Ensign Fleet 30 Update by Tom Groll
With the Spring Series now behind us and summer creeping in, the Ensign Fleet continues to make a strong showing at the Club and on the water. Although our Summer Series is a bit fragmented between having RC duty and hosting the Chaparral de Mar, it is rare not to see some Ensigns out sailing and even rarer that the Ensign Fleet members are not contributing to the success of the many events held at the Austin Yacht Club.
Sail 4 Kids, which seems to be developing into a tradition, was held at the Club on Saturday, June 3rd. This is a very special event hosted by the esteemed Doug Laws with the very capable assistance of Fred Ford. There were about forty underprivileged children from the Baptist Children’s Home ranging in age from 6 to 16 that were all given the opportunity to enjoy a ride on a sail boat followed by some swimming and a cookout. The Ensigns had a strong show of support and provided six boats for the event. Thanks go out to Fred Ford and Ann Riggs, Bill and Kelly Hawk, George Dahmen and Ann Kitzmiller, Dave and Ann Morley, Lewis Price and Annie Lancaster, Tom Groll and Hazel Sanchez for making their time and boats available for this worthy endeavor. Although the wind was not very cooperative a great time was had by skippers and kids alike as our time on the water evolved into more of a splash fest than a sailboat ride. A very special thank you goes to Doug and Fred for making this event possible.
Up next is the annual Chaparral de Mar regatta. This is also becoming quite the tradition hosted by the Ensign Fleet as a way of honoring those of our senior members that still have the racing spirit but may not necessarily have that many opportunities to get in the race. The format developed by Danny Lien and Fred Ford pairs skippers with crew on an Ensign for a day of racing on the final day of the Summer Series. There are two categories of competitors: the junior class is comprised of skippers between the age of 70 – 74, and the senior class is for all skipper age 75 and up. While only the senior class of skippers is eligible to win the perpetual trophy, the junior class winning skipper may win a bottle of wine. Regardless of age, all of the participating skippers win our thanks and admiration for their continued love of our sport. Thank you to Danny and Fred for once again making this event happen!
Our next regular series is the Dog Days, which will be held on Saturday evenings with a 5:00 start time. Race #1 will be on June 24th followed by a week off, then four consecutive weekends of racing from July 8th to July 29th. Saturday evenings racing on Lake Travis and then spending time at the clubhouse afterward, enjoying a cool beverage, a great meal, and time with friends; what could be better?! And speaking of evening sails and cool beverages, the Friday Night Beer Can Races are ongoing throughout the summer. I can think of no better way to wash away the remnants of the work week than the casual setting of the Beer Can race. The Keel Handicap fleet has decided to change the venue up occasionally by holding the MoonBurn Regatta around the time of the full moon each month, which means that they do not plan to provide the usual burgers and such on those evenings. But that should not dissuade us from sailing the Beer Can! There is a movement for those that choose not to participate in the Moon Burn to still enjoy a loop around the Beer Can course followed by our own informal gathering afterwards. Even if the KHF will not give up their top secret recipe for burgers I’ll bet we can come up with something at least as appetizing… And finally, it’s that time of year when the regional and national regattas are approaching rapidly. The national Championship will be held August 14th through 18th in Cedarville, Michigan. So far, our own George Dahmen and Ann Kitzmiller are planning to attend and will be sailing with John culter, the Ensign Class Commodore. Hopefully we will get at least one more boat to represent Fleet 30 and the AYC. But in case that doesn’t happen, lets wish George and Ann the best and thank them for representing our fleet!