2019 Club News

Visits: 2425

If you plan to use the WFSC boat ramp soon, read this:

(posted 11-25-19)

We had some heavy equipment out at The Club today (11-25), and a lot of sand was removed from the boat ramp.

As most of you know, the ramp had been virtually closed (again) to all but dinghies and the shallowest of crab crushers by the ongoing movement of sand around the yacht club point.

Hopefully the ramp is now available for many of our boats. However, the work will only be a temporary improvement; the sand will wash back in. I guess what I'm saying is, if you're considering launching or pulling out in the not-too-distant future, now might be the best time to try it - rampwise and sandwise, anyway.

In the meantime, our larger boats have been using the ramp at Pawnee Park, which is open and deep.

Upcoming pre-party party set for Dec 6

For those of you who are new to the Club, the Annual Pre-Christmas-Party Decorating and Cleanup has become something of a traditional festive event unto itself. With people like Colley and Ahlhorn involved, it will be a party. Probably good food too (or popcorn, at least).

Anyway, it's light-hearted fun (except for the participant who draws the short straw and gets to clean the bathrooms), and it's happening this year on Friday evening Dec 6.

For more information, call Steve Colley, 733-0847.

elf paint

A note about the automatic gate

It appears the gate won't always work well when it's raining. If you go out to the club in wet weather and the gate won't open, try cleaning off the little sensor-electric-eye-mirror thingie. You'll know it when you see it, and if you wipe the rain off of it, it may know you when it sees you. Otherwise, you can always wrestle the gate on the NE side open using the lock and your old gate key.


Follow-up, General Membership Meeting:

THE WFSC Board counted 18 ballots at the General Membership Meeting, all supporting the proposed slate of new officers for 2020.

Thus, your new commodore will be Steve Colley. Joining the board for the first time is Jim Loudermilk, who will be vice commodore. Larry Ahlhorn was elected rear commodore, Matt Baker treasurer and Lee Havins secretary.

The new commodore will appoint a harbormaster, house chairman, grounds chairman and anything else he decides to appoint. If you want to get started in taking responsibility for the development of the sailing club, call Steve and tell him you want to be involved.

The WFSC board also heard from a member, Joel Sansing, who has an idea about how to clean the build up of sand off the boat ramp. As it is now, the ramp is not useable for larger craft due to deep sand. Sansing is proposing the use of a pump to lift the sand and move it into large sacks, which can then be used to build a breakwater. He is researching the cost and legality of that work, and agreed to update the board at a later meeting.



Harvest Winds followup

Well, a couple weekends ago we had a little regatta, the annual Harvest Winds. It's always more of a fun run than a race, although some years the winds are so strong it becomes serious business. Not this year so much. Winds were light but blustery, temps were cool.

Two Flying Scots, Steve Priester and Glenn Tole, raced along with two big boats, Bink Davidson on the Hunter 25 and Big Dave Brunner aboard his Venture. Two races were run. Somebody won. According to fun-run rules, if you say you won, you didn't.

Thanks to Rob Havins, Deb Halter and Paul Spilman for working on the race committee.

Here's a couple pictures:

I hope this pic was before the start, or somebody's going the wrong way.


Talking trash.


On the big boats, they dance and stuff!



It's time to elect WFSC officers for 2020

Ballots are going out this week to all club members, who will be voting on Board of Directors members for 2020. The Ballots are being sent out by email. Members can return them by email, or can print them out and bring them to the General Membership Meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. November 7 at the Clubhouse. 

The Commodore's election committee met and came up with the following slate of proposed officers:

Commodore, Steve Colley

Vice Commodore, Jim Laudermilk

Rear Commodore, Larry Ahlhorn

Secretary, Lee Havins

Treasurer, Matt Baker

Look for your ballot in your email. You can vote for this slate or write in any other candidate. Also, plan to attend the General Membership Meeting. They're always a lot of fun.

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No doubt everybody has made their plans for the upcoming Harvest Winds Regatta. It will be a one-day affair this coming Saturday, October 19. Skippers meeting will be at noon.

You can enter any boat that will float, and we'll score them in one big fleet. A great time for less-experienced sailors to try out the racing scene.

