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Dead Dogs and Tin Whistles 2013


Thank you Jim for filling everyone in! I have been lost in a vortex of catching up at work plus another huge regatta at the club this past weekend.

However, I have ONE correction to make. Rich did not win the Race Around Porjoe, Ginette did! He led the whole way out to the island, we could not roll over him no matter what we tried. Going around the island was tricky and fun, and by then the Buccs had caught up and we had to deal with a lot of traffic. On the homeward leg, Barb and I just settled in and sailed home. I will tell you, that particular leg brought home to me very much how sensitive our boat is to weight shifts. It was lighter winds, beam or broad reach (half the Buccs flew chutes, half didn't). Barb sat way up against the bulkhead to windward and I was crouching just behind the CB trunk, and when I leaned ever so slightly on the leeward side, Wing started picking up speed until I felt the need to shift back to level her out. Then back to leeward and so on and so forth...after a while (and a beer) I looked back and we were way ahead. For one thing, it was awesome to even sail that race - never have been able to do it before - and now the crazy pink flamingo is sitting out in my dining room! I've given him house room for a year but he's been shoved in a closet. Now I get to display (and explain) him!

As for not winning on Sunday, well...plain and simple, Jim sailed better then we did. Yarda and Jim clicked after their first three races on Saturday, and on Sunday we couldn't catch up with them no matter what we did. And we tried, believe me we tried!

Although Yarda is a big guy, and a very nice one too, I do not believe that Jim and Yarda were the heaviest crew. Rich and Zack had it on all of us, and they still beat Barb and me on a few legs, and one race, on Sunday. The funny part is that I had totally bailed out and sponged my boat clean on Sunday morning. She was taking on water from somewhere (another project) and I took several gallons of water out of her, and a lamp. Yep, I was clearing things away in the cuddy (the usual things - extra life jacket, old beer bottles, move the paddle and whisker pole over, stuff the noodles back in behind the seats) and I saw a plug attached to a brown cord. Hm. I pull it and lo and behold, there's an aluminum lamp at the end of it! My friend Bill, who repaired Wing's bow fiberglass tear this past summer, doing it upside down and in the hull, had left his lamp there. Kind of like a surgeon leaving a scalpel I guess! I put it back in his car and he asked did I really want to get rid of it, it apparently was my lucky charm the day before. And it turns out - it was! So, if you are in the lead, do not 1)change the hat you are wearing, 2)remove the lamp from the cuddy. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

We definitely had three different Mutt setups at the regatta. It's funny - as Jim said, I was able to stay ahead of him on Saturday without a chute, but every race committee and competitive sailor at my club told me multiple times over the weekend, "You need a chute." I have the snout, thanks to Dave Rowe, so Wing may be undergoing some surgery again this summer...Ouch! Two Mutt sailors came down to see the action, and jib setups no doubt, and it was nice to have them here. Dave is a professional photog and will send me a link to his nicely fixed up pics. Maurice is local (as in he lives in Florida) and he and his wife were a great help on the committee boat.

We did have three different photographers taking pictures (you would think we were the America's Cup) so there are tons of photos. Here are the links:

Facebook page:

shutterfly: you might need to be added to the site to view the pics, I will be happy to do so. Send me a message off line. There are literally hundreds of photos - I will try to sort through them to post some here.

Hope to see more of you down here next year. I know it's a long ways away from anywhere, but it is a fun destination!

PS Yarda and his Czeck friend won the unofficial bar tab award - our bartender thought there were about four of them but I had to tell him there were only two, they just drank enough for four! Heard they closed us down, went on to the next local bar party and STILL he shows up to help Jim win another DDTW Compass Rose. Oh, youth....

PPS It's always fun at the UKSC Dead Dogs & Tin Whistles!

Ginette Hughes
> The story this year had to be the wind, but not the usual wind, it was really on the calm side on the very backside of a cold front passing thru a day earlier. No blowout, capsizes, or rig failure stories, sorry!
> The Mutt side of DDTW was pretty lonely as only two boats made it down to join Ginette and "Wing". I think there were eleven Buccs.
> We had new blood this year from Alabama with Rich and crew Zack sailing Rich's '78 Mutt Scurvy Dog. These guys worked tirelessly once back to the docks from each days event, improving what ever didnt work right for them. They were very competitive, and finished first in Friday's drag race around Porjoe Key, with Ginette coming in second. My impromtu crew for this race was Dave, a fellow 65 years young who is currently fixing up a Mutt back in Wisconsin, but has not sailed her yet. As a matter of fact this race was the 1st time he had sailed in 40 years, and the 1st time to ever fly a spinaker! Dave was very appreciative for the experience to go out with us. Dave joined the chase boat fleet on Saturday to take pictures, which are coming soon I hope. Another fellow visiting DDTW sans boat was Maurice, a snow bird from Canada who winters down here in Winter Haven. Maurice keeps his Mutt in the water all year, racing other dinghies on Lake Henry when he is here. He will need to find a trailer to slip under his boat and get down to DDTW next year! Maurice was added to the Florida Fleet 18 roster since his boat lives here.
> My crew for the rest of the weekend is a fellow from our sail club here in Orlando. Yarda is a fearless strapping young buck, and hungry to win. This was Yarda's second time crewing a dinghy. He is the fellow I mentioned previously, trying to get him in a Mutt, but I think we lost him that weekend to the Bucc's side.
> The courses for the weekend were alternating WL(1212F) and Mod triangle course(12313F),all about 45 minutes long. Saturday's winds were very light in the first three of four races, where Ginette and crew Barb(MNC Lake Guntersville) could not be beaten. All three boats had pretty good starts. In these three races the spinnaker was no advantage in very light winds. "Scurvy Dog" and "Wing" with jib only would catch and sometimes pass us. I felt guilty at first running a spinnaker against these two but "I flung what I brung"! Actually if I had a gin pole on the boat I probably would have just jibbed it too. I think Yarda and I were the heaviest boat
> Winds piped up a bit in the last race where "Radio Flyer" and "Wing" met at the finish line on opposite tacks almost dead even, but this win came my way, finally! Hopefully Dave has a good pic of that finish!
> UKSC was the great host as usual, putting on a great feast Saturday night. A big ole fella named "Porky" was the guest of honor, with all the fixins including homemade Key Lime pie!
> Sunday's winds were light again and shifted all morning from NW to East keeping the race committee busy making the course changes. A calm fell on us between the second and third race, giving the folks from way up north a chance to test the warm waters of Buttonwood Sound with a swim! Finally the wind returned and made its final correction to the east, Our previously leward mark became our windward mark in the last of three races. This was the wind we waited for all weekend, about 10 knts! Ginette will have to give you here version of why "Wing" fell to "Radio Flyer" in all three races that day. After the races we compared the boats and checked our new hardware and improvements to these old boats. Rich and Zack will be back next year I am sure, and hopefully will be telling their DDTW story.
> The Upper Keys Sail Club does an awesome job on and off the course. They are great at making everyone feel welcome. We a hoping there will be more Mutts next year, otherwise the club will need to think about opening the regatta to another boat in order to help cover their costs, and that would be a shame to let happen.
> DDTW is the first race of the year counting towards the Gordon Brookfield trophy for the South Eastern Championship to award at the end of the year(not awarded last year). We are shooting for a Mutt fleet at the Mount Dora Regatta April 6-7 here in central Fl. Fleet 34, please let us hear the schedule for your areas regattas where some Mutters will attend!
> Jim Davis
> MCA 3201 (oh yeah I need to pay my dues!)
> Orlando FL