, so standings are somewhat tenuous, particularly at this early stage. Links to some Day 1 close up photos are here.

Heading downwind as seen over the rooftops in Malcesine

Race 1 was similar to the practice race, with mostly trapezing conditions and most of the fleet heading left to the shore to work up to the weather mark along the bank.  No boats in the center and only a handful on the right side.  The concentration of all boats up the shore makes for difficult sailing as everyone is constantly fighting for clear air with many boats in close proximity.  One is tempted to go just a little farther to the center for a bit of relief from the congestion but the drop off of wind pressure is quite noticable, so back into the fray you go!  Once the port layline is reached everyone heads out to the top mark, only to head back to the shore for the reaching leg, again giving no relief to the clear air problem.  Even on the downwind leg, heading to the shore breeze was the only option to find pressure and speed. 

Race two was a bit different.  The big story here was that on USA 251, Serge recognized a very big 20 degree left shift just before the start which, along with the breeze the had gone up to perhaps 15 kts called for going right.  So in this case 251 headed right soon after the start.  Strangely, few in the fleet recognized this shift. Tim and Serge were 2nd around the top mark and kept this strategy for the second upwind.  In spite of a detached spinnaker sheet the team held onto a leading position until after rounding the final mark, when having caught up to the end of the other fleet, was forced to perform a crash tack when a boat just to leeward tacked onto starboard.  251 capsized and ultimately finished a disappointing 45th.

Back on shore after the race, Paul Scoffin in NZL 145 compared notes with Tim.  On the second upwind leg they had also gone right but in spite of blistering speed, failed to realize the same gains 251 had the first beat.  Early in the leg the wind was down about 10 degrees, but did come back up.  It could be that the wind had filled in much more close to the left bank with largely the same angle and minimized the advantage.  The advantage 251 found going right in the first beat may have just been a one time occurrence.  More likely in the next days, the common strategy will be to slug it out with the fleet, crawling up the left bank. 

In other news, ROU 100 was apparently looking elsewhere when coming upon NED 31.  See full size on the FD Forum.

{jcomments on}

Practice Race and Opening Ceremony

A lone FD heads out early to catch some of the strong 7am Northerly

The Practice Race held on Sunday include one start for the entire fleet as the new Sailing Instructions were not yet available.  The warning was to be at 13:00 but was moved to 15:30. An initial start that included over 100 boats was abandoned as it was not apparent where the start line was.  A local police RIB launch was there with a mark on board but seemed an unlikely mark and about a third of the fleet moved up to what was a wing mark.  Realizing the mistake at about 1 minute, all the boats started to drive down onto the start line with resulting pandemonium.

A second start allowed the fleet to head off upwind.  Most of the fleet headed left, then proceeded to the shore where they commenced to short tack up the side.  Sometimes the tacks would take boats 3 or 4 boat lengths off the bank.  Then only going out a few minutes before tacking back into the side. What was going on was solid pressure that clung to the side.  Sailing back toward the center for a short distance you could feel the pressure drop out, a sign to head back to the shore.

The wind pressure in the center of the lake was quite weak and virtually no one sailed there.  Some boats went right, seeing higher pressure.  However the wind angle was perhaps 20 degrees lower than the left, so in spite of better speed, the left had significant advantage.  The entire dynamic played out the entire race and most learned to stay to the left, hugging the shore.  Downwind was the same.  Even on the running leg, boats went straight for the shore for the pressure.

Competitors collect for a march through Malcesine for the Opening Ceremony

In fact few if any boats actually finished the practice race as the wind was dying, it was close to 17:00 and, well, it was just for practice.  However, the lesson was learned: consistent short-tacking skills would likely pay off this week.  While locals say the wind patterns change all the time during the afternoon, this is something we will need to be used to.

Tomorrow the WC begins. Off to town we to where we all walked through town in a parade by country to the town green were we were fete with local cuisine, wines and beers.  Quite an official opening.  An interesting side note, Jonathan McKee was in town sailing a Melges 20 regatta and spoke briefly from the podium, recalling his Gold Medal at Los Angeles.

Sailing Instructions Revised

Competitors look at group assignments on the notice board

The Sailing Instructions were revised following concerns raised by competitors regarding the fleet size the course layout, plus other time limit issues.  Peter Hinrichsen, acting as Championship Commodore for this event, announced the changes at the Competitors Meeting on Sunday.  The new SIs call for the fleet to be split into four groups - red, green, blue and yellow - that will sail in rotating pairs for the first 6 races.  (In other words there are two starts per race sequence.)  For the remaining three races competitors will be assigned to a Gold and Silver fleet, based on overall scoring in the first set of races.  Groups are designated by 3 foot ribbons attached to the mainsail's top batten.

The course has been set to the standard Olympic Gold course, with a triangle, windward-leeward legs and windward finish.  Course length will be approximately 7 miles. Time limits have been set to 90 minutes for the full race, 30 minutes to the first mark and boats finishing over 30 minutes after the first boat will be marked DNF.

