Scow Scoop

Ted KellerFleet News, Hoover Sailing Club, Leadline

Every year at this time we watch for the signs of spring.  For me it’s March Madness, Opening Day, and the Masters—and somewhere in between these markers, we put the docks in at HSC and start the sailing season!  The first couple of weekends may be too cold or too windy, but we know the day is coming when the weather breaks and we wait with great anticipation.

Well, this year is definitely proving to be different.  None of my sports timeframe is happening.  Docks In Saturday did not happen on time and the arrival of the sailing season is on hold indefinitely.

So we wait.  The good thing is that we sailors know how to wait.  We’ve waited on shore with the AP ‘Cat in the Hat’ flag flying.  We’ve gotten out on the water and had the breeze completely shut off on us. (It has happened on Hoover a time or two.). We try to get comfortable on the low side, ease the sheets a bit, and wait.  Our forefathers had to wait it out in the doldrums when sailing around the world.

What to do with all this waiting time?  Well, I’ve found there’s a great deal of activity on-line.  There are virtual races and regattas if you’re into that kind of thing.  And there is a great deal of information being put out online by coaches and sailmakers to help you improve your game.

I’ve watched the interview with our good friend Greg Fisher on Sailing Inc. Charleston page ( There’s a video on starting skills by Scott Nixon on the Starboard Portal. I also found a great coaching video on jibing skiffs or sport boats by Willie McBride on Plus a great deal more content and discussion online and in Facebook groups. I’ve taken a few notes for the next time I can get out on the…sigh.

Good news:  Boat building is “essential” in Wisconsin.  Melges is in full operation with new boats going out the door this spring.  And new sail orders keep coming in.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get comfortable on the low side.

Here’s one sailing skill I am going to apply right away—pass to windward!