At the first Grand Lake Classic, when it was 19 degrees, I learned about the value of a Stormr cold weather suit.
At the most recent Hartwell Classic, when it was 13 degrees and a number of boats were still stuck to the trailers, I learned that a Thermacare adhesive heating pad, stuck to your lower back, will work wonders.
At both of those events, I learned that the reward of having a Mr. Buddy heater in the boat, unreasonably close to a big gas tank, far outweighs the risk.
But I saved my best lesson for last month, when the Classic was held in Houston, when I learned that the Classic should always be in warm weather. Believe me, 80 degrees and shorts beats a Save Phace mask and long johns every day of the week and twice on Championship Sunday. No one is more thankful than me -- except perhaps Jordan Lee -- that the derby was held on Conroe in late March. Sunburn on my knees notwithstanding, I was thrilled to wear shorts to a Classic for the first time since 2006, when Lee had not yet turned 15. It makes packing easier, it makes dressing easier, it makes blogging easier, and the tournament itself was every bit as thrilling.