Groups have been assigned.  The method for assignment is not known at this time, although the groupings appear to be fairly random.  Otherwise, normal rules apply for the most part- 5 minute starts, etc.  Perhaps the new SIs will be posted online.  The club withheld an electronic version of the original to post here, apparently realizing a change was happening.

Practice Race Today

Things have been hectic for everyone as spouses and friends arrive, making connections, figuring out how to meet up and, for me, dealing with a cold.  Paul Hemker, John Best and the rest of the measurement team have now processed most of the 135 boats competing here. 135 boats, 19 countries.  I haven't had confirmation, but this may be the largest World Championship the class has ever had.  This is how it is being reported in a local Italian press release. You'll have to do the translation yourself!  Watch that page (now on the "Racing at Garda" menu item above) as it may have ongoing results.  We'll keep you posted on that. 


Waking up every morning here at Garda is really thrilling.  Overlooking the lake on the side of the mountain we can see dozens of kite and wind surfers taking advantage of the early morning wind.  Hearing churchbells bup and down the shore as we sip morning expresso. 


Today we have a practice race and will see how we manage 135 boats on a start line.  There is a rumor the fleet may be split, but we shall see.  We have been comparing notes on the winds here as all boats have been out practicing. A variety of patterns that do shift from day to day.   This evening we all participate in a parade through the town.{jcomments on} 

Unpacking & Setup Pictures

{jcomments on}Here are a series of shots taken after the container was delivered. We launched today and took GBR367 for a spin. More on that later.


Container is opened and unpacking begins. Bikes will be very userful here. Otherworldly mashup: Unloading against a backdrop of the Italian Alps  
Maybe we will gt over the view, but not likely.  Let the boat games begin. Setup next to the launch area. How many boats are we fitting in here?

Ever the good sport, Anna unloads another mast.  The container was a relatively easy load with only 4 boats.  Two were lifted up against the ceiling, then two tied down to the floor.  We hope to bring one additional boat and trailer back so it will be a bit more complicated.



Hard to imagine how we will get 133 boats set up here.   Plus we heard from the Stephano, who works on the marina staff, that there will be an additional regatta going on here this weekend with 50 boats. 

Give us some comments as we go along, we can answer questions too!


Gerrard & Stephano position container as crane operator lowers

The team has been arriving over the past few days and on Monday June 27 the container arrived with the boats.  There is always a little anxiety as the container doors are opened and we take a quick look around to see if there is any damage.  No problems!  And so we all breathed a quick sigh of relief and set about unpacking.  Usually everything is fine, although a few years back on a trip to Spain, an anchor point welding gave away and a boat dropped down a few inches. But we typically tie at least two safety lines so significant damage was averted.

So far, Gorbolds have arrived, along with Lin, Paul Scoffin and myself.  There are maybe a half dozen other boats set up as well.  Jonathan and Nigel have been out, though the rest of us are knee deep in boat games.  And enjoying Italy.  More pictures will be here soon, as we are still trying to get reliable internet and connections set up.


The email from Lin in March asking me to sail with him in the Worlds at Garda provided me with a new focus and revived many memories of sailing with Lin in 1996.


I was watching the US Nationals on Lake Canandaigua when a call came through from the Committee Boat that Lin needed a crew due to the unfortunate illness of his crew. We had some great fleet racing and indeed a needle match race in the last race. Jonathan Gorbold had carved a set of magnificent trophies for many of the helms and crews and one has a special place in my home.


Since then I have kept in touch with Lin and we have renewed acquaintances at various Worlds in Europe and New Zealand and the 400th Anniversary Regatta at New York.


After quickly agreeing to sail with Lin in the Worlds, I visited Connecticut and enjoyed the generous hospitality provided by Sascha & Job Sandberg who organised the US Nationals at Noroton YC

Lin & Richard at US Nationals 2011which Lin and I used to get in some practice for the Worlds - despite the best efforts of fog and reefs to scupper Lin’s careful preparation of the boat!


After the container was loaded, we enjoyed a very convivial evening with Lisa & Susan and headed back to our respective homes.


On Saturday, Susan & I will be crossing from Dover to Calais and thence drive to Lake Garda, the mecca of sailing in Europe which has attracted a record FD Worlds entry of 132 teams. The previous record for FDs was also on Lake Garda in 1996 when there were 123 FDs racing from the same start line!


In 1996 the racing was at the northern end of Lake Garda where the wind can blow with great ferocity and it did! One day the Committee boat had to be towed back to base and many FDs were scattered upside down in the lake and around the northern shores of the lake.


However, at Malcesine, which is mid way down the eastern shore, the lake is wider and the funneling effect of the cliffs - very steep, tall and dramatic mountains - is less severe. Winds should be more moderate but no doubt by the end of the Worlds the normal refrain heard from the locals at nearly all venues will be heard...”It is not normally like this!!”

Boats arrive in Italy!

Last week Kurt, our fearless shipping coordinator told us, "Keep your anxiety in check FD people!"  And well we should have.  This evening we got the following note:

Container was off loaded in Genoa on Jun-19 15.00 hrs. We are proceeding with Customs clearance. It will take us 3.5 hours to deliver from here. I think there is a very good chance you will have your boats there in time for the event. I know you expected nothing less. Stay tuned. Travel safe.


