Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Buzzing around Sarasota Bay

Hugh Horton and I have been emailing back and forth about all sorts of boaty stuff ever since The Goat's debut at Cedar Key.  We had not met in person and Hugh was interested in seeing The Goat so I was delighted when Hugh invited me to hang out at the Buzzelli Multihull Regatta hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.  I was prepared to camp but when I got there I found out that Hugh had scored me a bunk on the Ball's brothers spectaculat Gerr designed trawler "Roseate".

Buzzelli Regatta is a diverse gathering of small multis like Windriders, Hobies, Wetas, F16s, F18s, Stillettos, F-boats and others.

The Goat was definitely the odd boat out.

Friday night, Jim Brown, the legendary multihull pioneer and designer gave a fascinating talk about the history of multis and his Outrig project.  This was the first time I had heard Jim's presentation.  He is a great story teller and the twinkle in his eye, when he recounts some of his numerous adventures, really shows that he's lived life to the fullest.  My favorite answer that Jim gave to an audience question about if the ancient South Pacific light multis were so good why did the Europeans go with giant, unwieldy and slow ballasted monohulls.  Jim's anwser: "They needed to carry cannon", Perfect!!

The clubhouse was full of young racer guys who, when Jim began his talk, were not paying much attnetion.  Many of them had no idea who he was.  But as the presentation went on more and more people were paying attention and by the end pretty much everyone in the room was enjoying Jim's show.  The goal of the Outrig project is to chronicle the history of the modern multihull.  This is a great effort as the early pioneers are getting on in years and, unfortunately they will not be around forever.  Outrig will make sure that they are not forgotten.

Saturday we woke up to Hugh's awesome coffee and I was invited to have breakfast at Meade's RV.  Meade makes a serious stick to your ribs and keep you fueled for a long day on the water bowl of cerial, nuts, berries and all sorts of other goodness.  It was delicious and worked as advertised.

We got the Goat rigged and launched by pushing off the trailer onto the grassy shore and then dragging to the water's edge.  This works OK but I noticed that the Weta tris have a super slick dolly and trailer arrangement which allow trundling the boat over roughish terrain with relative ease.  Definitely will have to gin up something similar for the Goat.  There goes project #1276.  While I was rigging the Goat, Pat Ball came by with his grandson Markus. They had his Bufflehead in the back of the pickup truck and launched nearby.

  Hugh and I went sailing on the Goat but never got to sail alongside Pat. 

Eventually we met up on the beach and all of us took off in the Goat. 

This was the first time I had more than two adults in the boat.  The pleasent breeze was enough to give us a few exhillerating reaches and the occasional Yeehaah!  With Hugh and I sitting on the rail and Pat driving we almost stayed with the windriders on the race course.  The boat feels a good bit faster when I sail solo so will have to try and hunt down a Windrider one of these days *he says with an evil but not cocky grin*.

We had no fun at all!

Saturday night Meade Gougeon gave a presentation on how the modern multihulls evolved to be able to tack down wind.  Once again I was fascinated by the history and how far we have come in a relatively short time.

I thouroughly enjoyed meeting a lot of folks and making new friends. Had to pack up and leave late Saturday night as I had to be home on Sunday.  Fortunatley it's barely a one and a half hour drive to our house in St Pete.  What a sailing paradise we live in!


  1. Excellent! How cool is it to have 3 1/2 crew aboard and be totally comfortable yet thrilled? Great setting, great videography, and pretty cool music too. Thanks for sharing the sunshine Simon.

  2. Thanks Dave, the Goat is GOOD!