Thursday, 25 June 2009
Victory at Sea, and other doings on the Tennessee River
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The Watts Bar Invitational, traditionally an event hosted by Knoxville Power Squadron and also attended by the Chattanooga Squadron, this year was opened up as an inter-Squadron event, with all District 17 Squadrons invited for the last weekend in June. Gone this year was the traditional water gun battle, to be replaced by the Atlanta Challenge Cardboard Boat Race; Atlanta decided to move their event to the Tennessee River because of doubts that Lake Lanier would have enough water this year.
 
The Terrace View Marina Resort near Spring City was the site; with its sixteen units of one to four bedrooms, it was large enough to accommodate those who did not come by water. About fifty souls had arrived by late afternoon Friday. District Commander Mike Scher hosted a BYOB cocktail party aboard his Sea-Duction; dinner that evening was a seafood buffet across the lake at Euchee Marina's restaurant; transportation for all was provided by Mike aboard Sea-Duction, after a count of life preservers.
Saturday morning the D17 Bridge served breakfast on the dock alongside Sea-Duction. Liz and Ray Alley arrived from Nashville in time for waffles, pancakes, eggs, cheese grits, biscuits, bacon and country ham; they brought with them our entry for the cardboard boat race. Later Saturday morning were the rubber dinghy races, with the power sources blindfolded and the navigator giving verbal directions. Lots of futile arm-waving directions ("No, that way!) led to many laughs.
 
Saturday lunch was aboard members' boats. When we checked in, those of us who came by land were assigned a "buddy boat; this was to be our lunch assignment. Lili and I joined Cheryl and Cdr. Hank Davis of the Knoxville Squadron. What a great way to really get to know a couple from another Squadron better!
Saturday mid-afternoon was the heralded Atlanta Challenge Cardboard Boat Race(s): Norm Oien representing the Chattanooga Squadron aboard Go for Baroque, a Hickman reverse vee hull; his false start necessitated a second race. Knoxville's In the Drink designed by Chuck Smith, was a short deep-vee canoe with foil-shaped outriggers; Fiji was built by Jim Jordan for the Atlanta squadron, a sturdy pointy-ended boat about the size of a large coffin, which was paddled by Cdr Carol Jordan in Race 1 and by our own Ray Alley in Race 2; and Box Top II, also known as The Flying Purple Paper Eater, paddled by Ray Alley and McLean Hudson in Race 1 and by McLean and Tom Hudson in Race 2 to a comfortable first-place finish. Immediately following the Challenge, the Atlanta Squadron hosted margaritas on the hillside overlooking the dock.
Prior to Saturday's dinner, we had drinks and the presentation of awards aboard the upper deck of Sea-Duction; in the Atlanta Challenge, Norm Oien won the Titanic Award, Ray Alley won third place for Atlanta as well as the Persistence Award, Knoxville won second as well as the Best Overall Design, and The Flying Purple Paper Eater was named Champion and will have its name engraved on the paddle trophy for Nashville.
Saturday night we had dinner at the Terrace View's restaurant. There was dancing by the pool after dinner, of course with the requisite magnificent sunset. Early Sunday morning Lili and I went for a quiet canoe cruise prior to helping Ray load our cardboard boat in the bed of his truck, and driving home.
 
by Tom Hudson, AP
Photos and video not available
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Posted on 06/25/2009 4:16 PM by Barry
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Sunday, 21 June 2009
Pirates of the Cumberland Prevail Over Atlanta!
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Summary: BOXTOP advertises MCPS website.Winning Pirates of the Cumberland team. Chaos at
the start. BOXTOP rounding the buoy. BOXTOP finishes as DIXIE CUP struggles. DIXIE CUP capsizes as HELP ME! passes.  McLean paddling a swamped DIXIE CUP. Pirates of the
Cumberland take .the trophy
 
On Saturday 21 June, a party of six representing Music City Power Squadron, a.k.a. Pirates of the Cumberland, traveled to Lake Lanier to challenge Atlanta Sail & Power Squadron in their cardboard boat race. Despite Lanier's being about -14' from summer pool, it was a good time. We got the final coat of paint on our new boat Friday night, right after getting back from picking McLean up from camp Friday mid-day. McLean thereupon expressed his reservations over the stability and construction quality of DIXIE CUP, but agreed to paddle it in the race. 

Saturday morning Ray, Liz and Melissa Alley came over in their big pickup, and got both boats loaded in the bed and strapped down. We left in convoy about 0710, and got to the lake pavilion 4-1/2 hours later. The Alleys brought one of those folding party tents, and set it up with our two craft under cover, and with a banner heralding Pirates of the Cumberland, complete with skull and crossbones -- a little intimidation factor there. Had a great picnic lunch, about 25 or so from the Atlanta Squadron and the six of us. 

At 1530, it was time for the race. Atlanta had only one entry; a father-son team attempted to build a boat that day at the lake, but it was obvious their heart wasn't in it after seeing BOXTOP and DIXIE CUP. Past Commander Frank Taylor brought his winning entry from last year, with a fresh coat of black and gold paint. The course was from the beach, around a make-shift balloon buoy about 40 yards out, and back to the finish line at the beach. We all got a running start from the strand, quickly bogging down in the lake bottom mud before jumping into our boats. Ray and I got a pretty good start in BOXTOP, and started paddling like pirates fleeing the noose! About halfway to the buoy, I glanced back to see the stern of DIXIE CUP settling in the water, but McLean was valiantly trying to paddle it forward. (It helped there was a cute young girl out there on a raft watching him!) P/C Taylor was very much afloat, valiantly paddling but making poor progress. 

By the time Taylor rounded the buoy, BOXTOP had already reached the finish; DIXIE CUP 's stern was submerged, and its bow was sticking up about three feet out of the water. By the time Taylor reached the finish, McLean had rounded the buoy and figured a rhythm to paddling a cardboard. He got a big cheer when he finally finished, and DIXIE CUP chose that moment to fold as McLean stepped out into the mud at the shore. 

After we hauled our boats back to the parking lot, including the crumpled CUP, we cleaned the mud off ourselves and joined the others at the pavilion for the awards presentation. Ray and I took first place in BOXTOP, Taylor second in HELP ME!, and McLean third in DIXIE CUP, as well as garnering the Titanic Award for most spectacular sinking. Music City Squadron will receive an antique-style wood canoe paddle with a plaque showing all the previous winners, as soon as their trophy shop engraves our name on it; this is a traveling trophy, so we'll have to defend it next year. 

Time to load up for the drive home. A fun fourteen hour day. 

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Posted on 06/21/2009 4:37 PM by Barry
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