Red River, Interrupted Page 2 - Sail Magazine

Red River, Interrupted Page 2

Off the bow I could see Oklahoma. I looked over the stern, and yonder was Texas. Around me whitecaps were building on a special lake that splits the difference between two be-all, end-all rivals, and the name of that body of water says it all. Texoma. Mythology meets mixology.Surely you know the scripture: “Don’t mess with Texas.”Surely you know the Oklahoma
Author:
Publish date:
nelda_ray

Jim Tichenor, a director of US Sailing, has made the trip north from his Houston home every year since 2001 to act as Lakefest principal race officer. Working with Make-A-Wish, he says, the sailing club “can put their money directly into the community and return to what makes this thing special. I love seeing the excitement in kids who get to hand out a trophy or just shake somebody’s hand.”

Tichenor got involved when two delegates from Texoma Sailing Club traveled to Houston to attend one of his courses on advanced race management. He recalls, “They came to me on a break and said they didn’t know half this stuff and would I come up and help. That turned into a team-building exercise that’s been enjoyable all around. These people have their hearts in the right place, and they’ve moved the ball. At this point they’re prepared to run anybody’s Nationals or North Americans.” To the point: This year’s schedule includes a race-management seminar and a North U/Dave Dellenbaugh seminar on the new racing rules.

texoma_sailing_club_2

I like to watch

I needed photos, so there we were. Trading my ride on Coyote for a ride with the race committee, I stepped into the kind of morning that makes you glad to be alive, with flights of birds loud overhead and the hum of bass boats setting out and radios crackling on channel 68. If you’ve never breathed the morning air from a speeding mark-set boat—if you’ve never done time on race committee—my friend, you’re missing something.

Johnny Stacy was in his seventh year of driving his big lake cruiser, Savannah Jane, as the signal boat, just to be part of things. He told me, “I had a Hobie in the 1980s, but really, I like to watch.” He also fires a mean shotgun. Sometimes sailors forget how much we owe to people like Johnny Stacy. But you know—I hope you know—that you can figure the importance of a sailboat race by how many motorboats it takes to run it.

Tichenor was in charge, but remember, this is teamwork. The ladies of the Texoma Sailing Club, people like Sandra Morton and Mary Nichols, who raise flags and keep the scoring, run their own show. You don’t tell these women what to do. Sandra explains, “I’m not a racer. When they get too close, I shut my eyes. Otherwise I like to watch.” I’m pleased to report that her dedication does not go unappreciated. Sandra and Mary were handling the morning check-in when Peter Pattullo sailed by on his Farrier F33R trimaran, Nelda Ray, and the crew chorused, “We lo-o-o-ve you!”

grandpappy_point

It was, nonetheless, a day to try the soul. There were episodes when the breeze was shifting through 80 degrees and bending between the bottom and top of the course. We didn’t know how good we had it until the breeze shut down completely for a while. Picture motoring just to keep the bugs off. Tichenor observed that it was “hot as a June bride in a featherbed.”

And then, all too soon, it was over. We were down to the shouting, with another regatta in the bag and me with loose ends. So listen up, and I’ll try to clarify: (1) This Texas-Oklahoma rivalry runs deep, but at Lakefest all I saw was cooperation, with competitors and officials pulling together from both sides of the border to put on a good game. (2) Some sort of Texoma Wine Trail exists; more interesting is a thread from the early 1900s, when phylloxera was decimating the vineyards and threatening the very culture of France—until one T.V. Munson of Denison, Texas, identified a resistant rootstock and shipped cuttings that made him a Chevalier du Mrite Agricole. (3) Texoma is longhorn country, but the high plains of Texas it is not.

These are the rolling hills of Texas, and I left town in a parade of Melges 24s on trailers, up the spring-green hills and down, and it was fine, just fine (at the risk of repeating myself) to feel part of the one-design contingent of a PHRF hotbed. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep those doggies rollin’. And bring ’em back in ’09.

I hope that keeps the record straight. Far be it from me to mess with Texas.

Related

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more