John D

Toast or Roast

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Ahoy! I'd like to give a shout out and get some feed back about a dinghy sailor whose recent retirement from small boat sailing should attract some comments (+ or -) from the hoard.               Dave Ellis (aka: "sailwriter") announced his regret that he is retiring from dinghy sailing.  Sez Dave “ Its just too taxing on my bones to continue to beat myself up and the healing time is getting longer and longer. Beside that I’m getting lot of static from the Admiral”.  Dave who is pretty fit for 75, went out a few hours later and won the 65th annual Mug Race, which can be a grueling 38 miles and is probably the largest non ocean regatta in the S E.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dave has given back a lot  to the sport and some of his accomplishment that I know of include:

Years as sailing coach at the St Pete YC where he retired from.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Freelance writer for SouthWinds magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    National champion in Windmills and other notable dinghies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Race director for several SE sailing clubs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dave has provided both coast to coast boat transportation and set up for National and International regattas held in the USA as well as a race management volunteer for same,                                An excellent PRO for many regattas in the SE.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Again, the hoard can probably add a lot more. As I understand, Dave is going to continue his presence in race management but claims he will be hanging up his hiking shorts and kneepads. A plus for regatta organizers and participants and maybe a relief for us who often looked at his transom.

On the other side, Dave has the ability to take a very attractive sailboat and in just a few hours turn it into the ugliest boat in the regatta. All it takes Dave is a roll of duct tape, some pre used wire and electrical tape and Dave would have it decorated to his taste……coyote ugly. However, the damn thing is usually in the winner’s circle.  Lets hear it from ya!

Dave number one.JPG

planing reach ellis.JPG

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Don't know him, but he passed on good advice and experience on my boat purchase through SA. Wish him well.

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Here's something I got from Mark J,      Re: Dave Ellis

"Mark
 
Here's my best effort re Dave--PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EDIT
 
DAVE ELLIS has an almost life-long history with the Windmill Class--a competitive and fast dinghy today that was originally designed in the early 1950s by Clark Mills as a step up from his Optimist Pram design. Dave is the only person to have his name engraved on every Windmill Class Association (WCA) perpetual trophy: Internationals, Nationals, Midwinters, Southerns  and Midwesterns.  He's the only sailor to have won the Nationals as both crew and skipper as well as serving as Nationals PRO and class President.
As a youngster, Dave crewed for Walter Most (Windmill #17) when they won both the 1957 and 1959 Nationals. He also fell out of the boat when crewing in the 1960 Internationals (hiking strap broke) and heard his skipper yelling "Swim, Swim!"
Dave moved around the country and lived in California where he built both a Moth and a Catamaran! Upon returning east in the late 1970s, purchased a Windmill and was 3rd in the 1979 Nationals. He was elected President of the WCA and retained that position for 2 years during which time he won the last-sailed Windmill Internationals (1980) on Saratoga Lake NY where top Finnish Windmill sailors took 2nd and 5th and future (many times) National Champion Craig Tovell was 3rd. He served as Jouster editor over 2 different periods.Acquiring #4922 (the original McLaughlin boat) Dave won the 1985 Nationals at the Concord YC in Knoxville TN over a very strong fleet of former and future Nationals winners. He "retired" from Windmilling in the later 1980s.
 
Dave sailed a wide variety of small boats out of St. Petersburg FL and was busy promoting & teaching sailing. He was the Sailing Master at the St. Pete YC and wrote a sailing column for the St. Pete Times as well as articles in numerous sailing publications. When Christina Chauvenet "hassled" him back into Windmill racing, he re-did an old Moorman boat and in 2004 finished 3rd in the 30 boat Nationals in Charleston, SC. Subsequently he re-rigged another boat and won both the 2005 and 2006 Nationals -- two of those 3 events with crews who had never been in a sailboat! Dave also was the PRO for the 2008 Nationals in NH where he was elected as the 2nd (after the founders) honorary member of the Windmill Class. and as the Jouster Editor on several different occasions.  
 
Dave represented the Windmill Class in the 1981 Yachting Magazine "One of a Kind" regatta, securing 3rd place among 21 highly competitive centerboard dinghies. He also represented the WCA twice in the US Sailing "Championship of Champions" event where 20 classes are invited to send their current champion to compete in a round-robin boat-swapping event. In 2006 Dave finished 7th in this incredibly competitive fleet--sailed in Y-Flyers and showing his versatility!
 
Dave has also been involved in delivering boats via trailer to classes and regattas around the country as well as delivering some larger boats by water. His service to one-design racing may actually be exemplified by his receipt of the Denis Surtees award (2010) from the 505 class. This is given to someone felt to have provided outstanding service to the class--generally a 505 racer and fleet promoter. Dave's was for his service as PRO at 505 Nationals and several other major 505 events. He's raced more different classes of sailboats than most can count and always with success and efforts to help others. The Windmill class is both honored and fortunate to count Dave as its longest time member, promoter and friend!"
Allen C
 

 

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A fine fellow I am glad to have called friend since the day I met him. 

When you need infirmationnir advice, the guy is a very special asset. 

Too bAd we live two days drive from one another.  We would otherwise have many stories to tell 

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Dave has helped us tremendously with his transportation work as well. He was always the best priced mover we could ever find, probably because of his love of one design sailboats, but that extra money we got to keep in our pockets for our program helped us go further.  I'm thankful to have met him in that capacity as he brought many boats to us in Park City on his travels.

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