Sailing in Saratoga 8/11-8/12/2012


As we do each year, Greg and I travelled to Saratoga New York for the annual Flying Scot Invitational hosted by Fleet 161 and chaired by Rob Hayes.  We had a great time as usual with fun racing, good friends and plenty of good food and beverages.  Friday was ouir usual visit to the horse races, where it rained all day, I lost $38 and Greg won $3, and we wondered if this was an indication of how the weekend would go.  Friday night, there was a great meal back at the clubhouse with great friends and we met a few new friends as well. 

There were 16 boats, with some from Saratoga, other clubs in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and we came in from Massachusetts.  The split was 12 Championship and 4 Challenger, and two Challenger boats had young children as crew. 

Saturday brought us a great French toast breakfast along with lots of rain and no wind to start.  However, by 2:00 in the afternoon the rain had mostly stopped and there was wind.  We ventured out and had 2 good races, one Gold Cup course and one Windward-Leeward course.  With winds between 10 and 14 from the south, with just a few lulls, we spent lots of time on the rail and a little time hiking a bit harder.  We had a 2nd place and a 1st place, so our day was a pretty good one.   In the first race, we traded places a few times with a few boats, but in the second race, we led gun to gun and had a good lead over the rest of the fleet - I have to say that it felt pretty good.  We had never won a race at Saratoga before.  Bernie Zabec and crew had a 1st and a 2nd so we were tied after Saturday's racing. 

On Sunday morning, after we pigged out on pancakes, we went out in a West wind blowing about 5-8, just hoping it could last through a race or two.  The Race Committee set up a shortened version of the Olympic course, with the last upwind being 1/3 up the leg. The wind was dying as we reached the jibe mark, and picked up only a little going to the leeward mark and at that point we were in the lead.  As we reached the windward mark for the second time, we were thinking the course should be shortened although the wind had picked up just a little.  A few boat lengths short of the windward mark, up went the shorten course flag, then we got our horn - we had 1st place and had won the regatta woth 2-1-1!  Bernie and his crew took second place with 1-2-2.  Congratulations to all the participants and winners and thanks to Fleet 161 and Saratoga Lake Sailing Club.

We'd like to encourage anyone who wants a fun and relaxing weekend with great friends to consider Saratoga on their schedule for next year and beyond.  It is always a great time!