With the J/80 North Americans set to begin check-in and measurement today, flooding and power outages in the northeast continue and flights may be scarce from a variety of cities in the next few days. Thousands of passengers are scrambling to make alternate travel plans and some of them are due here to begin racing tomorrow. Several hauled their boats to Fort Worth Boat Club two weeks ago and participated in the Ol’ Man of the Sea Regatta to familiarize themselves with conditions on Eagle Mountain Lake — they flew home. Still others hauled a boat last weekend and then couldn’t fly home. But it’s a national championship regatta, so everyone keeps doing whatever needs to be done next.

Paul Bregenzer of Lone Star Yacht Services has been a busy guy for weeks around Fort Worth Boat Club. He’s a rigger and repair facilitator by trade, so he has hauled boats to and from the Gulf Coast for work, trained folks in rebuilding traveler parts, run new halyards and rebuilt winches to get local racers ready to go. He currently serves as Harbor Chairman for FWBC so he has also been clearing the parking lot for visiting boats that arrived early, assigning slips for all J/80s which must remain in the water once they are launched and coordinating support boats for judges, photographers and visiting dignitaries — is there anything he can’t do? Oh yeah, he’s crewing on C’est Nasty for skipper Rick Schaffer with David Hiebert and Regatta Chair, Craig White. Listen for the laugh — it’s unmistakable and you will hear it from across the lake.
Craig’s committees are rockin’ and rollin’ – measuring sails and boats, weighing competitors and coordinating food, drink and entertainment for regatta participants. Taking a break from tagging sails this afternoon he said, “The level of competition for this regatta is fantastic. We have three J/80 World Champions, most of whom are also winners of previous NAs, about six Key West winners and notable crew members who are among the best in the country in any boat. We are looking forward to beautiful weather and good breeze.”
Registration closes at 1700 tomorrow. The warning signal for a single practice race will sound at 1400 hours. The Competitors’ Meeting is scheduled for 1800 followed by dinner for all the participants in the FWBC ballroom.
Karen Smith, Press Officer