Commodore's Corner - May 2010
The re-tying of the cosmic threads at the Wind Ceremony
in March did the trick for the 37th Annual Steven C. Smith
Regatta. The weather was awesome, beer flowed continuously,
food was plenty and the sailing was spectacular!!!
The course was set for racing Saturday with winds from 10 - 13
knots which did nothing but build all day long. I didn't make
it to the course for racing but observed from the shore (or was
that the beer truck) as the racers made their way around the course
rather quickly. Windy days make for great course racing but it
also makes sails take flight when you least expect it! Equipment
destruction from the ever unpredictable Mother Nature this year
was tragic! Thanks to Race Captain Mark Voigt, you did an awesome
job. Thanks also to Perry Morris and John Gilbert for setting
Sunday dawned with the wind still "howling"! The weather
had taken a turn for the worse so our Race Captain called it and
decided on a, dare I say it, "Bitchin'" slalom course!
I don't remember seeing a slalom course set for quite a few years
now but the course was perfect for those who sailed and the spectators
alike. I was on the top step of the training trailer (the "Commodore's
Stoop"), and listened to constant ooo's and ahhh's gushing
from Past Commodores, guests of the "Porch" and spectators
on the beach each and every time the racers would jibe around
a mark. Observing a slalom course race resembles a flutter of
butterflies changing course and then falling in line again to
continue their graceful flight over and over until the race is
finished. I heard the comment more than once . . ."are they
gonna do that every year? That is so cool!"
Thanks to all who participated in the 37th Annual Steven C. Smith
Memorial Regatta!!! It was a huge success again this year. Thanks
to our 2010 Smith Regatta Board Members: Chair
Linda Downey; Wendy Bevan-Baker, Lee Chapin, Stan Derzypolski,
Ann Getman, John Goodson, Wright Finney, David Piazza, Moses Turner,
Joeann Vesecky, Mae Waters, and Jackie Werndli.
The SPSC teaching trailer is onsite and ready to host the 2010
lessons which begin on May 22 and run through September 11. Thanks
to everyone who helped make this possible. There is a list of
folks who gave up their time on the weekend(s) to pick up a hammer,
paint brush, and caulk gun or whatever it took to make this a
reality. Thanks to Wright for continuing to head up the work weekends.
We may need one or two more to get the trainer "pristine"
for our lessons.
Bob Andrews has graciously agreed to head up coordination for
us again this year. Actually, I think he was just kind of nominated
to do it - he was gracious in accepting and not telling us where
to go! Thanks Bob!
If you can lend a hand on Saturdays May 22 through September
11, please let Bob know. His email address is email@example.com
or give him a jingle at (850) 556-5014. I'm sure that once we
begin having folks sign up Bob will be soliciting instructions.
Trust me, things will be easier this year with the training trailer
in place. It is stocked with teaching equipment - boards, sails
and trainer - heck, it even has a beach front view!!!!
Why I Do What I Do
As I was leaving the Smith this evening, one of our long-standing
members stopped me and introduced me to a lady who had come down
for the weekend with no apparent club affiliation. Apparently, I
had messed up and had been noticed doing whatever I could to help
out. She asked me why? I was exhausted, sunburned, beat up, happy,
and still running my ass off up and down the beach.
Actually, I had reflected on this very question while standing
on the beach this morning in a pretty intense thunder storm. Here's
what I told her (more or less). The first two items apply to the
Smith; the last part is just about the club.
I lost my father to incurable, inoperable pancreatic cancer.
Today, there is the ability to do a pancreas transplant. We helped
that happen!! Second, my best friend (some of you will recognize
him, and understand why I take the liberty of calling him that
when you read the last part of this missive) is a thriving survivor
of prostate cancer. If it wasn't for this event, I have no doubt
that he would not have had the knowledge and foresight to fight
it as well as he did. These are the two main reasons I do everything
I can at this regatta (except for the fact that it’s a hell
of a lot of fun).
Okay, so those are my reasons for supporting the Smith. But,
a lot of people do that by just signing up and getting some good
deals at the auction. We need all of those people we can get,
and God bless them. However, (here comes the personal part) there
is a group of people who spend a lot of time all year long planning
and making this happen. There are three or four different groups; all sort of interconnected,
but the one I’m talking about is the Shell Point Sailboard
Fifteen years ago, at the lowest point of my life, a member of
the club literally picked me up off the beach and asked me to
help with some small task at an Endless Summer event. Guess what
happened? By helping move something or another, I met a few more
people. No big deal, Right? WRONG!!! Those few people, who didn't
know me and had no reason to care, made me a part of their family.
Slowly, and with patience, they gave me stuff to do and kept me
busy. I didn't realize it at the time, but there was about a year
of hard core monitoring of me going on. Once they knew I would
survive, they started putting me to work. And here I am; trying
to repay the kindness and understanding that the most exceptional
group of people I have ever seen or even heard about . . . AND
LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT!!