HERE'S WHAT'S ON THE WFSC
Oct 24 - WFSC Handicap Fleet makeup race(s). Skippers Meeting at noon. Non-fleet sailors can race, too, making up a separate fleet. We'll call it Harvest Winds Regatta Redux.
Nov 5 - WFSC Board of Directors & General Membership Meeting, 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. One item on the agenda is counting the ballots for next year's directors. If you haven't voted yet and want to, you can see the ballot and voting instructions by clicking this link:
THE WEATHERMAN CALLED IT
Harvest Winds Regatta Was A Blowout
Beautiful day at the sailing club Saturday. Brisk morning, cloudless sky. But windy - too windy to race the annual Harvest Winds Regatta.
Representatives of half a dozen or so boats gathered up at the 10 a.m. skippers meeting, when winds were gusting above 25 mph, and decided to postpone for an hour. By the second session, it was still howling, and the event was cancelled for the day.
Meanwhile, Rear Cmdr Larry Ahlhorn was cooking up a mess of chicken, links and other stuff, so all of the racers, crews and other attendees got fed for their trouble.
WFSC's Big Boat Handicap Fleet agreed to try for a couple of make-up races next Saturday (Oct 24) to complete their 2020 race series. Sailors who aren't part of that competition were invited to race along toward belated HWR honors.
The Oct 24 session will begin with a noon Skippers Meeting.
Since its inauguration five or six years ago, the Harvest Winds Regatta has frequently featured a lot of wind. Most of the 2020 race season previously was visited by very light winds. Go figure !
HARVEST WINDS REGATTA OCT. 17
the forecast (now a few days out) is calling for significant southerly breeze
WFSC has held the Harvest Winds Regatta in October for a number of years, and usually the winds have risen for the occasion. That may be the case again Saturday, when a southerly breeze approaching 20 miles per hour is predicted (with temps to be in the high 60s at race time).
The Harvest Winds will be The Big Event for WFSC's Big Boat Handicap Fleet, which will finish off its 2020 season during the regatta.
After the two races completed by the fleet thus far in 2020, Steve Colley has a substantial lead in the standings, apparently followed by Bink Davidson. So Saturday's racing could be exciting.
Skippers Meeting is set for 10 a.m. (NOTE: This is a change from the originally slated noon Skippers Meeting.)
A barbecue chicken meal will be served after the racing is completed (we're calling that 1:30"ish"). The regatta is open to all boats, but non-BBHF entries may be scored separately.
Big Boat Handicap Fleet to complete series; winner, winner, chicken dinner !
Also on the rise currently are reported cases of Covid 19 in the Wichita Falls area, so everybody involved needs to me mindful of that. Maybe any breezy conditions will be helpful there.
Please be aware of what needs to be done to protect yourself and others. Please abide by the rules for use of the Clubhouse (get in, get your business done, get out). Please keep guests to a minimum.
Official Ballot for WFSC 2021 Directors
We sent these to members by e-mail, but if you didn't get it, or just want another copy, suitable for framing, you can get it here.
We are going to count only one vote per membership.
Instructions for submitting ballots are included on the ballot.
Here is a link to the ballot:
WFSC Board of Directors News
At its recent meeting, the board voted in two more members. They are Ron Manney of Henrietta and Mike Yandell of Wichita Falls. Both are reportedly boat shopping. Welcome them when you see them at the Club.
In other action, the board approved the slate of board nominees recently vetted by the Nominating Committee.
The slate of potential officers for 2021 are:
Commodore, Deborah Halter; Vice Commodore, Glen Spadin; Rear Commodore, Freddie Kennedy; Secretary, Lee Havins; and Treasurer, Matt Baker. Steve Coley will serve as Past Commodore.
All members will be receiving a ballot soon. Votes will be counted at the General Membership Meeting (7 p.m. on November 5). The ballots will be delivered in PDF format attached to an email. Members can print out the ballot and mail it in, or vote by simply replying to the email. Or they can bring their ballot to the meeting. Only one vote per membership will be counted.
Additionally, Commodore Colley reported that the club had finally obtained a settlement from our insurance carrier covering roof damage, and the board voted to accept a bid for putting on a metal roof.
A flock of Flying Scots swarms the dinghy dock Saturday (10-3) in preparation for the final faceoff in the Fleet 170 2020 sailing season
Steve Priester is Fleet 170's 2020 champion; the last two series races were completed in light and drifting conditions Saturday
Seven Flying Scots hit the lake Saturday (10-3) for the last date of Fleet 170's 2020 season. A brisk morning breeze gave way to very light and drifting conditions as the races got underway just after noon.
