Issue: September 2006
Off the Charts: Notes from the Racecourse

Memo to self:Next time you decide to race in a three-day regatta after two kids and a ten-yearhiatus, make sure to pack a personal masseuse along with the sunblock. He or she can peel you off the boat at the end of each day, help you into the pool and make sure you don't drown in the shallow end. And never mind those bruises. Think of them as beauty marks.

Memo to husband, who reactivated the dormant racing itch in aforementioned self:Next time a cute little rocket of a racing boat follows you home looking forlorn and homeless, take it gently but firmly by the bow and tell it "No." Then head straight for the nearest meeting of Boatowners Anonymous. State your name. Take ownership of your addiction. Everyone will understand; it happens to the best of us.

Memo to regatta organizers:Next time you have to put the tent party on a black asphalt parking lot, make sure you include a can of PAM cooking spray with the sailing instructions. That way we won't stick to the pavement after we've already spent six or seven hours on the racecourse broiling like the entree at a pig roast.

Memo to the Bush administration:Still not sure about that global warming thing? Have we got a regatta for you! And Dubya thought clearing brush in Texas was fun.

Memo to the Weather Channel and NOAA Weather Radio:Do you have to talk about that Code Red thing while we're trying to race? Must we be reminded that as a collective, we're essentially one unified whack job for racing sailboats in a deep fryer? It's damned inconsiderate, if you ask me. Who needs this kind of input? Give us wind speed and direction, okay? High tide and low. Keep the rest to yourself.

Memo to Zahniser's Yachting Center in Solomons:Thanks for the memories. Sorry you couldn't continue to be race headquarters. But we understand. We have met the enemy, after all, and they are us.

Memo to the J/105 Class racing on the north course:Whoa, dudes! Those starts were amazing. Great entertainment, especially with all that yelling and bumper boats. Keep up the good work!

Memo to whoever kept making that - um, how to put this delicately? - flatulent noise on channel 69 on day three while we all drifted around on the north course like sun-beaten shipwreck survivors:Brilliant. Couldn't have said it better. Although several of the "gentlemen" among our crew gave it their best shot.

Memo to all you youngsters who still had enough energy (or more likely enough alcohol remaining in your systems from the previous night's festivities) on that same blistering day to chase each other around in your boats throwing water balloons and generally causing mischief:Good on ya. Nice to see sailors keeping the sport in the proper perspective.

Memo to John White and his crew, who nailed our class with six bullets on a boat the color of Prince's eyeliner during his Purple Reign:Thanks for the sailing lessons, guys and gals, really. It was fun to watch. Sort of.

One more memo to self:Next time, don't wait ten years. The more things change, the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to sailboat racing. And that goes for the pure fun of it, too.