Hopper grabs lead in Women’s Flying Scot NAC Regatta here
Mary Anne Hopper couldn’t have had a better first day at the Women’s Flying Scot North American Championships Regatta at the Privateer Yacht Club on Saturday. She won all three races to all but guarantee that she will return home to Texas with the winner’s trophy.
“I just need to finish second in one race and third in another,” she said by phone as she stood near the edge of Chickamauga Lake. “This is my second regatta here. What a beautiful place.”
Not that Hopper was alone in sailing her boat “Gnatsquatch” to those three wins. She had help from crew members Melissa Miller and Jennifer Draheim.
But on a day that featured two-knot current right down the middle of the lake and 12-mph breezes, the Gnatsquatch crew was all alone at the top of a leaderboard filled with 14 boats from seven states. There were four from Tennessee, four from Illinois, two from Texas and one each from Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland and Virginia.
“A perfect day,” said regatta chairman Rob Fowler. “This will be the first time the women’s championship has had its own site. It’s always been staged at the same site as the men’s championship. So this is the first time the women have a weekend dedicated solely to them.”
The final two races will begin near the yacht club at 10 a.m. today, with a trophy presentation scheduled between noon and 1 p.m.
Said Hopper before heading off to dinner and a good night’s sleep: “I don’t know why more people don’t come here for regattas.”
Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@ timesfreepress.com.