Steve Priester won the first race and placed second in the second one to lock up the fleet championship. Glenn Tole was second in the first and first in the second. Lee Havins was third in both events.
Dave Brunner scored a fourth and a fifth, Paul Corey took a seventh and a fourth, Glen Spadin a fifth and a DNF and Derrick Kristoff a sixth and a DNF.
Unofficially, the overall series standings appear to show Priester, first; Havins, second; Tole, third; with Matt Baker and Brunner tied for fourth.
Three sailors, Priester, Brunner and Havins, attended every series event and posted a score in all of the nine completed races.
This was the 30th year of operation for Fleet 170 at WFSC. The fleet was chartered through the national Flying Scot Association in July 1990 by Priester, Havins, Tole, the late Sheldon Brown and Kerry Roach.
The Harvest Moon lights up the sky above Yacht Club Basin (posted 10-2-20)
Another Food Bank Benefit
Members of WFSC Flying Scot fleet 170 scared up $242 during its last race day (Sept 19) for the benefit of the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank. Later, down at the Food Bank, they indicated it was a little bit "like found money" (that's an inside joke).
This brings the total donated by WFSC to the Food Bank this year to $1457.
ON THE SCHEDULE
Sept 30, Dinghy Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. in Pavillion area. This will complete this fun run series for singlehanders in Sunfish and the like.
Oct 1, WFSC Board of Directors meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct 3, Flying Scot Fleet 170 races, Skippers Meeting at noon. The final races of the 2020 series.
Oct 17, Harvest Winds Regatta, all boats can enter but will include the last races of the Big Boat Handicap Fleet 2020 series. More details soon.
Six Flying Scots raced last Saturday, getting in two races in light air.
Steve Priester won both races. Matt Baker scored two third places, and Lee Havins scored a second and a fourth.
Glenn Tole scored a fifth and a second and Dave Brunner took a fourth and a fifth.
Longtime WFSC member Paul Kinash, joined the fleet for the first time, sailing the restored "Rush," owned years ago by the late Warren Dixon. Paul managed two sixth places, but was right in there with the fleet.
FS Fleet 170 will finish up its 2020 series on Oct 3. Skippers meeting at noon.
The "Dinghy Wednesday" events will wrap up next Wednesday (Sept 30) at 6:30 p.m.
Three boats showed up for Dinghy Wednesday on 9-23, and seven sailed the week before.
Big Boat Handicap Fleet will complete its 2020 series on Oct 17 during the Harvest Winds Regatta.
News briefs from around the Club:
* WFSC Board approved two more new members at a meeting last week.
They are Jinan Andrews, from Sheppard AFB, and Zachary and Danielle Whalen, also from Sheppard. The Whalens have four children, ages four to eleven. Welcome them when you see them at the Club.
* We have had additional high winds, since the big blast a couple weeks ago, that have jostled the on-shore boats. If you have gear at the club, maybe make sure it is secure. (Maybe mow around it while you're checking it out.)
* Big Boat Handicap Fleet raced Saturday. Three boats in very light air. According to RC Chairperson Deb Halter, Steve Colley won the race, followed by Bink Davidson in second and Dave Brunner, who didn't finish.
* An anecdotal safety tip. I was heading back into town following last Thursday's board meeting. The sunset had nearly faded into darkness. A mile or so before I got to the Arrowhead Ranch Estates store, I was roaring along, deep in thought about how much I enjoyed the board meetings, when I ran up on a large deer standing right in the middle of the road. Nearly flipped my truck instinctively trying to avoid a collision.
With all the rain we've had this summer, the deer are thicker than ever. Be very careful on the road between U.S. 281 and the sailing club.
SPEAKING OF BOARD MEETINGS, below is a link to a synopsis of the pre-Board-Election situation, in case anybody wants to get involved in that.
Give it a good read and consider whether you might like to help steer the Club into the future. If you have web publishing abilities, we need you. If you don't, there are other jobs.
Sunday evening's wind storm made a bit of a mess at The Club
Several boats were overturned and a couple were seriously damaged Sunday evening when the thunderstorms rolled through.
We also lost one of our beloved mesquite trees on the parade grounds, which apparently was sheared off by a flying Sunfish, which came to rest finally in the water by the dinghy dock. (Needless to say, that Sunfish won't be sailing again). A Hobie 17 did a somersault into the pavement, smashing its mast into pieces.
Boats in Flying Scot row were jostled and turned. A couple of them leaned into their neighbors, but no real damage was done there.
In the slips, it looks like the damage was limited to a roller furling sail that was shredded.
At least one of the damaged boats apparently had been properly tied down. Many others that weren't tied down at all were unscathed.
