Practice, talent, hard work, and a fair share of luck paid-off for the Fort Walton Yacht Club Capdevielle Team in the 2007 Gulf Yachting Association's Opening Day Regatta, hosted by Mobile and Buccaneer Yacht Clubs May 5th and 6th.
Three skippers and three crews took on the GYA's best one-design sailors in the three-race series. Leading off for Fort Walton was skipper Tommy Garner with Sam and Jennifer Grant. Team Captain Jeff Brown took over the helm for the second race, with Ashley Sukalski and Zach Grant crewing. Darren Cooke took the stick for the third race on Sunday, with Jim Coulter handling headsails and foredeck.
The team posted results of 8th, 6th, and 5th out of eighteen boats racing. Because of two disqualifications in the second race, and one disqualfication in the third race, Fort Walton moved up to third place overall, one of the best finishes the club has seen in this event in years.
Jeff Brown, Jim Coulter, and FWYC Vice Commodore Dave Vaughn, made the long trip to Jackson, Mississippi April 21st and 22nd for the 2007 Pat Gilliand Regatta, hosted by Jackson Yacht Club.
The team posted dissapointing results on Saturday, with Coulter and Vaughn each posting ninth place finishes. Light and fluky winds confounded the two novices, but not all was lost as they returned to a first-class shindig thrown by Jackson YC. Live music, a Sunfish cockpit overflowing with fresh-boiled crawfish, and unsinkable kegs of beer helped ease the pain of the team's wounded pride.
After getting a good night's rest in the pop-top camper they hauled with them, the team woke Sunday to a gorgeous sunrise over Jackson's Ross Barnett Resevoir. Team Captain Jeff Brown showed the rookies experience beats good looks any day as he skippered the team to an exciting third place finish, close on the heels of regatta winner Buccaneer YC and overall second place winner Lake Pontchatrain YC, while fending off a determined Pass Christian YC team.