by Pam

Goodie bag Amber and Shannon put together for everyone

It has been 21 years since Dallas hosted the Single Handed Nationals. We had 34 competitors registered from 3 different states and we ran the full 7 races. We had a little bit of everything ... drama, protests and politics ... light, medium and heavy air ... offsets, upsets and throw-outs. Many sailors had some good races and many had some bad races. And the winner and final positions remained up for grabs until race 7. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Our regatta managed to peak the interest of a few sailors from the local Flying Scot fleet with their Texas sized personalities. The F/S fleet has their fair share of cantankerous, contentious, ornery and highly entertaining individuals. One colorful XXXL sailor decided he wanted to win a race at the Nationals (as well as a bet) and decided to challenge the long established class rules and showed up for the practice race with a mylar sail and compass. He won, was protested, and eventually withdrew ... his point being made.

At the skippers meeting the next day, a civilized and friendly Texas sized brawl was averted when the youngest sailor in the event (from Wisconsin) stepped up and put an end to discussions of compass use when he assured any compass user that he would protest and he reminded us that we’ve only been following the 'no compass' rule for about 50 years. Way to go Calen!

The future of the class having spoken, it was on to the racing. We started out with light wind which coaxed the entire fleet to the start line and the wind built throughout the regatta with the start line thinning along the way. 24 sailors raced in every race and the talent was deep. I don’t think anyone left feeling that they didn’t get their kind of wind for at least one race. The results speak for themselves. Lots of race winners and lots of variety in finishes. Burton went to bed Saturday night with a comfortable lead in first place and went home Sunday in 5th place. Doug went to bed in an uncomfortable 3rd place and went home Sunday with the big cup. Sailors that were in the top 5 on Saturday were out on Sunday and vice versa. I started the first race of the regatta with a 2nd that carried me through the regatta as I dropped to 13th overall and was the top woman. We’re not sure but it might be the first time in Butterfly history that a husband and wife were overall champion and top woman.

In addition to the Texas sized personalities, the sailors were treated to Texas sized hospitality and generosity thanks to the efforts of many. Windward Boatworks came through with a sizeable donation that not only covered the Friday welcome dinner but also covered the imported hand carved trophies from Australia. And John Hayashi dropped by for about an hour, dropping off a couple of boats before hitting the road again. Our new local dealer, Aris, from Mariner Sails, provided us with spectacular customer service throughout the event which included a rum bar Friday and Saturday night. And I mean if you were fortunate enough to be docked at White Rock Boat Club, as soon as you stepped off your boat, Aris was right there with a drink waiting for you. In addition, he had a small parts inventory on hand for our every need and he also sailed a few races and pitched in at every turn doing whatever he could to help out. We are very lucky to have Mariner as our new dealer and if the regatta is any measure, we will have first class customer service.

We also had the pleasure of having Jim Young and Joe Terry of Barnett Marine Sports, Inc. onsite and sailing with us. They bring such a wealth of knowledge about the class and the boat and they are invaluable. When my shrouds were all hosed up, they came to my rescue and helped me get the right settings and mast rake. When Doug’s mast was warped and bent, they wrapped it around the nearest pole and straightened it for him. Who knows how we would have finished if left to our own devices.

Doug and I hosted the Wisconsin crew at our house and I swear it was like winning the lottery. Loading boats on the trailer, rigging, launching, whatever ... it was all voice activated. They simply couldn’t have been more helpful and fun. What a delightful experience. They always have a place to stay if they are ever in town again.

As for the thank yous and acknowledgements, there are many. CP Burks did a fantastic job as PRO with his committee from Corinthian Sailing Club. They had many challenges to keep them busy and the races went off like clockwork. Brad did a great job of managing, delegating and coordinating and it all came together quite well. Frank did a stellar job on our online registration and coordinating the racing program. Amber and Shannon, working with a zero budget, located sponsors and donations and provided us with a very impressive, practical and useful goodie bag. Jackie did an awesome job on registration and directing all things dockside. Ross, from WRBC, was also a very valuable volunteer.  I've yet to see the pictures from the event but many thanks to Joshua Martin for volunteering his time and taking pictures on Saturday.  Bruce handled our charters, Bowman probably did more than I know but she was on hand and helping out.  Windward, Mariner and Barnett are all in classes by themselves and we’re fortunate to have them all.  Many offered thank yous to me but Doug served as my personal assistant and I delegated most tasks to him. A huge thank you goes to the sailors that traveled from out of town for this event. We very much appreciated you coming out to sail with us and hope that you will come again next time.

On a final note, the boat I sailed was my brother’s birthday present some time back in the late 60s to early 70s and when he moved on to another boat, my father kept her for 30+ years hoping she would sail again. She sailed in her first Nationals in 1973. When I pulled her out of the water on Sunday, it took 20 minutes of a steady stream of water to drain the water from the hull. So my last thank you is to the real top woman, my Fighting Lady ... you go girl!

Here is a list of our various sponsors with the top two being the primary sponsor:

Bowman O'Connor and Associates Inc.
Crooked Creek Clothing Company
Annapolis Performance Sailing
Baylor Hospital
CVS Pharmacy
KR Design
Walgreen's Pharmacy
Wells Fargo Advisors
West Marine

The various trophies went to:  

Race 1 & 4 - Burton 
Race 2 & 6 - Doug
Race 3 - Jim
Race 5 - Eddie L.
Race 7 - Paul M.
Top Woman - Pam
2nd Women - Bowman
1st - Doug
2nd - Jim
3rd - Frank
4th - Eddie
5th - Burton
Top Sailor Over Sixty - Doug
Longest Distance Traveled - Wisconsin (Dennis, Joe and Calen)

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