Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Floridian Freethinker

In November 2000 the eyes of the world were on Florida.

Who would win the nail-biting challenge?

Would it be the guy who had been on the scene for the last eight years? Or the relatively untested new upstart?

Every day it seemed like there was another new twist in the story. Would the winner really be decided by a bunch of judges? Surely not?

And I was there. Right in the thick of the battle. Fighting to make history.

Yup. That's me, sailing on the US team in the 2000 Sunfish Worlds in Sarasota, Florida. What did you think I was talking about?

It was my third (and last) Sunfish Worlds. I had also competed in the 1996 Worlds in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic and the 1997 Worlds in Cartagena, Colombia. It was the latter two events that introduced me to the fun of travelling overseas to international regattas. Hey, I don't think I would ever have thought to visit Colombia if it hadn't been for the invitation to compete in the Worlds. But I'm glad I did. Cartagena is a fascinating city. Well worth a visit.

Earlier in that same year, 2000, I had sailed in my first Laser Masters Worlds in Cancun, Mexico. Subsequently I got my international regatta fixes by doing Laser Masters Worlds (instead of Sunfish Worlds) with memorable trips to Australia and twice to Spain. And Cape Cod, but that's not very foreign. And England, which is foreign I suppose, but not to me.

I don't remember much about the sailing in Sarasota. I remember I didn't win. I also remember that the host club seemed very friendly, and informal, and welcoming. We have debated here before the difference between sailing clubs and yacht clubs. This place is neither. It is a "squadron". Sarasota Sailing Squadron. What a splendid name! Apparently it grew out of the youth sailing program of the Sarasota Yacht Club in the late 1930s, and was established by young adults who could not afford the higher dues of the yacht club. Hmmm. Sounds like a familiar story.


I am wearing a flowery hat in that photo.

Is that the same flowery hat I was still wearing five years later in the photo in yesterday's post?

Knowing my habit of wearing the same sailing hat every time I go sailing until it is too old or too worn or too dirty or too smelly to use any more, that means I wore the same hat every time I sailed for at least five years, and probably more.

Eeeew. That's disgusting. Especially as I never wash my hat except to rinse it occasionally in the sea when it gets too sweaty.

I wonder if that is the reason that most of my hair dropped out in those five years?

Tomorrow I will delve even further into the past and post another picture of a younger me for you to laugh at.


PeconicPuffin said...

I'm a fan of wearing one's sailing hat until it is lost. Let the threads unravel, the color change, the smell evolve.

Baydog said...

I feel that way about my T-shirt collection.

Antolin said...

the sarasota sailing squadron is a fantastic bunch!!

Tillerman said...

They sure are. Especially the Luffing Lassies!

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