Here's a few photos, taken during the Monday morning cleanup:
(posted 8-16-20 by Lee Havins)
Heat, very little wind, much more heat, even less wind and a very close finish highlight the single race completed Saturday by Flying Scot Fleet 170
My brain is still a little fried from the overheating. The following is from Fleet Capt Steve Priester's text feed, and it says it better than I could:
"Well, it was a drifter and hot, but four boats came to race. Light breeze when we started and we even shortened the race right before the start.
These four tough guys and their crews were Baker, Havins, Brunner and Priester (that's also the way they finished, bunched up with no wind).
Also might mention those tough crews, Nathan B., Kim, Cris and Blue.
Thanks to Debbie for staying with us.
See more of you next time. May throw in a pick-up sail one evening soon. "
Matt and Nathan Baker surge to victory in Saturday's FS race. Hope neither suffered whiplash from the astounding speed. Heat stroke would be more likely.
(posted 8-9-20 by Lee Havins)
DINGHY DOCK IMPROVEMENTS. As we all know, the Sailing Club is a group effort and lots of members kick in to keep it running and make it better. Bill Robison has been working on the dinghy dock by the boat ramp, using some leftover fire hose and pool noodles to make bumpers around the dock. This will make it safer when multiple boats need to tie up together, or when dock-thumping sailors like me are approaching. Thanks Bill !
(posted 8-6-20 by Lee Havins)
First "Dinghy Wednesday" draws four boats in perfect weather!
Four single handers and a few onlookers turned out for the inaugural Dinghy Wednesday meet and sail event at The Club this week.
Temperatures in the 80s and about 10 mph of wind made it easy going for the informal fun run.
The next DW event will be next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Pictured below are Steve Priester, Matt Baker, Steve Colley and Dave Brunner.
(Posted 8-4-20 by Lee Havins)
THE CALL OF THE WILD
Effort underway to start Wednesday evening "Sunfish" fun fleet
Well, this happens every now and then. Somebody gets antsy to do something at The Club, and then . . .
A Wednesday evening "Sunfish" fleet is being organized, and it starts tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. !
The weekly event for single handed skippers will feature some informal "racing" around nearby buoys and no particular score keeping.
We have tons of old Sunfish and similar craft at WFYC. Dig yours out or borrow one.
Call Steve Priester for more information, 781-7016.
This got me to thinking about olden times when we raced single handed boats because that's all we could get into the water. I found these pictures from 2013 of racing being done between the Club and "The Island" (currently under water).
Look how far the Clubhouse was from the water !
(posted 7-12-20 by Lee Havins)
UPDATE ON SATURDAY ACTIVITIES
Hot Stuff Regatta draws seven boat fleet; Club's Food Bank benefit deemed a success
HOT STUFF REGATTA
Seven WFSC boats braved the building heat and participated in the three-race Hot Stuff Regatta Saturday.
Matt Baker won the event, sailing Cmdr Colley's Hunter 21. Second place was Glen Spadin in a Flying Scot. Bink Davidson (Hunter 25) was third and Dave Brunner (Chrysler 22) was fourth.
Filling out the fleet were John Kidwell (S2), Ronnie Brasket (Islander 23) and Mike Gillis (Catalina 25).
In top photo at right, a member of the Spadin crew goes over the side to push the boat out of the shallows. In second photo, several boats vie for position before the start. In bottom photo, they're off and heading west at top speed.
WFSC COOKOUT BENEFITS LOCAL FOOD BANK
Club members and friends of the club contributed more than $900 to the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank Saturday during an afternoon-long burgerfest.
The Food bank does a lot of good for folks, and they will really appreciate our contribution. So many thanks and blessings to those who contributed.
This event didn't happen without several people's hard work.
We had a squad of scouts from Maja Spadin's scout troop who staffed our prep line, and they did a great job. They are hard at work in top photo at left.
Commodore Steve Colley did a lot of work on this before it even started, and worked under the Pavillion all day. And Larry Ahlhorn cooked all day. They're pictured in bottom photo at left. That blurry effect just shows how fast they were moving!
Thanks and congratulations to everybody involved!
(posted 7-9-20 by Lee Havins)
Hey, Folks. Don't forget Saturday's WFSC Burgerfest to Benefit the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank
I know it's going to be hot Saturday, but the Food Bank Benefit Burgerfest is going to go on, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. in the Pavillion area.
We'll open the concession after the racing in the Hot Stuff Regatta, which starts Saturday morning.
All you have to do to participate is bring in a significant donation (cash, check or a big bag of canned and/or dry-staple foodstuffs). In return, we'll give you a great char-broiled burger, complete with chips and fixins.
