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2022 Emerald Coast Regional Recap!
This year’s Emerald Coast Regional was sailed on the beautiful waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay in Fort Walton Beach Florida on the weekend of 9-10 July 2022. This event was hosted by the renowned Fort Walton Yacht Club. Even though we tried to get in our normal 3-day format, we managed to get in two outstanding days of racing.
Seven Formula Waves raced on Saturday and 5 on Sunday. Saturday’s winds were absolutely stellar for Wave performance! Southwesterly winds met the eager group first thing in the morning and slowly built throughout the day. It did get a little shifty in the middle races (5 races on Sat) and the best start was clearly won by Jeff Betts port tacking the fleet by a mile in race 3! He did get to A mark first with a certain “unknown” sailor rounding right behind him. The ensuing downwind leg saw the “unknown” guy sailing very deep and fast catching Jeff in a port/starboard situation and leading to entry room at the leeward mark. The fleet came in after race 5 with full smiles!! The bar was open and pizza rounded out the night.
Sunday dawned with a line of thunderstorms moving towards the Gulf and soaking everything making it super muggy. A nice northerly breeze had come in but as anyone knows around the bay, it would be short lived. The FWC fleet left the beach in drifting conditions. After a delay, the seabreeze made it’s predicted return and we managed to get in 3 excellent races before another group of storms headed towards the racing area. Most of our de-rigging was in a collapsing storm and the cool rain felt good to squelch the heat.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Fort Walton Yacht Club for including us within their Gulf Yachting Association regatta. Our PRO, Sam Grant, served us with challenging courses. The food was good and the bar was great! Let’s plan on more Formula Waves for next year’s event!
Smile and Wave, Bob Curry