Kurt Hemmingsen

So good news.  We will continue to endeavor to keep our anxiety in check and in a week we'll be assembling our boats on the bank of Lake Garda.  We expect nothing less!



A hectic last few weeks saw Pavel twice flying from Pennsylvania to Jacksonville enabling us to complete the refit and just make it to Connecticut, just in time to relaunch NZL-145 for race one of the US Nationals. Immediately after, the boats bound for the Worlds were loaded into a container, and it was with great relief that we saw the container doors close with NZL-145 inside.

We now look forward to competing in the World Championships on Lake Garda the venue of the "85" World Championships and the associated article that got me interested in sailing FD's.

Paul (NZL-145)

Paul, Jimmy Tutten and Pavel (l to r) checking that we have an FD

Full Circle

With all that is going on in everyone’s life these days it’s sometimes hard to keep sailing schedules aligned and on track.

Fifteen years ago, much of the U.S. fleet was preparing for our National Championship in Canandaigua, NY. During a warm up at the race site for the regatta, the person I was planning on sailing with encountered a health problem that kept them from continuing in the regatta.

Fortunately at that time Richard Phillips, well known to everyone in the class, was touring the U.S. and had stopped by the regatta site for a look. He was quickly recruited to sail. We had a good series, won that year by Mike Loeb and Guido Bertocci, with some of the top positions decided in a dramatic last race.

Now, again very fortunately for me, Richard has agreed to sail with me at Worlds coming up soon. Seems that sometimes good things can come around again!

Looking forward to seeing and sailing with friends from around the world very soon now.



Who all's going?

We said that 4 boats were packed off for Garda.  Four US teams, there are more attending. From the US we have:

  • USA 36 - Lin Robson with Richard Phillips (GBR), the team that just won US Nationals
  • NZL 145 - Paul Scoffin and Pavel Ruzicka, both veterans of many Worlds and a team that placed 4th in NZL
  • GBR 367 - Jonathan and Nigel Gorbold, a father and son team from Canandaigua.  Nigel has gotten big since the 99 Worlds and his days driving USA 1426
  • USA 251 - Tim Sayles and Serge Leonidov, Serge is a former Star Olympics campaigner who will clearly add polish to tactics
  • Also, Paul Hemker will be teaming up with Peter Doran in GBR 382.  Paul on the wire! Yea!

Everyone has their posses and we'll introduce them all later.  Good luck to everyone!{jcomments on}

About this Blog

The USA team decided to make use of the new website to keep a combined record of our trip to Lake Garda for the 2011 World Championships. Looking back on prior trips, so much of what happened during WC adventures became lost and never reported to the rest of you.  So we decided to take advantage of the features of the new USA Class Website and provide an ongoing log of things that happen, places we see, conversations we have, new sailors and friends we meet and of course, racing results and thoughts.

A lot of folks are going from the US contingent - both family and friends - and we will all potentially report back in one way or another - through quick notes, pointers to race results, interviews and so on.  We may even be able so schedule a chat time that we all will participate in, so so watch for that. This should be fun.  At the same time we want to provide a lot of information to all the sailors here about Sant Crus Worlds next year. Much of that will be coming online very soon. 

Stay tuned, and pass the word around to check into this page so everyone can see what's going on.{jcomments on}

We're outa here!

After Nationals at the Noroton Yacht Club four boats were packed into a container for the boat trip to Malcesine, Italy.  At this point the ship is somewhere mid-Atlantic. We are hoping to have the container arrive at the Fraglia Vela Malcesine - the Malcesine sailing club - by June 27.   

Garda is the place you want to go if you want lots of wind, flat water and totally outrageous scenery. Been a favorite of FDer's for many years.  Just check out the entry list - 125 entrants as of this writing!!! Wow!  Now that's a regatta!  We'll be providing some narration and pictures and even video of this Italian Alps location, so check back!

As for the loading of the container, we start out with a standard height container, 40' long.  This is capable of handling 6 FDs with plenty of room for additional gear.  This time, there are two boats hoisted up against the ceiling and held in place with straps, along with a couple safety lines, just in case.  The other two boats were just strapped down to the floor.  Other packages include sailing gear, spars, tool boxes and extra parts.  Notice the bikes also.  Petrol is quite expensive in Europe!

The shipment must be accompanied by a Carnet, which is like a passport for property.  The items - individual packages - being shipped must be carefully listed and submitted along with fees and bond information so that official Carnet papers can be issued.  Like a passport, the Carnet is inspected and stamped when leaving or entering a country.  If there is any question about the shipment, the container may be opened and inspected by any customs authority.  So we hope our count is correct. 

All of the arrangements for this trip were handled by Kurt Hemmingsen, of Agility Logistics. Kurt is also an enthusiastic FD crew, typically seen on USA1, although they could not make this trip.  More on Kurt and Agility later.{jcomments on}