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
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
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