We are going to serve the burgers already bagged with meat/bun, fixings, mayo and mustard and a bag of chips in a single container. This way we should be able to avoid our usual crowded food line, making social distancing easier.
We will have some tables on the grounds you can use, or you can set up in the shade on the deck (air conditioners will be running inside the Clubhouse).
Or we'll deliver directly to your car if you don't want to get out and hang around. For curb delivery, call Steve Colley (733-0847) or Lee Havins (704-1474) as you approach the club and we'll meet you in the parking lot.
This event is not being advertised to the general public. It is for WFSC members and their friends.
As you all know, the Food Bank is a vital non-profit that helps a lot of local people in need. The pandemic has impacted the Food Bank in two ways: there are more folks needing food, and the agency hasn't been able to hold all of the benefit food drives they ordinarily would (such as in the mall).
WFSC kicked in a donation a month or so ago, and we decided to try to do more. Our goal for this benefit is $1000.
I hope to see you out there. If you just can't make it to this event, please consider donating directly to the Food Bank. This isn't about personal gratification or club prestige. It's about helping our neighbors make it through the economic downturn brought on by the corona virus thing.
(posted 7-7-20 by Lee Havins)
HOT STUFF REGATTA
10 a.m. Saturday at WFSC
If you have a sailboat and you want some action, here's your chance: The Hot Stuff Regatta, 10 a.m. Saturday (7-11) at WFSC.
All boats can enter and will be scored under handicap rules.
This is an opportunity for boat owners who don't participate in our regular series events to get in on the fun in a slightly-less-serious format.
To enter, show up at the Skippers Meeting which will be at 10 a.m. in the Pavillion Area (observe "social spacing" protocol please).
After the race committee explains the course, the boats will hit the water for a couple of races, weather permitting.
Forecast for Saturday is warmish (90 or so at 10 a.m., increasing to an afternoon high above 100) and light to moderate winds from the SW.
(posted 7-6-20 by Lee Havins)
A couple views from the 4th of July celebration at WFSC
U.S. flag flies over the WFSC grounds, where the weather was just about perfect.
Rear Commodore Larry Ahlhorn serves up hotdogs to several young members of the Glen Spadin family. In all, Larry cooked nearly 200 hotdogs for the day.
Prior to the Saturday festivities, several club members cleaned up the "beach" area and did other projects, including moving the big cooker down to the Pavillion. Here Larry Ahlhorn works on a foundation for the cooker. Thanks to him, Steve Colley, Paul Spilman and others who did this work.
New dock finger build. Steve Colley and Larry Ahlhorn, with the assistance of Mike Schulte, have been building a new finger for our docks, which will give us one more slip. The work shown was done recently at the Ahlhorn Ranch in Archer County.
(posted 7-3-20 by Lee Havins)
Latest WFSC events update in light of Thursday's Texas Covid 19 Executive Orders
As you've probably heard, there were major changes in the State of Texas' position on the fight against the virus pandemic yesterday afternoon, taking effect today (Friday).
Basically, the governor decreed that:
* outdoor gatherings, which previously had been limited to 100, now can't be larger than 10;
* also, a facial covering is now required in all indoor public spaces and outdoors too if there is insufficient room to maintain the so-called "social distancing" of 6 feet.
Obviously, the first of these will immediately effect the way we do things as a club at WFSC. The facial covering portion is more of an issue for each individual to deal with.
In the short term:
FOURTH OF JULY
This event has usually been a self-entertainment type of event at WFSC. People come out with their families or whatever and do . . . whatever; sail their boat, set up a camp or just wander around and wait until the fireworks show starts when the sun goes down.
We are not closing the Club for the 4th. You can come out and do whatever you want. But it is recommended you keep your group within the legal limits.
There will be a hotdog food service set up at the Pavillion for 2 p.m. We will be trying to operate that within the limits of the law too. This basically means you can ease up and get your food and then spread back out elsewhere on the grounds.
JULY 11 HOT STUFF REGATTA AND FOOD BANK BURGER BENEFIT
The regatta will kick off with a 10 a.m. skippers meeting at the Pavillion. We will try to get that done with "proper social spacing" and quickly. After that, it's all on the water.
From 1:30 to 6, on July 11, several of us will be cooking burgers in the Pavillion area for folks who bring in a donation for the Wichita Area Food Bank. This could be cash, check or a big bag of canned and/or dry staple groceries. All donations will be forwarded by us to the Food Bank.
We will not have a food line, so there should be no crowding. We will be putting the burgers, fixings, mustard and mayo and a bag of chips into individual containers and handing them out as required. So again, a participant can come up and make their transaction, then spread out onto the grounds.
