Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Stampede In CowTown USA!

J/24 sailing in Texas Sailors Seen Trampling Dance Floor in Boots!
(Fort Worth, TX)- The Fort Worth Boat Club hosted their Annual Regatta & Cowtown Stampede on Eagle Mountain Lake over the weekend.  Sure enough, the sailors were all revved up and ready to go “line dancing” and other social oddities that take place when they put on boots with spurs, girls wear short shirts,and guys wear plaid shirts with huge hats on their heads.  While “grace” was not a word that springs to mind watching sailors attempt to dance like real cowboys after a few too many local brewskies, there was no question “The Party” on Saturday was not only well-attended, but massively celebrated by all— e.g. it was a Stampede of sailors in CowTown!

So, weren’t we supposed to be reporting about a sailing regatta?  Perhaps.  So, that is one thing the Fort Worth Boat Club knows how to do really well.  They have world-class sailors corraling the mob of unruly sailors, whip them into line (yes, we believe they do have whips on the starting line), and you can hear PRO’s like Bob Gough for Course 1 (J/22 & J/24s) and PRO Chet Klyn on Course 2 (J/105s) talking in a measured “lowlands Texas drawl” over their VHF radios making sure no one on the race course is either lost, or hasn’t started correctly!

While there were some threats of storms over the weekend, these two PRO’s simply knocked out the races and got in a half-dozen on each course over the two days for the fleets of J/22s, J/24s and J/105s.

The J/105 class was won by Rick Shaffer’s DOUBLE DARE with nearly all bullets (of the sailing kind!).  Taking second was Dwight Horton’s BEAUTY with a 4-4-2-3-3-1 tally for 13 pts net.  Only one point back was the almighty HOSS sailed by Williamson Phillip to a 1-2-3-4-5-4 record for 14 pts net (hard to believe that downhill slide of a scoreline, eh?)!

The J/22 fleet had a great turnout, with eight boats registered but only seven making it to the starting line.  In the end, Keith Zars’ VOODOO BABY outwitted them all, scoring four 1sts and a 2nd to win with 6 pts net.  That’s voodoo, baby!!  Some crazy guys from southern Texas joined Kevin Orff’s TRES LOCOS to steal 2nd place with 11 pts net.  Then, Britt Felk’s STAMPEDE had a random “running of the bulls” scoreline to hang on to their stirrups for third place with a 4-3-4-1-6-3 tally for 15 pts.

As part of their season-long Texas Circuit (that started over 35 years ago!), the J/24s had a shockingly close outcome between the top two teams.  Winning the tie-breaker at 8 pts each was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT from Dallas Corinthian YC over Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC; Freedman got the win based on winning 3 races (next time Natalie, take Jim line-dancing straight into the pool!).  Third was Mark Smith’s AFTER MIDNIGHT from Fort Worth Boat Club, the only other boat to win a race.   For more Cowtown Stampede sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.