Admiral Farragut Regatta sees home team succeed

Farragut residents Vlasta Kunc, left, Bill Bradshaw, right, and John Lindahl took second place at the 60th Annual Admiral Farragut Regatta at Concord Yacht Club May 6-7. Here, they get ready for the starting air horn of the third of four races.
The wind was crazy on Sunday morning, May 7. In the last race, Bill Bradshaw and his sailing partners, Vlasta Kunc and John Lindahl, were in second place with five Thistle sailboats behind them when they hit a “hole,” a windless spot on the lake.

“There were crazy wind shifts,” Bradshaw said. “We had been in first or second place, but coming into the first mark, we were dead last. At the very last, the wind got really squirrelly and shifted almost 180 degrees and then shifted again almost 180 degrees.”

Bradshaw and Vlasta ended up taking second place in the 60th Annual Admiral Farragut Regatta at the Concord Yacht Club — not bad considering how far behind they were.

“It was just luck,” Bradshaw said.

The regatta took place Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, with two races each day.

On Sunday morning, Tom Hudson and R.G. Smithson were on the lake early to get a feel for the wind as they decided where to place floating markers that would outline the course.

In addition to Bradshaw and Vlasta, other local competitors included Fred and Libby Griffin of Farragut. Scott Griffin, of Greenville, South Carolina, was the skipper of the winning boat. In third place was skipper Adam Ankers of Chattanooga. In fourth place was skipper Fred Griffin. In fifth was skipper Tommy Glenn of Huntsville, Alabama. Loy Vaughan of Birmingham, Alabama, came in sixth.

Concord Yacht Club was incorporated in October 1951 as a non-profit Tennessee Corporation, located on property acquired by TVA in association with the Loudoun Dam Construction Program.

“Sixty years ago, it was mainly engineers from Oak Ridge,” Hudson, said. “[Farragut] was out in the boonies. Dingys were what people could afford.”

“We moved here in ‘83 and that’s when I bought a thistle,” Bradshaw said. “The boats we were racing are called a thistle. We do one-design racing. We have very strict measurements for the boat and the sails. The intent is to keep all boats competitive. The number of boat in third was 1811. That was probably a 30- to 50-year old boat. The class has done a good job of making sure the boats don’t become obsolete.

“When I’m out sailing, when I’m racing too ... I find it really calming because I only have one thing to think about,” he added.

“It’s not that hard. A friend of mind once said, ‘You can teach somebody to sail a boat in an hour and they’ll spend the rest of their life learning to sail well.”