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Title up for grabs at Flying Scot Midwinters

Published on March 20th, 2014

New Orleans, LA (March 20, 2014) – The third day of the Flying Scot Midwinters dawned bright and blue, with the wind once again from the north/northeast and the water was lumpy. But since the wind was stronger (7-10 knots), the race committee set the course at almost a mile, up from the .6 miles they ran on the lighter wind days. In addition, they added a leg to the windward-leeward course.

The wind shifted hard left just at the start but the race committee adjusted accordingly. After a second hard shift, also to the left, and after four of the five legs, the race was abandoned.

The race committee was able to adjust the course and began a fresh start sequence. On the first leg the leaders banged both sides of the course. Paul Abdullah, who led at every mark, went right and sailed the shifts. Most of the other leaders did the same. Downwind the positions in the front pack did not shift much. The second upwind leg Abdullah went hard left, which paid off. Those who went right did not fare as well.

In the course of the race the wind began to drop significantly. With the wind getting lighter and lighter, boats split on the second downwind leg. There were a few fisticuffs in the middle of the course, but the right side (facing downwind) seemed to pay off.

At the leeward mark, Zeke Horowitz took the left gate and went right. Abdullah, Benz Faget, Reiner Hobbs and John Wake took the right gate and almost all of them went left. At the top of the course, Wake got a lift the others didn’t get and was ahead of Abdullah by the time they crossed tacks.

“The way I see it, we got lucky,” says Wake. “We were a lot lighter than the other teams and that paid off for us as the wind died.”

After six races, the top five competitors are separated by 9 points, with Abdullah and Horowitz tied for first, Larry Taggart in third, and Harry Carpenter and Benz Faget tied in fourth.

In the challenger division, the three-woman team of Alanna Strong, Greta Mittman and Bowman O’Conner (of Corinthian Sailing Club in Dallas, TX) have a significant lead with five bullets.

The regatta, hosted by Southern Yacht Club, concludes Friday with two races scheduled.


Report by Deb Aronson

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