Doug Baxter sailed off the course in 2014 after a battle with cancer. Doug was a life-long sailor (he will be forgiven for his short bout of power boat ownership), enthusiastic racer, and all-around great guy. Doug’s quick smile, hearty laugh, love of the water and attention to detail will be long remembered. The Doug Baxter Memorial Closer is now the last official race on the SPOG calendar, and a last chance for results to secure the season point championship. The Closer is a one day affair with a number of short races with the winner claiming Doug’s Whiskey Jug – what looks like a cream jug stolen from a nice hotel restaurant that Doug used for the water with his single malt.
Don Martin endures the very shifty winds to win the 2017 Closer
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That describes the snakes and ladders that proved to be the strategy as the wind flipped from southerly to westerly and back; and from 0 to a bit of puff, and back to 0. But at least the showers mostly held off and the temperature was much warmer than the fleet had been lead to believe.
A new ferry schedule caused some confusion for the race committee, but we managed to get off 5 races of the 9 racers on a relatively nice day. First races were conducted in a slight southeasterly where even a full leg lead was not safe and one would find themselves at the front and just as quickly push to the back of the fleet. After a ferry break, the wind was a shifty & puffy westerly that caused just as much consternation.
Don Martin used every bit of guile from his long career on the water to master the shifty conditions better than the rest of the fleet. After a shaky start, he posted 3 wins in a row, and is the 2o17 winner of Doug’s Whisky Water Jug.