Once upon a time long, long ago (1978), there was a dude
who lived in Tallahassee (but who now lives at Shell Point). His name
was Jim and one day he decided to take a vacation to a little island called
Ibeza. They had windsurfers there and Jim caught on fast. He liked this
new sport called windsurfing and he came back, bought one and brought
it to Shell Point. Jim was good; he could free style and go fast and he
sailed his windsurfer for years at Shell Point. He even taught many others
how to windsurf, including myself.
One afternoon Jim got up and said, "Fishing is what
I really like to do" and the very first windsurfing board at Shell
Point lay against his house, and the years went by, but the seeds of windsurfing
had been sewn at Shell Point. Of course, there were others in their own
time who made large contributions to the development of windsurfing at
Shell Point. Bud Swindell and his friends in the early eighties and later
the officers and members of SPSC have all done their part, but that's
still did a little windsurfing so he joined the SPSC when it first formed
and awhile after that he gave his old board, the first board at Shell
Point, to the SPSC. Unfortunately, before the true spiritual and historical
significance of this act could be understood the officers of the SPSC
found themselves in the middle of a regatta with no wind. We thought back
to the last time this had happened and to a new game called the Board
Toss that had been a lot of fun. But we needed a board to toss!
To make a long story shorter, Jim's board, the first windsurfer
at Shell Point, was broken during that Board Toss and the wind did not
blow again. As the days, weeks, and months passed by with no wind and
depression over came us, many of us began to believe that more than an
old board was broken that day. Indeed as we sat on the beach swatting
flies it became increasingly clear that Jim's old board represented a
cosmic thread that linked all of us who ride the wind to the source, the
power, the cycle that drives the wind and thusly us, and that thread had
been carelessly and foolishly broken. Something had to be done to reconnect
us to the source and right then and there T.P. (Perry Williams) spoke
up in his modest monotone way and first suggested it, and Swami and I
immediately saw the truth in his words. A Ceremony must be held, a Wind
Ceremony to re-tie the cosmic thread, to bring us back into the cycle,
yes, to reconnect us to the source.
The rest, most of us know. During the first Wind Ceremony
we buried Jim's board (now a short board) forever pointing to the Southwest...
We built a big fire and danced around it, we chanted "North, South,
East, West, Festoons" and we all felt better and the wind came back.
The Swami had helped us re-tie the cosmic thread and the wind was with
us once again. It was such a great feeling that the next year we decided
to do it again. This time we buried a complete rig next to the board and
Swami led us in chants and we danced around the fire. It was great, the
wind blew so hard that night it almost blew us away.
For the next year, and each year since then, the great and
powerful Swami (don't look underneath the turban), in his infinite wisdom,
decided that the Wind Ceremony should not bury anything, but that all
who took part should write their own personal wind wish on a piece of
wood and put it in the great fire as they danced around it and let the
flames take it to the source of the Big WInd and thus re-tie the cosmic
thread. A final addition was a band to lead us in the Ceremony.
So you see people, it's not just a party, but after
a long winter it's a re-tying of the cosmic thread that connects
us to the natural cycle of wind, water, and sun and of course to
each other. Visit this year's event page.
It has always been thus.
Rama Don, Follower of the Great Swami, etc, etc.
The Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta, held every spring for the past
500 years, is a benefit event for the American Cancer Society, in memory
of Stephen Smith, a local sailor who died from leukemia at the age of
29. The event organizers include the Shell Point Sailboard Club, the Apalachee
Bay Yacht Club, Hobie Fleet 43, the American Cancer Society (New Directions
chapter), Wakulla County Parks and Recreation Department, Shell Point
Resort, and numerous businesses and individuals.
Each year, the regatta draws as many as 200 participants
from all over the southeast. Sailing categories include: sailboards, hobies,
and larger multi- and monohull boats. Races are held on Saturday and Sunday,
and trophies often are given eight places deep, so that everyone leaves
a winner. Sunday afternoon, a public auction is held, and thousands of
dollars of donated items are sold, with the proceeds going to benefit
the American Cancer Society.
For more information on the Smith Regatta, please go to
the SCSMR website.
The Rum and Rootbeer Regatta is a local SPSC event,
featuring the now infamous Rum and Rootbeer Relay (similar to American
Gladiators), plus other fun races, and beach activities. This is
not a serious racing event, so don't come here looking for points!
However, feel free to stop in and register for a great fun event.
Registration is around 10:30 am Saturday morning at Shell Point
Beach. Fees are usually less than $20.00, includes a killer SPSC
shirt or such (by Homestead Handcrafts), dinner of some sort, and
more fun than you can stand. Visit this year's
This Not-In-My-Back-Yard road-trip regatta offers competitive
racing and a chance for Shell Point sailors to get out of town for the
weekend. Each year the event is held in a different place. This is a low-cost
event which provides only a t-shirt and a challenging race. You're on
your own for dinner though we usually try to arrange for a lodging discount
at a local establishment. For more information go to the notice
of race page or call Wright Finney
The Endless Summer Sailboard Classic, held in the
fall, is a don't miss for the serious racer. The event generally
begins with a welcome party on the beach, with hot buffalo wings
served up in the evening, washed down with cold beverages. Camping
and motel rooms are available but reservations for both are recommended.
On-site registration is Saturday morning, which includes customized
t-shirts by Homestead Handcrafts, course and long distance racing,
trophies 5-deep, and dinner and entertainment Saturday night. The
SPSC sponsorship committee ensures that everyone goes home with
great door prizes, generously donated by windsurfing retailers and
manufacturers. Visit this year's event page.