Alligator Run Regatta - Stephanie Taylor

May 06th, 2021

After hibernating for the past year, a few Wetas decided it was time to venture out in the world close to home. As fate would happen, others decided to do the same. A mash up of fleets to include, Wetas, Isotopes, Wayfarers and Buccaneers along with an assortment of other Catamarans totaled forty in number. It was a reunion of sorts for three North Carolina Sailing Clubs (Carolina Sailing Club in Raleigh, Lake Townsend Yacht Club in Greensboro and Oak Hollow Sailing Club in High Point) as they converged at Lake Waccamaw Sailing Club for their first ever Alligator Run Regatta on April 17-18. Lake Waccamaw is the third largest lake in the state, a naturally occurring body of water with fourteen miles of shoreline. With the picturesque view and the moss hanging from the trees, the scene was a transformation to the bayou.

As arrivals began on Friday afternoon, the Club was a flurry of chatter of long lost friends that hadn't seen each other in over a year. As music could be heard in the rigging area, sailors were easily distracted with all the activity and didn't have a care in the world. How great it was to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather with other fully vaccinated sailors! With the increased popularity of the Weta Trimaran, two newcomers were in attendance. Rewind a few days earlier, David Greene with his buddy Jack in tow drove across the country to East Coast Sailboats in the Outer Banks to pick up his shiny new Weta. Enroute back home to Texas, they decided to swing by to meet the "Weta Welcome Wagon" and get some sailing in. Another sailor from Tennessee, John Harrop who was interested in buying a Weta, joined the group to see if it would float his boat. In addition, the die hards from Carolina Sailing Club, Alan & Stephanie Taylor along with Caroline Sherman were there to dust off the Weta cobwebs for the season.

On Saturday as predicted, the wind dropped right before the first signal. Boats floated around for awhile until we were under postponement and headed back to shore for a late lunch. Awhile later a slight breeze came back just enough to get in 1 race before the wind died again. At this point, the sailors didn't mind if they didn't get to race. Priority #1, socializing was being accomplished. The evening continued with a flurry of festivities including catered boxed dinners and desserts all decorated by the staff.

On Sunday, the wind dropped again to only a few knots right before our first race. Nearing the weather mark, it almost completely dropped out with big patches of windless areas on the course. Now, it was a line up of boats all around the course with no ripples behind their rudders. Looking for something, what wind there might be, completely shifted directions. Some decided not to finish the shortened course while others played the waiting game and eventually made it across the line to call it a day.

With only two float fest races, John Harrop and Alan Taylor traded off wins with Alan prevailing in the end. Think that was enough for John to buy a shiny, NEW Weta? (Yes, it was!).

In the end, the Wetas were glad they came out of hibernation along with "Douglas", the granddaddy gator of Lake Waccamaw.

By Stephanie Taylor


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