Today I celebrated the Fourth as I usually do - by competing in Westlake Yacht Club's 'Round the Island race. Westlake has a big island in the middle of it, connected to the mainland via a low bridge; once a year there's a race all the way around the island, and competitors have to capsize their boats and swim them under the bridge. Here's the scene:
I successfully navigated the carnage and passed along the shoreline; a technique which worked well enough to get me fourth overall. (There are all kinds of boats competing and they start in reverse order of speed; sailing a Laser I was in the fastest kind of boat, so I started 25 minutes after the little sabots, and didn't quite quite catch all of them.) Here I am righting my Laser after passing under the bridge:
However the day's big news was the Megan and her friend Madison competed too! They sailed a sabot together, all the way around the island, capsized and swam it under the bridge, and finished third among their sabot peers. I am so proud of them, they were really amazing. Here a shot of the two of them before the start:
So a great time was had by all. I was talking to my friend Peter Drasnin, who together with me has been sailing in this race since we were kids; we figured out we've raced in about thirty of these. What a wonderful tradition...
And I have to say in closing, Happy Birthday Uncle Sam and thanks to all the men and women in our military (especially my daughter Nicole who is in the Navy, stationed in Sicily); if it wasn't for you all we'd have much bigger problems than sailing under low bridges :)