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Alligator Run Recap

27 boats, with captains and crew converged on the Waccamaw Sailing club Friday April 8, into Saturday April in search of sun, fun and wind and I don’t think they were disappointed.

Saturday started out beautifully sunny and chilly with unseasonably cool morning temperatures in the low 40’s, which managed to climb to about 60 by noon. But the big news was the wind! After a 2021 racing season plagued by baking temps and glass-smooth-water, Mother Nature really dished it up!

Saturday, sustained winds of around 15-18 MPH were punctuated by shifty, oscillating puffs well into the 20MPH range which made for very sporty conditions. While some boats decided not to start, sailors in 18 boats donned wet suits and waterproof gear and headed out. The first race showed just how challenging it was. David McLamb broke an outhaul in his Holder 21 about 200 yards off the starting line, causing his main sail to puddle into the cockpit. He was able to MacGyver it back up fast enough to take second place.

The strong, shifting puffs were especially challenging for the catamarans, almost all of which capsized at least once during the 2 Saturday races. Sailors reported it was nearly impossible to consistently predict the gust direction to be in proper position to avoid being dunked. The 3 safety boats were kept very busy monitoring many boat rightings, but there were no serious incidents, and they were not called on to intervene. Everyone ended the day tired, wet and happy.

Thankfully, the club had a good supply of hot water for showers. Tray Andrews and his nephew Dillon played music, streaming in the afternoon and live in the early evening and until almost 10:00pm, after a massive hot buffet dinner. “Into The Mystic” is now Waccamaw Sailing Club’s official theme song.

Although still unseasonably chilly, Sunday was a better sailing day. 15-18 MPH winds were still gusting in the 20’s but the direction was more consistently NW. About 20 boats sailed both races and all stayed upright with the exception of an A Cat who went over at the second race finish. He had already righted by the time the safety boat could reach him, and took a victory lap around the lake before heading in.

This was a great start to the sailing season. What could be better than sun and sky, wind and water, food and music and a chance to reconnect with old friends?

Carol Lawlor
Waccamaw Sailing Club

PS. Save the Date: Indian Summer Regatta October 1 & 2, 2022