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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Frostbite race set for Sunday

December 30th, 2011 10:35 pm by John Thompson

Frostbite race set for Sunday

HAMPTON — The Watauga Lake Sailing Club’s 12th Annual New Year’s Day Frostbite Race will start Sunday at 2 p.m. at Lakeshore Marina.
“It should be a good race,” Lakeshore employee Von Luther said. “The winds should be pretty good.”
Luther has seen many of the Frostbite races over the years and said they can get pretty exciting.
“It was almost like Daytona a couple of years ago,” Luther said. “Two boats were racing for the finish and they ran into each other.”
The race usually draws about 12 sailboats. They will race to what is called the Big Island, then they race for home. Depending on wind speeds and direction, the race usually takes about two hours.
The National Weather Service forecast is for west winds between 5 and 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. The temperatures should not be as frigid as in some past races. The high is expected to be around 50, with partly sunny skies. There is a 20 percent chance of showers.
The activities begin with the skippers’ meeting, which will be held at the marina on U.S. Highway 321.
Luther said there are good viewing areas all along the route, including Lakeshore for the start and finish, the Captain’s Table restaurant and Watauga Point picnic area.
Following the friendly strife, the crews and friends will gather for the New Year’s Day Dock Feast, with the teams providing a plenty of soups and chowders to ward off the chill.
According to the club’s website, the Watauga Lake Sailing Club is the only regional sailing club in the area, with approximately 90 members from Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina. The newly elected commodore of the club is Gayle McPherson. The club was founded in 1979.

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