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Flying Scot Fleet 170 completed its 2019 Series October 5. Three races were run in very pleasant conditions. Lee Havins won two of them and Matt Baker took the third. After all of the scores were posted, Lee and Kim were the apparent overall series winners.

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The WFSC Christmas Party is being planned for December 14. It will be held at the Clubhouse. More details will be available soon (but somebody was talking about prime rib; don't tell them you heard it from me).



Longtime WFSC member passes

Longtime Club member Pete Robitallie died earlier this week following a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Noot, of Arrowhead Ranch Estates.

Pete was a retired Air Force officer who joined WFSC in the early 1980s. He was an avid Hobie Cat racer for many years, and later sailed boats in the Club's Flying Scot and handicap fleets.

Happening in October:

Saturday 10-5: Flying Scot Fleet 170, last series race. Skippers meeting at noon. The fleet got in several makeup races on Sept 27, all three won by Steve Priester.

Tuesday 10-8: WFSC Board Meeting, 7 p.m. at the Club.

Saturday 10-19: Harvest Winds Regatta. Skippers meeting at noon. This event is open to all boats, which will race under handicap fleet rules.



Upcoming September race dates and events

The Big Boat fleet will stage a make-up race Saturday (Sept 14) in what racers hope will be milder conditions than we have seen lately. Skippers meeting will be 10 a.m. at the Pavillion. Forecasters are calling for a high Saturday in the low to mid 90s with light to moderate winds. 

The Flying Scot fleet will race the following Saturday (Sept 21). Skippers meeting is 10 a.m. at the Pavillion. Hopefully the summertime string of 100+ degree days is now behind us.

The Scots squeezed in a make up race on August 31, following a couple cancellations due to the heat. Five boats got on the course for two races, both in very light conditions. Glenn Tole dominated both races to take a substantial lead in the on-going series totals.

Two of the five were skippered by new club members/Flying Scot owners, Paul Cory and Brad Beauchamp, who showed admirable determination in the difficult light air, which finally pooped out to zero wind before the 2nd race was completed.


ONE NON-RACE EVENT on the near horizon is an informal pot luck dinner, to be held Friday evening (Sept 13), beginning with cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30.

We will be welcoming in the Harvest (full) Moon, set to rise about 8 p.m. Although there is some rain in the forecast for Friday, hopefully it will clear by evening, and we might even get in a moon-lit sail.

This is a no-charge BYOB event open to all club members and their guests. Bring a covered dish and/or dessert item and your own beverages. If you plan to give the night sail a try, be sure you have adequate life jackets and a working flashlight.

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FS Fleet 170 to give August one more chance

Determined to get a race in during the hottest month of the year, the Flying Scot fleet will hit the water again Saturday (August 31).

Previous efforts in August have failed, mostly due to extreme heat. But the forecast for the coming weekend shows a high temperature of only 87 and winds from 5 to 10 mph.

Skippers meeting will be 10 a.m. at the Pavillion.


Dancin' in the moonlight? Should we? Could we?

As we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first NASA moon landing this summer, I know at least some of you couldn't help but get outside last week to soak up even more moonlight (I hope you didn't overdo it with the moonshine while you were doing whatever it was).

But as you silently howled, I'll bet you didn't realize that full moon overhead (which peaked Aug 15) was actually the annual "Sturgeon Moon". Yep. Apparently native American tribes in the Great Lakes area coined the title, as it marked the best time to harvest the giant lake sturgeon. (You shoulda known this was a fish story.)

The next full moon is set for September 13 (so says the internet https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/usa/wichita-falls?month=9&year=2019), and it will be the annual Harvest Moon, since it will be the one that is closest to the autumnal equinox Sept 22. If it had been a little earlier, it would have been dubbed a Green Corn Moon, and the Harvest Moon would have followed on the next cycle. (Look at me, talking like a farmer and stuff.)

Anyway, it appears as though September 13 is a Friday - Holy Moly! Friday the 13th!

That big beautiful Friday-The-Thirteenth Harvest Moon will be rising about 8 p.m., and if we're not at the yacht club doing something, it'll just be totally wrong. 

It appears Mother Nature has thrown down the gauntlet. Heck, she's thrown it down, doused it in charcoal lighter fluid and set it ablaze! She's clearly challenging us to have some kind of party or event.

