The day started out quietly enough… The boys were at the yacht club at 8:45 but they didn’t head out until 1:00 waiting for the wind to fill in. I went back to the inn for a bit. About 2:00 I looked out off our balcony and saw that the fleet was on the lake. I put on my tennis shoes and packed some water and snacks and decided to walk out to the point to see if I could get a closer look and take some photos. I was about a ½ mile into my walk when the sky started to darken. Sound familiar? Thunder sounded in the distance. Lake Walchensee is a busy weekend destination. There were many boats on the water and people swimming. People started ringing cowbells and yelling for people to get out of the water. I high tailed it back to the inn. By the time I got to my car, there was a long traffic jam exiting the lake. I slowly drove to town while thunder and lightning exploded around me. I saw a bolt hit a nearby electricity pole. I was feeling nervous because the race on the opposite side of the lake. I’m guessing it's a good half an hour sail back. I was relieved to see a group of 29ers sailing into shore followed by a boat with sirens and flashing lights. Newt had said they had an orange spinnaker (1 of 3) Taking the odds, I saw two orange spinnakers in the group and changed direction to go meet the boys. After parking at the entrance and running to get them I found it was the German team. No Dane or Newt. Thankfully, Dane called me when I was headed toward the yacht club. He said they were taking cover under a boat and were going to run to the event tent. By the time I got there they were in the center of the storm. I can’t believe how loud and intense the thunder is. The sound shook the ground. Newt has experienced these storms in Canada, but we sure don’t get anything like this in Ojai. I’m actually relieved that the authorities take these storms very seriously and seem to react quickly. It must be a regular occurrence here. There’s an emergency flashing light to warn people to get off the water. The race committee responded quickly. This will be one regatta they never forget.
The fleet got in one race today. The report is that the boys got off the line well today but chose the wrong side of the course downwind. They wanted to work on their starts today, so that was a good day of sailing.