Mutineer 15
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Dead Dogs and Tin Whistles 2014

It was close racing in the Mutineer fleet of 6 boats at the 2014 Dead Dogs & Tin Whistles regatta!  Weather conditions over the weekend ranged from 5-17kts (every day brought each extreme!), mostly out of the north and northwest, so they were correspondingly chilly to the Florida Mutts, although still a lot warmer than home for most of the participants.

Friday dawned chilly and very windy, with whitecaps on Buttonwood Sound, but as the day progressed the wind steadily dropped and the temperature rose a little bit.  By race time, it was probably 8 kts and getting lighter, and in the low 60s and dropping.  In the Buccaneer fleet, Terry Warren with crew Hunter Riddle on Brick House took first place and claimed the Captain Morgan trophy.  Ed Plotts, a newcomer to the Mutineer fleet, took first place with his Nickels Mutt Out of the Blue and crew John Hammerslough, who escaped the Vermont winter to come down and go sailing.  Ed walked away with the Crazy Flamingo and a bottle of Kraken dark rum.

Saturday’s breeze was a little lighter than the forecast of 16 kts, and it was variable through the day, so everyone had a chance to excel either in light or moderate breezes!  The racing was pretty much mishap free until Ed took a dive off of his boat at the leeward mark and John got to practice his Man Overboard drill! At the end of the day, the top three finishers – Ed & John, Jim Davis & crew Jarda on Radio Flyer, and Ricardo Casanova and crew Osvaldo on Whatever – were tied with 10 points each in four races.  Ginette Hughes with crew Judith on Wing had a respectable 4th place and with a bullet in the last race of the day, she was prepared to come in very competitive for Sunday’s races.  Fred & Elma Madden on Silly Boy and Maurice and Dolores Runnalls on Lavender were not far behind.  In fact the whole Mutt fleet stayed very close together throughout the racing.

Sunday dawned much chillier and again with a lot of whitecaps, but they quickly subsided by race time and the races started in about 10 kts of breeze.  The winds overnight were higher than forecast and Ginette was distressed to find that Wing had beat her starboard foredeck gunwhale in against the dock.  The deck was separated from the aluminum rubrail for about 10 inches forward of the mast.  After a liberal application of duct tape, Wing was once again ready to race, at least for that day.  The first race was sailed in perfect conditions, brisk and cool but sunny, and with lots of lead changes.  At the second race, the winds picked up considerably, and that caused a lot of distraction amongst the sailors it seems!  Ed, who was in the lead, sailed the wrong course, missing the reach mark altogether and not realizing it until it was too late to recover.  That put Ginette in the lead, at least until she and Judith tacked badly on the windward leg and ended up scooping half of Florida Bay in the boat and then Judith took the boom smack on her nose.  We proved that a Mutt will still float with water up over the seats!   Ricardo capsized in that race and also his spinnaker ripped.  Jim sailed to an easy victory in that race, with Ed’s DSQ and Ginette’s DNF.  The wind calmed down somewhat for the 3rd & 4th race, in fact it almost went away altogether at one point, but it stayed beautifully sunny and perfect temps for sailing (in dinghy pants, boots, and spray tops anyway).   

After the throwouts, Jim had the win for the fourth time with 12 points.  Ed was a close second with 14 points and Ricardo came in third with 19 points.   The racing was great, with lead changes happening in almost every race.  The sailors all had a wonderful time.  Hopefully next year we’ll have even more Mutineers on the line!


Ginette Hughes
Fleet Captain, UKSC
Treasurer, MCA
Wing #1789