So what's it gonna be? Drive out and give a weak little wolf howl, then go back to binge watching Law & Order reruns? How bout an old fashioned potluck? Heaven forbid we figure out how to turn on our flashlights and actually take a night sail.

I'm sure you won't mind if I remind you that you really shouldn't ignore a challenge from Mother Nature.

So, what's it gonna be? I'll bring the beanie weenies. Anybody else? Could we? Should we?


August race schedule changing as we try to adapt to the scorching heat

The August race date for Flying Scots has changed from last Saturday to next Sunday, when the weathermen are promising a brief respite from the heat.

The series race is tentatively set for late Sunday afternoon (Aug 25). Actual starting time to be announced.

Next Saturday, Aug 24, is the date of the Hotter-N-Hell, and all of our local triathletes will be busy doing that. (I know it's only a bike race, but I figure they'll be swimming in their own perspiration and possibly walking too after they encounter some of the North Texas mesquite thorns that were genetically modified just for the H-N-H).

If we make it to September (wasn't there a country song about that, or was it "December"?), we'll return to our regular schedule, which has the Big Boats racing on Sept 7 and the Flying Scots racing on Sept 21.

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A few things happening around the club:


After the successful 6 boat Hot Stuff Regatta (sailed, oddly, in mild temperatures and NE winds), WFSC will return to the series schedule, with race dates of Aug 3 for Big Boats and Aug 17 for Flying Scots. Skippers meetings at 10 a.m.



Next meeting of the board will be Aug 1, 7 p.m.



Flying Scot Fleet 170 will have an open meeting Aug 6 at the Back Porch Draft House, 4214 Kell. Come out and have a beer (great food available, too), meet a couple of new skippers and crews and get ready for the rest of the season. 6:15 p.m.

Hot Stuff Regatta is Saturday !

Skippers meeting will be at 10 a.m. Saturday for the Hot Stuff Regatta. This event is more about the "fun" than the "race". All boats welcome, all skippers welcome. We'll get one, two or three races in before the heat gets too intense, weather permitting. We'll race in one big fleet using our handicap system.

"Did he say 'all boats'?"

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July Board Meeting

Will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, 7-11. All members welcome.

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Drought ends - finally! - for Flying Scot fleet

Five Flying Scot skippers hit the starting line Saturday for a make-up of the make-up make-up race. The three races run Saturday were the first for the fleet this year, due to uncooperative weather conditions. 

Each race was run in very light air, and featured a different winner. Lee Havins, Glenn Tole and Matt Baker each scored a bullet.  

Thanks to the race committee of Deb Halter and Mike Gillis, who set up and administered a great course.

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Folks ...This coming Sat, 22nd June, the Wichita Falls Sailing Club is hosting an Open House..There will be entertainment by Wichita Falls own Cousin Fuzzy, street tacos for $6.00 ...starts at 3 o'clock, and will end around 7 pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Wichita Falls Sailing community.

For more information about the entertainment, Cousin Fuzzy, please visit them at

Wichita Falls Sailing Club is hosting an open house.

Just a couple quick club notes:

(posted 6-7-19)

Plans are forming up for a social event at the club June 22, along a barbecue theme. Think barbecue, open house and a band (I heard Mick Jagger might be visiting Clay County along about that time). More details will be forthcoming soon, but mark your calendars now.

Saturday, June 8, will be a make up race day for the Big Boat Fleet. Skippers meeting at noon. Thus far, mother nature hasn't been too kind to WFSC racing, and very few races have been completed. But the season is still young and hopes are high. The next Saturday, June 15, is a regular race day for The Flying Scot fleet, which will try again to complete its first race of the year.

WFSC board members this week gave tentatively approval to a plan to sponsor a Boy Scout "Ship", which is a troop designed around sailing. A local scout master, Allen Pappas (no doubt I have misspelled his name, so sorry about that), approached the board this week about forming up the new group. He said a number of older scouts - boys and girls - are interested in joining the new outfit, and they have thus far located one boat to bring in. A few hurdles must be crossed to get this going, but if successful it would be nice to see some younger people using the club.

