PARTICIPATION: Maybe it’s not about the sailing

Published on March 18th, 2013

There are reasons some events are huge, and the MC Scow Midwinters (Mar 14-16) this past weekend was huge. Or at least huge compared to other Midwinters, but 71 boats is a typical turnout for them. The regatta is held at Lake Eustis just northwest of Orlando, Florida, so maybe it offers a needed reprieve from winter. But there must be more.

The MC is not the newest kid on the block. First conceived by Harry C. Melges, Sr., in 1950, he and son Buddy designed the MC to be sailed single-handed most of the time, but a crew member can be added depending upon the skipper’s weight and strength of the wind. Skippers range in age from youth to sailors in their 70s. Pretty good range, so that helps the turnout.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the sailing. The midwinters was a three day event, but the second day failed to deliver winds for sailing. Here is an excerpt from Eric Hood’s report:

“No racing but tons of fun. After another very chilly morning at Lake Eustis things warmed up by mid – morning but the wind never came. The Race Committee team led by Dave Williams took a shot at trying to get one off before the end of the day but no luck. Yep and guess what, as soon as we are all back on shore a good little evening breeze came in during the happy hour and banquet.

“Highlights off the day certainly included all the good community time with each other. Folks renewing old friendships and making new ones too with all the new members to the class at this event. The evening was catered by the world famous Oyster Troff which was great. Commodore Bob Cole gave a 15 minute update on the state of the class and new things in the works which was great to hear. I introduced our Midwinter’s Championship banquet dinner guest speaker Skip and Marge Johnson which was an honor.

“Skip really treated the 100 guests to some rich history about how scow sailing started with his Grandfather J.O. Johnson. It was really neat to hear about all of his accomplishments and innovations during those first 50 years of scow building. Skip went on to tell the group about his father Iver and his uncle plus other family members plus many of the other accomplishments of the Johnson Boat Works team and of course mentioning the fun but serious rivalry with Melges Boat Works. It was a great evening.”

For what it’s worth, Texan Kenny Wolfe won. Here’s the full report.

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