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Alligator Run 2023 Recap

You just couldn’t wish for a better sailing weekend! The 3rd annual Alligator Run Regatta was held at Lake Waccamaw April 15-16.

The 25 registered boats began to congregate at the lake on Friday April 14 in an eclectic group including seven Wayfayers, six Tanzers (holding their Nationals), six Open Monohulls, four F18 and, two Open multihulls. A welcome party Friday evening gave arrivals time to meet, greet & eat, pick up registration packets and get their camps set up.

It could have been chaos as 24 boats & trailers, cars, campers, and tents all jockeyed for rigging space and launch position. 6 newly opened trailer camping sites with electricity in the club’s back lot area helped make room for tent campers and boat rigging lakeside. The yard logistics crew, affectionately referred to as “Yard Jockeys” did an excellent job of directing cars, boat trailers and campers. The cats launched from the beach, while David McLamb and Nick Logan used golf carts to splash the monos from both ramps, making for a quick and orderly launch, and reversing the process for retrieval at the end of the day.

The wind gods can be fickle, but this weekend they smiled on us with nearly near perfect temperatures and wind conditions both days. Saturday mid 80 degree temps were highlighted with low humidity and brilliant blue skies filled with puffy white clouds. 10-12 MPH base winds were augmented with direction shifting puffs up to 20+ mph. This made for lively and athletic sailing, and a few mishaps. A 180 degree shifting puff clobbered one F18 and caused them to capsize to windward, literally before they knew what hit them. Another toppled one of the other F18, who suffered a torn mainsail and had to withdraw. A stuck cleat caused one of the Wayfarers to capsize right at the finish line, causing a bit of a delay while it was righted and made ready for towing into the dock for a bailout.

Tired, but smiling sailors returned to the docks after completing 3 races to enjoy a hot buffet style dinner.

Sunday races started right on the 11:00 am stated time with clear skies, 80 degree temperatures, and steadier winds of about 12-15 mph. 2 races were completed without incident and sailors were back at the docks around 1:00 pm for lunch. The race committee scored the races and the winners were honored in a small ceremony after lunch. Waccamaw Sailing Club would like to thank all the participants, Paul and Karol Leonard who traveled from Florida to head the Race Committee and to rest of the 20+ person volunteer army who made this event a success!

2023 Alligator Run Results
F18 Class: Philippe and DeeDee Laurent
Open Multihull Class: Mike Vitamvas Hobie 18 – With his Granddaughter & dog
Wayfarer Class: Ann Marie Covington and Gareth Ferguson
Tanzer Class: Butch Blanchard National Champion (8th time)
Open Monohull Class: Steve Stopa Beneteau 21