The board also agreed to complete further work on our boat slips and other shore side facilities. The slips and our boat ramp have been taking a beating from the recent high winds and the high water. More flotation is being added to the slips, and a new project will be undertaken to try to shore up an area where the concrete boat ramp is being undercut by the high water.

If you haven't been out recently to check out the lake, it is quite a sight! The water is way above the spillway, and the lake is just about as big as it possibly can get! If you do drive out to check it out, try to stay on the pavement, as the ground is very soft.


Volunteers Needed

Looking for Volunteer Skippers to assist a local Boy Scout troop to learn some quick sailing lessons.   Troop 34 won a "lottery" allowing it to send five youths and three adults to the Boy Scout "Sea Base" in Florida, where they will board a 40-foot sailboat for a week-long snorkeling trip.

The following dates are set to assist the Scouts;

Sunday, May 19 at 2 PM
Sunday, June 2 at 2 PM

To volunteer, please contact Jim for details.


Very good Flying Scot for sale

FS #2605 belonged to a longtime WFSC sailor and racer who passed away recently. His family was generous enough to allow us to try to keep the boat in the WFSC fleet.  It is being offered for sale for $2700, a price that includes a new mast, trailer, three sets of sails (one fairly new) and a chute. The Flying Scot is a great one design race boat, but it is also a stable, easy-going daysailor. It was sailed adventurously, but is in good shape and always was kept under a cover. 



The Times Record News did a great article on the WFSC and came out for the Flying Scot's Race in April.  To read the full article, please visit their website by clicking on the link.

Wichita Falls Sailing Club to hold races on Lake Arrowhead


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WFSC has established a waitlist for the boat slips.  Please contact Mike Gillis, Harbor Master to get on the waitlist.

North Side

  1. Colley, S.
  2. Spilman P.

South Side

  1. Open Slips

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Flying Scot Video - Enjoy!

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♦ Okay, friends. You'll never know what a good chef can do with an armadillo unless you come out to the WFSC Chili Cookoff Saturday (March 23). It's 5 p.m. (feel free to come early, and/or stay late). Chili, fixins, desserts, good clean fun (well, maybe, scratch the "clean", although we will have napkins).

The Chili Cookoff is a great event to introduce any of your friends to Sailing Club life. Who knows? After finding out about our "best kept secret," they might want to join us.

$5 if you're gonna eat (and why wouldn't ya)? BYOB. Be there!

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Hey folks, do you need another excuse to take a few days off and head down to the beach?

(posted 3-11-19)

I've got one for you - the Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival, set for April 12-14.

(a view from a past festival)

No doubt some of you have a stitch-and-glue project in your garage, or "temporarily" up in the rafters. (I had one in my office for 5 years before it was done). Others likely have some heavy restoration in mind of something that's really old (yes, Jim, we're talking about you!).

Consider this event if you need a shot of motivation, or if you just want to see a bunch of pretty and/or odd-ball boats. You will likely see boats designed by Graham Byrnes, Jim Malichak, John Welsford (who has been known to turn up in person at the festival), Phil Bolger, Matt Layden and more. You can also talk with the amateur builders who put the boats together.

Family style activities, informative sessions, beer and wine and, of course, our beloved Mustang Island beaches. The guy from Chesapeake Light Craft will be there, too, and no doubt he'll be happy to discuss their design catalog and hook you up with a kit so you can get started.

Anyway, if this tweaks your interest, here's a link for further info: http://portaransaswoodenboatfestival.org/


WFSC Board news

Some members of a local Boy Scout troop are getting ready for a major adventure. Troop 34 won a "lottery" allowing it to send five youths and three adults to the Boy Scout "Sea Base" in Florida, where they will board a 40-foot sailboat for a week-long snorkeling trip.

The scouts and leaders came to the WFSC board meeting this week and asked for the Sailing Club's help. The board agreed to arrange one or more weekend outings in which local big boat skippers will take them out for a little sail training. This will occur before the Sea Base trip, which starts on June 26. 

In other action, the board discussed the recent repairs to our boat slips. Several fingers lost their styrofoam and headed for the bottom after a recent windstorm. Those repairs have already been made, with new encapsulated flotation installed by Arrowhead Welding. Member Steve Priester traveled to the Metroplex to obtain the necessary flotation units.

