Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brutal Frostbiting Conditions at the Birthday Regatta

Today's racing at the Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta was even tougher than yesterday's. Before we were done out on the lake on the committee boat, I had to strip off jacket, fleece top, and shirt to just a t-shirt as temperatures reached again for the seventy-degree range.

In reality, the challenge was the wind -- or the lack of it after the first part of the day. We were able to complete a race for everyone, and two races for a couple of the faster classes, but our attempts to get in a second race for the rest of the fleets were doomed by a fickle breeze that died and shifted around. It teased us by moving from north to west to east but never became much. After getting in second races for the multihulls and Vipers, we started a race for the Buccaneers but had to abandon it.

After the race, we helped pick up and pack away race marks. Several of the sailboats with motors towed boats without. The boat the Carol Anne and Gerald crewed on picked up a Thistle and then a string of five Buccaneers (including one called Quack! Quack!), so the thought of a mother duck and a flock of ducklings all in a row seems entirely apt.

After the race, I met with a potential buyer for our MacGregor sailboat, then chaired a protest hearing in which a panel of five judges held evidence and reached a decision.

Afterward we had a nice catered dinner with mediterranean seasonings and spices and a special birthday cake to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Birthday Regatta. Bidding became spirited for some of donated items and experiences, raising a few thousand more dollars for leukemia and blood cancer research.

Then came the evening's highlight: a talk and presentation by US Sailing president Gary Jobson, who had earlier assisted with the auction. Gary's presentation covered a variety of topics, including many facets of sailing and the history of the America's Cup, plus many personal anecdotes.


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