It looks like spring is arriving!! Hopefully, the “Burn Your Socks” party on March 22 helped it along! Forty people desperate for spring arrived at the Platform Tennis building to celebrate the vernal equinox on March 20. Even though there was a solid layer of ice still on the lake (in fact, the ice boaters were out on the lake on Sunday!) that didn’t dampen the party spirit! After some socializing, a fleet meeting and some dinner, it was time to shed the socks and get into the boat shoes!! At least 2 dozen socks were burned…or smoldered. The “Burn Your Socks” began in the mid 1980’s. Captain Bob Turner of the Annapolis Yacht Yard found he had collected all sorts of stuff on his socks from a winter of working on other people’s boats. One day (it happened to be the vernal equinox), he removed his socks and headed to the docks with a paint tray and lighter fluid. The socks went into the tray, were liberally doused with lighter fluid and he lit a match….Burning of the Socks was born! Commodore Jeff Maier brought this tradition to Gull Lake during his reign and we keep the tradition alive today! If you Google “Burn Your Socks”, you can see how other clubs celebrate this rite of spring! Roasting oysters has been mentioned for next year….
Now that the ice is slowly clearing out, the WMU Sailing Team is trying to get some time on the water before school is out on April 25. There doesn’t have to be much open water for these die-hards to get some sailing in!
The Star fleet’s 60th and 61st Tulip Time Tune Up regattas are next on the calendar. On Friday May 16, the 60th will be sailed (this is because of the complete lack of wind for 2013 dates…the first time in the history of Tulip Time). The 61st will be held Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18. The Star fleet is contacting Star sailors across the country to attend both regattas. In past years, they have attracted Olympic medalists, Regional, National and World champions to compete with our own Gull Lake Stars! It’s high caliber sailing right here on beautiful Gull Lake! Hope you can stop in and check it out!
The season will continue with the Memorial Day Handicap on Monday May 26 and the Sunfish Michigan Open June 7-8. Then the GLYC Super is on Saturday, June 21—celebrating the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The regular Sunday races will be held on this Saturday, followed by dinner at the Doolittle Pavilion and a pleasure after dinner (a special ‘round the lake sail is in the planning stages now…stay tuned!).
Don’t forget that the Junior sailing program gets under way June 19 and Adult sailing instruction begins on June 17.
So after the long winter intermission, the 2014 sailing season is in the very near future!
Fair winds and following seas,
Your Commodore, Tom Lechota