The stakes were high at Allatoona Downs this year, where 48 Thistlebreds gathered at Atlanta Yacht Club for the first (and definitely the only) “DERBY DIXIE.”
Odds on the weather were not favorable, as a tropical depression moving up from the gulf threatened to muddy the weekend and wash us all off the race track. In fact, however, the storm dissipated and quite the opposite occurred, with such wimpy wind that we barely got one race off on Saturday......but NO rain either day! Better conditions on Sunday allowed us to complete the remaining two races, integral to our scoring system which depends on three races in order for all competitors to sail against all the others in at least one race. “Flight” winners on Saturday were Bryce Dryden and Steve Burke, tying them for pole position ahead of Paul Abdullah, Scott and Greg Griffin, and Michael Reddaway. On Sunday, however, none of these chasers could run neck and neck with the indomitable Burke brothers, who moved decisively into the winners circle with a 1-1-2 series. Though three-time incumbent Brad Russell had to forfeit his first-place perpetual to the Burkes, his “Fastest-Over-60” dad Andy got to hang on to his trophy for another year.
Competition was almost as keen on Saturday morning at the Derby Wagering Window, where the race was on to bet on the five final finishes in correct order. Hats off to Michael Reddaway, Steve Mitchell and Alex Krumdieck, whose payoff for coming the closest to getting it right was a gift certificate from Coral Reef. When the “real” results were finally posted, it was 1 - Burke: 2 - Griffin (Greg); 3 - Mark Gise; 4 - Dryden; and 5 - Russell (Brad). (Not a dark horse to be seen anywhere!) Look for more details in the next Bagpipe.
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