It was a cold weekend November 23-24 when the initial weekend of the Zhik Flying Tiger Winter Series took place on Lake Lanier north of Atlanta, GA.. Renegade is from Lake Lanier and the other two boats (Unleashed and Toy Tiger) were from the 1dSailing Academy in Canada, about a 1,000 miles north. During the warmer months, the guys from 1dSailing Academy all race together on Lake Ontario on a turbo'd 1D35; but when the snow starts to fly, they look for warmer climates to keep sailing and this year decided to bring their Tigers to Lanier. Both the Canadian boat teams were supplemented by some great LLSC talent. The Winter Series comprises five weekends:
* Nov 23 and 24
* Jan 11 and 12
* Feb 8 and 9
* Mar 8 and 9
* Apr 5 and 6
The regatta series is hosted by Lake Lanier Sailing Club. The first week had three boats on the line for an exciting weekend of close racing. The two out of town boats were right at home in the chilly weather after making the long trek down from Canada.
Saturday was marked with a relatively strong breeze, holding in the teens and gusting into the 20’s throughout the day. The crew aboard Renegade were able to use a clean start to get a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the first race. The second race was taken by the group aboard Unleashed. Renegade and Unleashed traded first place in the next two races. Unleashed was able to win the next two races to close out the day. The crew aboard Toy Tiger closed the day with two seconds. After day one, Unleashed sat in first by four points over Renegade who was two points ahead of Toy Tiger.
Sunday brought some of the wind conditions Lake Lanier sailors are used to. It was very light and the shifts were huge and came often. Unleashed was able to play the shifty conditions to another bullet. The race committee decided that the conditions only warranted one race. Unleashed was able to take the first weekend.
A good time was had by all both on and off the water. The racing was closely contested and the party was friendly. The next weekend is set for January 11 and 12. Hopefully there will be a few more boats on the line, but if not it will still be some great one design racing.