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FWSA CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTA

By Marge Whiteman

Photos by Rita Root


Sailors representing five different FWSA clubs competed for The

Bankston Trophy at the 2023-2024 FWSA Championship Regatta on

November 6, 2023.


This year, the regatta was hosted by the Windlasses and held at the Dunedin Boat Club, with 420 sailboats being provided by Dunedin Youth Boating. A random boat drawing was held at 8:00 am to determine which boat each team would sail. Brand new sails were provided by the Windlasses.


The FWSA Championship Regatta has been held annually since 1976 in either a 3-person or 2-person one-design sailboat. Nine boats competed for the trophy, representing the FWSA clubs of the Bitter Ends, Dinghy Dames, Luffing Lassies, Salty Sisters, and Windlasses.


Several veteran teams represented their clubs along with newer teams, and one rookie team with Captain Joy Sheets and Crew Suzy Ballantine

representing the Windlasses.


The PRO was past FWSA president and Windlass Margo Curry, who declared herself as “unbiased and representing the FWSA,” sporting her FWSA shirt. A ROWDY spectator boat loaded with Luffing Lassies and Windlasses had a grand time

loudly cheering the teams at the leeward mark.


All boats were rigged and ready to sail prior to the Competitors

Meeting at 9:30 am. Unfortunately, winds remained calm after the

meeting, but sailors were optimistic that the wind gods would provide a

breeze soon. PRO Margo Curry and her crew headed out towards the

course, hoisted the postponement flag, and started measuring wind

speed. Around 10:00 a.m., a slight breeze started to develop, and the

sailors on shore were getting restless. Slowly, sailors pushed their boats

away from the shallow shore and started floating towards the course.

After seven of the nine boats had decided to launch, the winds began to

increase, and the remaining two boats left shore to quickly join the rest.

We had a regatta!!


The course to be sailed was a Windward/Offset with a Leeward gate

twice around with a three-minute start. On Race 1, the Bitter Ends

team with Captain Ann Carroll and Crew Marge Whiteman had decided

that the right side of the course was favored. However, after the start

they could not tack due to the Dinghy Dames team of Captain Beth

Owens and Crew Del Palmer being close behind on their starboard side.

By the time they were able to tack, the winds had shifted, which gave

them a lift to the Windward mark, where they developed and kept a

substantial lead over the rest of the boats. Other teams bunched up

around the Windward offset, but two Luffing Lassies teams of Captain

Penny Durham and Crew Brenda Scanlon, and Captain Lorrie Kaighin

and Crew Kimberly Duplissey were able to separate from the group

finishing 2 nd and 3 rd while the Salty Sisters team with Captain Marti

Cochran and Jennifer Anderson finished 4th.


At the start of Race 2, there was a collision between two of the Luffing

Lassies boats and the one Bitter Ends boat near the Race Committee

Boat. Luffing Lassie Captain Lorrie Kaighin called foul as the Leeward

boat. The Bitter Ends boat and the Luffing Lassies boat of

Durham/Scanlon both did penalty turns, resulting in late starts. This

gave the Luffing Lassie Team of Captain Jennifer Means and Crew

Barbara Sylvester, a nice start up the left side of the course as

Kaighin/Duplissey sailed the right side of the course with

Carroll/Whiteman attempting to catch up from behind. Finishing 1 st

were the Luffing Lassies team of Kaighin/Duplissey, 2nd place went to

the Luffing Lassies team of Means/Sylvester, 3rd to the Bitter Ends team

of Carroll/Whiteman and 4th place to the Salty Sisters team of

Cochran/Anderson.


The winds continued to increase for Race 3 with numerous wind shifts.

The Luffing Lassie team of Means/Sylvester were the first to round the

Windward mark followed closely by the Luffing Lassie team of

Kaighin/Duplissey, the Bitter Ends team of Carroll/Whiteman and the

Luffing Lassie Team of Durham/Scanlon jockeying for position. The race

ended with the Luffing Lassie team of Means/Sylvester in 1 st place,


The Luffing Lassie Team of Kaighin/Duplissey was in 2nd place, the Bitter Ends Team of Carroll/Whiteman in 3 rd place, and the Luffing Lassie Team of

Durham/Scanlon in 4th place. The Regatta was called, and teams

returned to shore to clean up, de-rig, and head to lunch and awards.


The Windlasses provided a fabulous lunch catered by Lonnie’s of

Dunedin as sailors relaxed and shared stories. Awards followed with

the Luffing Lassie team of Kaighin/Duplissey winning 1st place with 6

points and receiving the Bankston Trophy. The Bitter Ends team of

Carroll/Whiteman finished in 2nd place with 7 points, and the Luffing

Lassie Team of Means/Sylvester finished in 3rd place with 11 points.

Sailors with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes received a prize of an FWSA

commemorative beach towel to take home. The Luffing Lassie Team of

Durham/Scanlon were 4th with 12 points, and the Rookie Windlass Team

of Sheets/Ballantyne had 21 points.


A Big Thank You to the Windlasses for hosting this event, supplying

many members as land crew to help pull, rig, launch, recover, de-rig

and wash the boats and as party crew to provide a fun night before

party at Clear Sky Draught House in Dunedin, breakfast, lunch and

decorations.


The Florida Women’s Sailing Association was founded in 1973 and has

Ten clubs competing in Prams, Optis, Sunfish, 420s, and Ideal 18s once a

week in their respective club.


Information about the FWSA can be found at www.fwsa.net.


Sailors meet the night before the regatta for dinner at the Clear Sky Draught House in Dunedin hosted by the Windlasses

Pre-race group picture at Dunedin Boat Club

Luffing Lassies Penny Durham and Brenda Scanlan enjoy a beautiful day on the water

Windlass Rookies Joy Sheets and Suzy Ballantyne show off their hiking skills for photographer Rita Root. Hopefully they soon realized they should be on the same side of the boat prior to racing.

Dinghy Dames Beth Owens and Del Palmer heading out to the race course in calm winds.

At the start for Race 1

Luffing Lassies Jennifer Means and Barbara Sylvester race to the Windward mark closely followed by Salty Sisters Marti Cochran and Jennifer Anderson

Salty Sisters Marti Cochran and Jennifer Anderson race to Windward with Dinghy Dames Beth Owens and Del Palmer in close pursuit.

​Luffing Lassies Kaighin/Duplissey and Bitter Ends Carroll/Whiteman with Durham/Sylvester close behind at the Windward mark on race 3


​Teams heading downwind to the finish on race 3

First place winners of the Bankson Trophy were Luffing Lassies Lorrie Kaighin and Kimberly Duplissey with Windlass Captain Paula Dolan awarding the trophies

Second place winners were Bitter Ends Ann Carroll and Marge Whiteman with Windlass Captain Paula Dolan awarding the trophies

Third place winners were Luffing Lassies Jennifer Means and Barbara Sylvester with Windlass Captain Paula Dolan awarding the trophies


 


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