The board agreed to fund the repair of other more minor problems on the slips, and to plan and price possible expansion of the facility. This could include addition of more slips on the north side and/or repairs to stabilize the south side slips to make them more usable.

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp Recovery.

(posted 2-27-19)

Larry Ahlhorn, the club's very own Aquaman, made the first recorded, Artic Plunge in the Frigid Lake waters to recovery the boat ramp dock today. Mike Schulte, supervised the event and ensured Larry made it back to shore safely. The two Boat Ramp Heros were able to recovery the dock and managed to damage two winches in the process. Please remember, if you require any cold water survival skills to please contact Larry Ahlhorn for free tips.

Huge thanks for making this happen.

Donated Ice Packs

(posted 2-27-19)

If you look in the clubhouse freezers you may notice some ice packs donated by Bob Walker. Bob has requested for members to feel free to use them. He did ask to please return them back in to the freezer when done. Thanks Bob!


Thar She Blows!

(posted 2-24-19)

Yeah, it was windy at the yacht club Saturday. Big waves, water everywhere, angels singing. See for yourself:

Seriously, though, we did sustain some dock damage at the ramp and on the slips. No boat damage apparent, except for a cat or two that blew over. If you have gear at the club, it might be worth a trip out to make sure it is still secure.

Still dreaming of an adventurous road trip?

(posted 2-22-19)

Flying Scot Midwinters, March 22-27, Sarasota Florida.

Hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, this would be a road trip that would give you some local bragging rights for the entire season! Maybe longer. Let you meet some world class sailors, too. Sarasota Bay is big and shallow. Interesting when the wind blows hard.

Downtown Sarasota, Longboat Key, St. Armand’s Circle, Siesta and Lido Beach offer all you can ask for: hotels in all price categories, restaurants, bars, beaches, and history (so says the regatta brochure).

Anyway, for all you dreamers, here's a link to the regatta http://regattanetwork.com/event/17735#_home and a link for Sarasota in general https://www.visitsarasota.com/.

Long road trip, but probably doable for somebody thusly motivated.




Social Schedule Kicks Off With Chili Cook-Off on March 23

The Annual (insert favorite adjective here) Chili Cook-Off will be held at the Club on March 23.

Rear Commodore Steve Colley is currently seeking cooks for the event. Tell him you want to cook and pick a theme or a title for your special dish so it can be submitted to the voting public. ("Raspberry chocolate" is available at this time, if you want to try to make that turkey fly. Speaking of turkeys, I don't think anybody has entered "Canada Goose Chili" yet, either).

This year's voting will feature prizes for winning cooks. Steve says we will start eating chili (and all the fixings) at 5 p.m. $5 a plate. BYOB.

Please RSVP here!


Is it Spring Yet?

(posted 2-14-19)

Ahoy sailors.

Just a few on-line items to help keep you entertained while you wait out the rest of the winter (Winter? Do we still have those things?) You might even find an event you can actually get fired up for, plan for and enter.

* TEXAS 200. This is a small-boat event in June that travels about 200 miles up the Texas Coast from Port Mansfield over a four-day span. You are almost guaranteed to get big following breezes and heat … lots of South Texas summer heat. Still time to get fired up, find the right boat and enter this one this year. Anyone?

Texas 200 boats on the beach at Happ's Cut.

The route: http://www.texas200.com/Route.html .

From The Texas 200 website ( http://www.texas200.com/ ): The Texas 200 is:
A “rolling messabout” where people bring boats of all shapes and sizes and sail them on the south Texas coast.
A moving, exhausting, endurance test of boat, captain, and crew.
A chance to see areas of America rarely visited by man.
An exercise in planning, preparation, and problem solving.
A chance to make new friends and legends of the small boat world.

A video: https://youtu.be/qtVY4UJFYPY

* FOR THOSE WITH SLIGHTLY BIGGER ASPIRATIONS . . . The 50th running (in July) of the 2225-mile Transpac Race from LA to Honolulu. No, you can’t do this in a Flying Scot. Website: https://2019.transpacyc.com/

Note, this same group, the Transpacific Yacht Club, will be running a race in 2020 from LA to Tahiti, a mere 3570 miles. (LA to Tahiti? Who wouldn’t want to do that? Come on, people. We can DO this stuff!)

