Sunday, December 8, 2013
Gator bowl 2013, Jacksonville
So we left on Friday, around 11:00 (Kim was able to get the day off even though she's new to her job!), interested to see how much longer it would take to get from the new abode in Bradenton to a rest area landmark where we used to reach the highway from the house in Dunedin, where it took an hour. The new place is really close to the highway, but 50 mi to the south. It took 55 min. Crazy! Good!
We stopped on the way to get gas at the Flying J, where it was cheaper, but it took some time (thanks Gas Buddy, a worthwhile free app), so the whole trip took almost 5 hours, a little longer than usual. Lexi and Missy are along for the weekend! Don't know what the other folks think, but we enjoy having them along. We appreciate the Rudder Club for making accommodations for the RVs and the dogs!
The temperature was great for sleeping outside, the forecast close to 80s during the day and 60s at night. Aside from the highway noise, after a longstanding tradition of dinner at Trent's, we had a nice rest. Jeff and Amy Linton camped I their RV, Mark Taylor bunked with them, his crew, Andy Hayward enjoyed some truck camping, and so did Jamie Fisher (new Scot racer and on his way up to Ohio stopped by to see if anyone needed crew). Tom McNally had a tent. So good to see so many travelers!! Harry Carpenter picked up Bill Ross in NC on the way down from MD, Steve Shaw drove down and met up with Henry Picco, and John Kreidler from Greenville, SC joined Joe Break from the Outer Banks of NC to compete in the Gator Challenge. Way to go, out of towners! Overall, 18 boats raced for the prized Wally Gator who ended up staying in FL since Jeff and Amy, Mark and Andy, and Tom and Mike were 1,3, and 5 out scoring the boats with connections to the Carolina District.
It was quite a light air regatta, Saturday was challenging with one pretty fair race in the dying breeze. During the time spent drifting around between races, the Naval Air Station nearby put on quite an airshow. As Dave says, "Those planes are badass!" Just when we thought the show was over and we would go back to the club, the RC decided there was enough wind for one more race. We would beg to differ, but thankfully the torture, I mean drifter, only lasted 2 legs. Back to the club for cleanup, dog walk, and dinner! Excellent Latin influenced BBQ pork, chicken and brisket with all the extras! Yum!
We were all pretty tired, but stayed up to watch the Auburn/Mizzou game, (wow! Defense anyone?) and tried to start watching the OSU/MSU game, but had to read about it this am, since the club closed before 9:00 pm, Saturday night. Go Sparty!! That was really nice.
Woke up to lots of fog Sunday am, John and Joe went out early in the muck, fortunately, they didn't get lost! We waited a bit too long for the fog to clear, also, expecting the RC to return and let us know things were starting, since they said they would...anyway, we missed the first race...oops!!
Watching is always fun, great to see a different perspective. 2nd race, as yesterday, in wind that kept getting lighter...we had a good start, headed for the L corner, stayed L even longer than Ron! Things were going well, but we went to the wrong gate mark, and, even though the L was looking good again, for a while, some wind came out of the R, giving those on the R a little more pressure at the top of the course. John and Joe came back strong from a situational start, and we just looked for whatever pressure was available to finish. Enough racing for the weekend..it was great to see everyone!
Next stop...Port Charlotte