We will have some tables set up for your use. Or, if a participant doesn't want to stick around, we'll bring their food to their vehicle and they won't even have to get out.
Obviously, these new state restrictions very likely will cut down on the participation at these events, and probably future events, if there are any. They will just be whatever they're going to be.
But there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to use the club. Observing these recommendations - and, in general, acting responsibly - are going to be very important.
* Stay out of the clubhouse unless you need to use a facility. Please keep the indoor population to an absolute minimum. Get in, do what you need to do and get out.
* If you bring guests to WFSC, it is your responsibility to ride herd on them. You have to stay with your guests all the time. (This isn't a new rule, by the way).
* Everybody knows the pandemic mantras about hand washing, social spacing, etc.
Finally, it appears there are some people who don't believe the virus is a danger at all.
Some seem to think it's just a political ploy to gain advantage for one side or another.
Some think the recent surge in Covid 19 cases is simply the result of more testing and, therefore, is nothing to worry about.
Others, particularly those in the medical community, believe the virus is highly dangerous, especially for people over 60 or so, who might have some other "comorbidity" such as being overweight, diabetes, etc (hey, they're talking about me, and numerous others in our club membership).
What I would suggest is that none of these explanations rules out any of the others. It is entirely possible for more than one of them to be true at the same time, or for all of them to be true to whatever extent. So if you find yourself believing in only a single parameter, you have greatly raised the odds that your perception is lacking.
As of this morning, there were 420 cases of Covid 19 known in Wichita County. Seventeen people are now in the hospital, more than a half dozen of them in critical condition. One local case is a very young child who is in critical condition at Cook's Childrens Hospital in the Metroplex. An employee of MSU recently was determined to have the virus; officials there are trying to determine what others may have been exposed.
So that's the situation as I see it. It seems kind of a drag for us to be going through this still. No doubt you're sick of reading about it, and I'm sick of writing about it. I think some of our membership are unemployed because of this, and others have seen their incomes dwindle. Everyone is upset by it, and it seems to take a significant effort to think about others in the face of it, instead of just yourself. (That may be the basic test that's being put before us, but that's a philosophical discussion for another day).
In short, please do you're best to keep safe at WFSC and to help keep others safe.
(posted 6-29-20 by Lee Havins)
Hotdog Feast to Highlight Festivities on the 4th of July; 2 p.m. at the Pavillion
You know, it's said somewhere in literature that Chef Larry Ahlhorn actually invented the hotdog in a past life. This most likely would have occurred in the Village of Ahlhorn, in the landscape called Wildeshauser Geest, in northern Germany.
Whatever, it's 2020 now, and
Chef Larry is going to cast his magic over a big pack of dogs at the WFSC Pavillion on Saturday at 2 p.m. There will be dogs, buns and fixins galore, as The Club jump starts its belated social schedule.
This amid the sailing and partying that will occur prior to the usual Independence Day fireworks display, which will light up the lake landscape under a full moon.
Speaking of fireworks, we ask that you get your explosive jollies in the boat ramp area. Clean up your fireworks mess, please.
Click on the link posted below to see the latest issue of Hard-A-Lee for details of this event and more events on July 11 - The Hot Stuff Regatta, paired with a special Burgerfest to benefit the Wichita Area Food Bank.
Two weekends of fun with your friends at WFSC. Ooh-wee, I'm all a-twitter. (Nah, my dog turned over my drink and I sat on an ice cube). But I am excited!
(Updated 6-29-20 by Lee Havins)
Recent Flying Scot Fleet Results
WFSC'S FLYING SCOT FLEET 170 took to the course June 20 and completed two races with six boats competing.
The first race, in a good breeze with some gusts, was won by Lee and Kim Havins. The second event was run in a dying breeze, causing very difficult shifty conditions. The Havinses eked out a narrow win again.
Fleet 170 results on the day were:
Havins, first and first;
Steve Priester, second and second;
Dave Brunner, third and third;
Glenn Tole, fifth and fourth;
Bill Robison, fourth and DNF;
Glen Spadin, sixth and DNF.
As always, many thanks to Deb and Rob for doing a great job as race committee.
(posted 6-17 by Lee Havins)
WFSC Board of Directors will meet Thursday July 2, 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse.
Fourth of July Festivities. Hotdog fest at 2 p.m. (Pavillion). Always a great fireworks display at the lake. Also, this year, a full moon rising about 8:30 p.m. Should be quite the show.
Hot Stuff Regatta, July 11, skippers meeting at 10 a.m. A one-day open event for all boats, racing under handicap rules. Any races completed during the Hot Stuff do not count toward the ongoing series.
