Lake Norman’s Newest Fleet
Vanguard V15 Fleet 80
“The boat doesn’t really matter, it’s the people you’re out there with” Marcel Sloane
When our family relocated to Charlotte from Northern California, we had no idea what the sailing was going to be like on an inland lake. We joined LNYC and quickly joined the U20 fleet. The sport-boat thing was our first experience with a boat that didn’t live on a dollie.
The Club Race series at LNYC have One Design on Saturdays with fleet starts and Portsmouth racing on Sundays with one start. We raced the U20 Saturdays and I sailed the V15 Sundays with my 6yo daughter. We were the odd duck amongst the Scots, Highlanders, Scows and SJ 21’s, but were in the mix, boat for boat around the marks.
I would leave the boat on the beach, rigged and ready and anyone that wanted to try it, pushed them out and they always came back smiling. The most common likes were the quick rigging and launching and simplicity of the boat and being comfortable even for sailors that are old enough to have used rotary phones.
The second boat was added quickly over beers and a quick Craigslist search. Pete and Lennox who sailed together in college and Lightnings for years after wanted to relive those years. They made a trip to Annapolis for an ugly, but surprisingly stiff & fast boat. That boat put the snowball into motion.
24 boats later; wives/husbands, kids/parents, 1st time sailors, and National 1 Design Champions, even a Periodontist, racing and sharing what happened out there. One of the best qualities of these boats is the tiny amount of time needed to go from covers-on to sailing off beach. Given the schizophrenic wind here, and the rig and launch time of 10 minutes, we’re able to take advantage of the breeze anytime it picks up. We drop the marks, pick the Rabbit, and mix it up. It’s the difference between going to the driving range and hitting a bucket of balls vs. the 5 hours to play a full round.
Since the fleet started, we’ve had very well attended travel regattas. During the SAYRA Jr GP circuit, we get the parents off the beach, off their laptop, and onto the racecourse right next to the Juniors. I’ve never heard a kid brag on their Dad’s ability to hold down a chaise lounge, but I do hear my kids question every bad start and why I wasn’t in front Grandpa Jones.
Next time you’re at Lake Norman for a junior event, I’ll put you in a boat. It’s the best way to avoid rigging an Opti! The V15 Nationals are in Nashville this year, October 10-11. Need a boat? Give me a ring. Scott Olson, LNYC Junior Director email@example.com 707.718.4757
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