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Auckland On the Water Boat Show

Flying Tigers 'Psych' - on Lake Lanier they pronounce it Zhik

by Dave Smith on 21 Apr 2014
Zhik Flying Tiger Winter Series Dave Smith
The Flying Tiger’s are alive and well. Over the winter, Mike Krantz and the North American Zhik team sponsored the Zhik Flying Tiger Winter Series at Lake Lanier Sailing Club on Lake Lanier, Georgia. The series included five separate weekend regattas held between November and April and a total of 45 course and distance races.

The racing was absolutely fantastic and was surpassed only by the hospitality of the folks from Lake Lanier Sailing Club (LLSC) who provided après racing rum, pulled pork and chili parties each weekend that were inevitably followed by a rousing foosball tournament till the late hours.

Early on, the LLSC members made it clear: 'don’t call us a yacht club >>>>> we are a sailing club' and there is no doubt about it; LLSC is all about ‘just going sailing’. We were on the water by 9:00 am each day and racing began promptly at 10:00 finishing as many as eight races a day. This two mile wide and 15 mile long inland lake is anything but small and provides a large variety of conditions and courses that challenge every team;

Going into the final weekend of the winter series, 'Renegade', skippered by local Jeff Freeman (regatta organizer) and National One Design Sailing Academy’s 'Unleashed' skippered by Mike Hasko were tied for first. There was no let up in the battle right to the very last race with Unleashed claiming Gold by one point over Renegade taking home the Silver flag. Dave Smith’s team of ‘old guys’ on 1dSailing’s Toy Tiger narrowly beat out Jeremy Alexis’ Team 'Solitary' from Chicago by 1/2 point to take home the Bronze. Solitary and Cleveland’s Larry Rush sailing 'Rush', who were a little late to the series, had respectable finishes throughout the regatta nevertheless and are expected to be back in 2015 on a quest to dominate.

The crew from Chicago, Team Solitary, commissioned a beautiful half model trophy to award annually and Mike Krantz and Zhik have committed to support the regattas as title sponsor going forward. Zhik has been very generous in awarding a Zhik gear bag to the winning team at the close of each weekend.

The PRO set square lines and true upwinds and were right on top of predominant wind changes squaring up the course whenever it was required. Small lake shifts were nonetheless a challenge for anyone used to open water sailing and really improved everyone’s game over the series which became tighter and tighter over the winter. If you want to improve your team’s game, make sure you put the 2015 Zhik Flying Tiger Winter Series at Lake Lanier Sailing Club on your calendars. The first event is scheduled for November 2015 and regatta organizers are aiming for ten FT10s’ on the start line as well as 1dSailing’s fleet of Snow Tiger 7.5s.



LLSC provides mast up dry sailing space for the winter to the regatta participants and excellent launch ramp facilities that can accommodate multiple simultaneous launching and/or hauling. For more information contact: Lake Lanier Sailing Club: www.llsc.com or Jeff Freeman at ejfreeman3@gmail.com.

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