In the afternoon, a Burger Benefit for Wichita Area Food Bank. With a Hot Rod Car Show. Holy Cow !
(posted 6-11-20 by Lee Havins)
Around the Clubhouse
The WFSC board recently decided to reopen the clubhouse. The lock on the front door will now open with your regular key. The back (kitchen) door is locked again with a brand new lockset. Somebody kicked the old one right through the door (frustrations obviously run high for some; hope their therapist gets back into town soon.)
It is recommended that we continue to keep the crowds inside the building as small as possible. Remember, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and maintain social spac . . . oh, sorry, I bored myself to sleep there for a moment.
When you enter the Club, shut the gate behind you. When you leave the Club, shut the gate behind you.
A flock of Flying Scots clusters around the dinghy dock prepping for Saturday racing.
(posted 5-31-20 by Lee Havins)
Third Try Is the Charm, as Scot Fleet Completes Two Races for May With Eight Boats Racing
WFSC's FS Fleet 170 hit the water Saturday (5-30) for a second try make-up race, and completed two races in varied conditions.
At times the wind ranged from zero to 10 or 12, and the wind direction ranged from southeast to north, causing a lot of hair pulling and muttering as skippers tried to maintain movement in the right direction.
There were also a couple of groundings by skippers who were plying the edges of the course for advantage only to "find" those rocks that until recently were above water.
Matt Baker won the first race, and Steve Priester won the second.
Alphabetically, the skippers and their two finishes included:
Baker, 1st and 3rd;
Dave Brunner, 3rd and 6th;
Derek Christoff, 7th and 8th;
Paul Corey, 6th & 7th;
Lee Havins, 2nd and 5th;
Priester, 4th & 1st;
Bill Robison, 8th & 4th;
Glenn Tole, 5th & 2nd.
Many thanks to Rob Havins and Deb Halter for doing another great job as Race Committee.
Earlier this month, the Scot fleet was rained out on one Saturday and blown out on a second attempt. The fleet took advantage of the rare 5-Saturday month to get some scores on the board for May.
Meanwhile, back on solid ground, Mother Nature was getting busy following the recent rainfall. Kim Havins snapped this photo of prickly pear cactus in bloom near the Y in the yacht club road.
(posted 5-10-20 by Lee Havins)
Big Boat Fleet Opens WFSC Race Season; Eight Keel Boats and Swing Keelers Hit the Course for First Race of the Year
The WFSC Big Boat Handicap Racing Fleet fielded eight boats for the opening race Saturday (May 9) in mild conditions, which could only be described as “glorious” after weeks of hiding indoors from the virus.
Yes, folks, you read that right. Eight Boats ! The event even drew a small crowd of onlookers, who watched the race from the Pavillion area. I think you might say there was something of a festive atmosphere; it really was a beautiful day to be outside.
Commodore Steve Colley, in his freshly painted Hunter 22, was the first boat to finish, and first overall after the handicaps were computed. Larry Ahlhorn, in his familiar Aquarius 23, was fourth to finish boat-for-boat, and handicapped into second place. Ronnie Brasket, in his recently restored Irwin 23 (rechristened as “Hola Beaches”), was third over the line and also handicapped third. Bink Davidson, Hunter 25, was second over the line and fourth on handicap.
Filling out the fleet were Dave Brunner, John Kidwell, the Christoffs and Jim Loudermilk.
An added feature for this event was a new permanent club mark, which was set well to the southwest of Pawnee Point. Steve Priester and Paul Spilman put the new buoy out last week, and it greatly opened up the race course possibilities. The Race Committee used the new mark, the old club mark to the north and the no-wake buoy to run a long triangular race in the light wind. A second race was planned but was scrubbed as the light wind deteriorated.
Race Committee for this event was Deb Halter and Rob Havins, with the assistance of Priester, and they did a great job. Before the start, the committee carefully explained the course, the starting sequence and the remedies for unwinding any fouls that might occur, helping to make this a (hopefully) great experience for any skippers who were new to club racing.
Many kudos to the Race Committee for their time and effort invested in what can often be a thankless job.
(posted 5-1-20 by Lee Havins)
WFSC FACILITIES UPDATE
It's time to get serious about summer 2020
Hopefully we are on our way to having a great summer at Wichita Falls Sailing Club, despite this annoying pandemic business. But it will require the continued cooperation of all our members.
The WFSC Board has decided to reopen the Clubhouse for limited use, specifically for use of the restrooms, showers and storage room. Access can be gained ONLY through the kitchen door (on the north side of the building). Your old gate/door key will open the lock on the hasp on that back door. All other entry ways are secured with different locks.
