We’re on the road again. This time for a different type of commuter cruising! All the way to Chippewa Lake, Ohio – an 8 hour drive … to enjoy the annual “Motherland” Regatta! Getting the Y Flyer packed up was interesting! First I stepped on a snake getting down to the dock – luckily he was sunning himself and was more interested in getting far away from me than sinking his teeth into my ankle! Then we tipped the boat to give it a wash and David decided for the first time ever to wax the bottom. Hmmmm… hopefully it’ll help that laminar flow or whatever it is that makes the boat move through the water faster, because it certainly made putting the bottom cover on more of a chore than usual! The boat is now so fast it slides around all over the trailer. Hopefully it’s as fast in the water as on the trailer!
Chippewa, the “Motherland” of Y Flyer Regattas is always a great time. The mile in every direction lake makes for fun sailing no matter what the wind direction. And somehow they always get in more races than any other regatta, go figure. They might be shorter, but they’re challenging and fun to sail. Plus the people are some of the most fun anywhere we race. And that’s a lot of what one design racing is all about … the camaraderie and fun at every regatta. We can’t win ’em all (darn!) and at Chippewa I wasn’t feeling well and David picked up a substitute crew, Chris. Chris did a great job and they won 2nd place, which isn’t bad, it just isn’t 1st! Then it’s time to pack up the boat and move east.
We dropped off the boat at Lake Lashaway, in Jack Nash’s driveway. Stopped and visited briefly with Robideaux’ and then on to Mystic, CT. We’ve never been anywhere north of Annapolis on the Eastern Seaboard of the US and wondered if we might want to wander north some day with Winterlude. Not sure we found any answers about cruising north, but we LOVED the Mystic Seaport. Yes, maybe it’s a tourist attraction, but the restoration work they’re doing on these old boats is fabulous. I wanted David to take me sailing in a Beetle Cat, just because we were there, but he was being his normal rational self and said “why should we pay to go sailing here when we’ll be sailing for free all weekend at the Kenyon Cup Regatta. GGGgggggrrrrr!!! I’ve never sailed a Beetle Cat and just wanted the experience!
Next was on to Newport, RI … we had already determined we couldn’t afford Newport, so we were just going to make it a day trip from Mystic. But the night before we were ready to head up there, I decided to try Pricelining a hotel room. And amazing… we got to stay at the Hyatt Regency, Newport on Goat Island for a hundred bucks a night — cheap by Newport standards. We both decided that we liked Mystic better and that as wonderful as Newport is, we couldn’t afford to live or cruise there…. especially after we found out that just a MOORING costs $45 a night. What???? For cruisers that have been cruising the Northwest and Southwest Caribbean paying more than a few bucks for a marina or a mooring comes as a major culture shock!
But we made the best of it — we loved the famous Cliff Walk – those mansions were beyond our imagination. Fort Adams was fun, but they were getting ready for a huge Jazz Festival over the weekend and it was difficult to take photos without the stage or chairs or port-a-potties in the way. Kind of ruins the experience … at least for me, a major history buff. But the listening tunnels were a unique experience, I would have never thought that the enemy would try to burrow under the fort! But we were ready for them!!!
Our week was soon over and we were happy to be headed back to Lake Lashaway to race in their Kenyon Cup Regatta … a regatta we’ve been hoping to attend for literally the past 15 years! Lake Lashaway is unique in that they have no clubhouse and no spot to launch Y Flyers to race. You simply launch the boat and then with the help of lots of stronger club members, put it on a trailer and pull it up on a beach in front of someone’s house. The majority of the competitors live on the lake and have their Y Flyers on lifts in front of their houses. We were the only out of town boat and as such, had the “trailer of honor” — the lightest, easiest trailer to put your boat on to “beach it”. Since the beach is a bit rocky, we were glad to have that lightweight trailer under the boat!
What a great fleet! No wonder everyone in the Midwest is always envious of any boats that are lucky enough to attend the Kenyon Cup Regatta. They are more laid back than any regatta we’ve attended … last year’s winner, and a major contender in more than just a Y Flyer, was busy tipping the boat and cleaning the bottom within a half hour of the go gun! We gave him grief for it later, but it didn’t seem to slow him down. We had three fun races, almost an hour each and hotly contested on Saturday afternoon – following lunch and the skipper’s meeting on the Robideaux’ deck.
Lucky for us, we got in two good races right away. And then, despite getting too much of a puff too close to the pin end of the line… which caused us to jibe away and literally be last over the start line …. David’s comment was “ummm…. this one will be a bit more challenging”. But we were still 3rd around the weather mark – thank goodness for long weather legs!
Saturday night was a theme dinner get together … this year’s theme was Massachusetts Hillbilly Weekend. Those of us from Illinois googled Massachusetts Hillbilly and didn’t find any ideas, so we dressed in our overalls and corncob pipes and enjoyed the festivities. During the evening a fleet member donated several bottles of delicious homemade wine, so they were auctioned off to the highest bidder – we were lucky enough to snag a cabernet sauvingnon. We’re saving it for a special occasion!
Sunday morning dawned overcast, pouring rain and no wind. Ugggg!!! But first on the agenda was an incredible brunch at a fleet member’s home off the lake. So we all went and downed amazing quantities of food, as well as bloody mary’s and returned to the lake hoping against hope that there would be some wind ripples on the water. Oooppsss,,, no ripples, nothing. Postpone #1 … then a half hour later, postpone #2. Sitting under the overhang of the house, warm and dry, most competitors were content to hope that if the rain didn’t abate, the wind wouldn’t pick up. And they got their wish. Since we were lucky enough to be in first place, we weren’t overly disappointed when the regatta was called after the three Saturday races.
So what’s next on this inland adventure? We packed up the boat, left it once again in Jack Nash’s driveway, and set off to check out the coast of Maine … would we like to bring Winterlude north to explore this area? It would have to be in the summer obviously since winter it will be far too chilly for David to wear his shorts all winter! So …. we’ll see what we think in next Wednesday’s installment of our summer one design Y Flyer East Coast adventure!
Gotta gotta gotta regatta!!! 🙂