THE KRAKEN CUP, an eight-day rally type race in the Indian Ocean, starting in Zanzibar, and sailed in native dug-out canoes.

Sorry, you already missed this year’s event, which ended last month. But it’s time to plan for next year.

The first challenge is figuring out the event’s crazy website: https://www.theadventurists.com/adventures/kraken-cup/.

Here’s a good write-up on this event: https://www.catsailingnews.com/2019/01/kraken-cup-2019-final-report.html and a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7vJG5b6hO4 .

Looks like tons of fun, no?

EVERGLADES CHALLENGE, 300 miles from Tampa to Key Largo in canoes, kayaks or small sailboats. http://www.watertribe.com/events/evergladeschallenge/

This one kicks off March 1, so it‘s too late to register for this year. Always fun to watch. There's a tracker in that site somewhere. No, we don't have any local participants this year's event, but . . .


Club House Back Porch New Railing

(posted 2-13-19)

Mike Schulte, Steve Colley, and Larry Ahlhorn were busy today while placing the new Post Rails around the Kitchen's back porch. The new rails will be installed soon. Thanks guys for everything that you do!


(updated 2-16-19)

Mike Schulte and Larry Ahlhorn are at it again, installing the handrail.  Thanks for everything that you both do!

Mike Schulte installing hand rail

(updated 2-17-19)

Zac Ahlhorn, Larry Ahlhorn, and Mike Gillis completed the handrail around the back porch of the clubhouse! Huge thanks for everyone who assisted with the project.

(updated 2-21-19)
The great volunteers of the WFSC finished the kitchen back porch project. We now have two rails all the way around the porch and meets all requirements for insurance purposes. Special thanks to Larry Ahlhorn, Mike Schulte, Steve Colley, Mike Gillis, and Zac Ahlhorn.


WFSC Board of Directors meeting Feb 7

(posted 2-6-19)

The next meeting of the WFSC board will be Feb 7 at 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. All members are welcome. 



(posted 2-6-19)

Greetings WFSC Members. We are thankful for the club’s 2018 leadership and we will continue the tradition. We will have an exciting race season this year. The race fleets will meet up soon and place the final touches up on the upcoming schedule.

Our lake is up at 100%. and with a little cooperation from Mother Nature, we hope for moderate and sustained winds.

Great News! Just like an exciting race season, we are planning four major big social events for 2019. We will have the Annual Chili Cook-Off, Barbeque Event, Harvest Winds Regatta and Christmas Party. We will get the dates and details out to you soon.

One of the Board's goals this year will be to increase the size of the club membership. We are currently at 46 members and would like to recruit more. If you know anyone who might be interested, please direct them to our website, www.wfsail.org.

Hope to see you at the Club!

Very Respectfully,



WFSC Fleet Meeting set for February 28

(posted 2-6-19)

Yes, it is time for our annual racing fleet meeting of 2019. The meeting will be at 6:30 pm, Thursday February 28, 2019. We have a room reserved at the Back Porch Draft House (4414 Kell). We have used their facility for a couple of years and it was always good.

Agenda will consist of:

  • scheduling a racing schedule for both existing Fleets. (Big Boat and Flying Scot fleets)
  • 1 series for the year vs 2 series for the year (some fallout from last year.)
  • all-boat regatta (s)
  • attention to R/C needs & improving system. (another permanent buoy,etc.?)
  • racing series skippers receiving credit for R/C, scoring etc.

We will also address rules, with some books available. Knowing the rules in sailing & trying to sail by them adds character to WFSC sailing. "Good old boy" interpretation of rules on the race course is not always fair to the rest of fleet. We each must deal with that.

There will be more to come about the meeting. Good & fun subjects to address. Remember skippers, crew, any other interested parties are more than welcome

Steve Priester FS#274


(posted 2-6-19)

The water is wide; I can't cross over.

Okay, that's good for a Scottish folk song, but not so good for anybody who wants to use any of our various "low-lying" facilities, specifically, this dinghy dock and the dock on the boat ramp. I guess whoever placed them thought they might never see the lake over the spillway again. We are currently building new ramps to facilitate uninterrupted access to these areas. The first one is going onto the dock at the ramp this week.