Cleaning supplies, paper towels, etc are available inside the building. Members are encouraged to use them to disinfect various surfaces when they use the restrooms and/or storage room. Also, bring a roll of paper towels with you and donate it to the club when possible.
The Clubhouse rule, for the time being, is: Allow only a minimal number of people inside the building at one time. There is to be no use of the kitchen, meeting or bar areas. Get in, get your restroom or storage-room business done, use some of the cleaning supplies on your way out, and get back outside. Please relock the door.
With our slips full and numerous skippers eager to sail, there will be a lot of people at the sailing club at times. We are planning to resume fleet racing on May 9 (handicap fleet) and May 16 (Flying Scots). Then, hopefully, it’s on with the established schedule.
The WFSC Board asks that you keep the pandemic “mantras” in mind (maintain "social distance", avoid big crowds, sanitize hands frequently, if you’re sick stay home, etc.)
It is also important that we all remember that members are totally responsible for any guests they bring to the Club. If you bring guests to the Club, YOU HAVE TO BE THERE WITH THEM AT ALL TIMES. (This has always been the rule.)
As the pandemic apparently will be with us for the foreseeable future, it is possible that there may be more stay-at-home orders from the State of Texas, Wichita Falls, Wichita County and/or Clay County if Covid cases start to spike again. If that occurs, the Clubhouse may be closed again and we may have to delay our scheduled sailing events again.
We all want to have fun at the lake. We CAN have fun out there, while keeping our heads in the game, and keeping everybody safe at the same time.
(posted 4-21-20 by Lee Havins)
Here's a link to the current issue of Hard-A-Lee:
CURRENT LAKE LEVELS
As of April 13, Lake Arrowhead was reported to be at 96.3%. Lake Kickapoo was reported at 95%.
(posted 4-11-20 by Lee Havins)
Longtime WFSC Member Tom Long Jr. Passes
Tom Long Jr. of Wichita Falls, a longtime member of WFSC, passed away April 8. He was 90.
Tom owned and sailed a C scow at the club for many years. He probably wasn't well known to our newest members. But those of us who have been around awhile will remember Tom as a friendly guy who would offer even a complete stranger the opportunity for a long and interesting conversation.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donna Jean, his son Trip and wife Laurie of Wichita Falls; his son Randy and wife Jane of Wichita Falls; and his daughter Susan and husband Bobby Dan Roberts of University Park, Texas.
Funeral services are pending.
Here's a link to Tom's extensive and very interesting obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesrecordnews/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-f-long&pid=195940012&fhid=26600
(posted 4-10-20 by Lee Havins)
"Shelter In Place" Extended to May 5
As no doubt everybody knows, the Wichita Falls city council extended the Shelter In Place order to May 5. The WFSC Board has decided to honor that order by not hosting any events during that time.
Thus, the Flying Scot season opening race set for April 18 is postponed. Also as a result of the SIP Order extension, the board decided the Clubhouse would remain locked. The Club grounds are still open for use by members at their own discretion.
In other action, during an on-line meeting Thursday, the board accepted the membership of Freddie and Josette Kennedy, who live in Arrowhead Ranch Estates. They are bringing in a McGregor 26D.
Also, the board authorized the necessary work to install one more finger onto the boat slips, which will yield one more slip. The facility at this point is effectively full.
The Covid-19 virus pandemic is picking up steam, causing big changes at WFSC
As you probably know, the Wichita Falls City Council instituted a "shelter in place" order taking effect at midnight 3-27 and extending to April 8.
As a result, the WFSC Board has cancelled all official events during that period - specifically the Board of Directors Meeting set for April 2 and the Spring Regatta/Big Boat Series race set for April 4. The Flying Scot season opener on April 18 is still on the schedule, but it also will be cancelled or postponed if the SIP order is extended by then.
Obviously, the Club is not inside Wichita Falls City Limits, but the board felt they should not encourage any non-essential travel, which is prohibited by the SIP order.
The Club grounds will remain open - at least for the time being - for use by Club members at their own discretion.
However, the WFSC Clubhouse will be closed on Saturday (3-28), until further notice. The Club does not have the resources to clean the Clubhouse to the standards that would be required for continued use during the ongoing pandemic.
This is a very fluid, fast-changing situation, folks, and your understanding and cooperation will be greatly appreciated. It is believed the Clay County commissioners are currently considering an order that also could effect the club.
In the meantime, please understand and observe the recommendations of medical personnel who are trying to slow the spread of the virus:
* No gatherings of more than 10 persons;
* Observe "social distancing" of 6 feet or more;
* Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently;
* Don't touch your face.
In my wildest dream, I would never have imagined this happening here. But ask any medical professional. This Covid thing is for real, and it is starting to bloom right here at home!
Maybe in a few months, or a year, we can kick back and laugh at what a wild ride this was. Until then, be safe.
Lee Havins, WFSC Scty
Two upcoming events at WFSC have been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic caution; still scheduled is April 4 season opening Spring Regatta
As you may know, we were planning a seminar on race rules and procedures for Saturday morning, 3-21. That event has now been cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has sparked a wave of cancellations of events nationwide.
However, Flying Scot fleet captain Steve Priester will be at the Clubhouse at 10 a.m. on Saturday (3-21) to provide race rule informational booklets for sailors who need them and to answer any questions.
Our annual Chili Cookoff, set for Saturday 3-28 at the Clubhouse, has been postponed indefinitely. Commodore Steve Colley and other board members agreed it would be best to err on the side of caution.
As I'm sure all of you know, the state and federal government are encouraging all residents to restrict travel and avoid big crowds in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Still, the sailing club is open, and members may use it at their discretion. But if you are sick, please stay home.
Remaining on the schedule, at this point, is the season-opening Spring Regatta April 4.
This is an open regatta for all boats, racing under handicap rules. The event will also be the first races in the Big Boat Handicap series. Skippers Meeting will be at noon.
We will be providing further updates if there are any more schedule changes. The pandemic has created a very fluid situation. Hopefully things will get back to normal within a couple months.
(The full race schedule is posted in the Racing tab of this website.)
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The latest WFSC Hard-A-Lee can be viewed at this link:
Introducing, The Tracker
Users of this website may have noticed a new tab at the top of the page called "Tracker".
Open it up and explore. Its use is fairly self explanatory, I think.
Webmaster Dave Meany designed the Tracker so members can publicly record the time they spend on the water at Lake Arrowhead. This is an effort to encourage more sailing. It also may encourage more use of our Club website.
At the end of the year, the sailor who has logged the most hours will be presented with full hero status. (I'm thinking the winner should be allowed to mow around my boats, but that's just me).
You know, "they" always say, if there are two or more sailboats on the water, there is a "race". So have we now invented a way to "race" when even a single boat is on the water?
Whoa! It's The New Year already. There's a few things going on at the Club. For instance, we've just sworn in three more new members!
Some apparently overwrought holiday elves have tossed together yet another issue of the ol' Hard-A-Lee, this one for January. It includes the musing of our new commodore, lake level data, new members and board notes.
Members will be getting a copy soon by e-mail. Or you can read it right now, by clicking here:
If you need to refer back to the recent 2019 retrospective HAL, click here:
WE HAD A LITTLE BASH at the Club in December, the annual Christmas Party. By all accounts, it was a rousing success with a big crowd. Here's a couple photos:
The food was super good; the crowd was big.
Deb Halter examines her award for heading up the WFSC race committees. Great job, Deb!
If you plan to use the WFSC boat ramp soon, read this:
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.
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.
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:
AUGUST RACE DATES
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.
AUGUST BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Next meeting of the board will be Aug 1, 7 p.m.
FLEET 170 MID-SUMMER MEET AND GREET
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
Just a couple quick club notes:
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.
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.
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WFSC has established a waitlist for the boat slips. Please contact Mike Gillis, Harbor Master to get on the waitlist.
- Colley, S.
- Spilman P.
- Open Slips
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Flying Scot Video - Enjoy!
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Congratulations to the 2019 WFSC Chili Chefs;
- 1st Place - Chef Larry Ahlhorn $50
- 2nd Place - Chef Steve Colley $30
- 3rd Place (tie) - Chef Paul Spilman $12.50
- 3rd Place (tie) - Chef Aaron Wince $12.50 (not pictured)
Congratulations to the winners!
Huge thanks for all who supported the event with all of the yummy donations from cookies, cakes, salads, chips, cornbread, chili, etc..
Special thanks to Steve Colley, Peggy Colley, Matt Baker and Larry Ahlhorn in preparing for the event.
The competition is getting fierce and plans are already underway for the 2020 Chili Cook Off!
♦ 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!
Hey folks, do you need another excuse to take a few days off and head down to the beach?
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 Recovery.
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
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!
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?
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).
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?
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
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!
Mike Schulte and Larry Ahlhorn are at it again, installing the handrail. Thanks for everything that you both do!
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.
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
The next meeting of the WFSC board will be Feb 7 at 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. All members are welcome.
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!
WFSC Fleet Meeting set for February 28
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
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.