The Goal is Not Suicide, The Goal is Fun
Published on November 18th, 2013
The literal translation of Kamikaze, “God wind,” is an apt name for an annual distance race held on an Army Corps of Engineers lake outside Nashville, Tenn., to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day. The 200-member Percy Priest YC hosts the regatta, and the 10-mile course winds around the islands of J. Percy Priest Lake, a 42-mile reservoir.
A staggered, pursuit start makes for an exciting and often nail-biting finish – last year three different types of vessels completed the course bow-to-bow: an S2 7.9, a Northstar 500, and a 28-foot Corsair trimaran.
The Kamikaze is the club’s last race of the calendar year – it will be held on December 8 this year – and unlike its name might suggest, the goal is not suicide. “Competition is not at the fore,” says PPYC member Charlie Brown. “It’s camaraderie, fun, and getting out in the inclement weather that’s the challenge.”
The event was born in the late 1970s during a club holiday party, member Jim Doran Jr. recalls. “Several of us were over-served,” Doran claims, namely fellow member Joe Holloway. “His idea was to have another regatta since there was still sailing weather left in the year.”
In keeping with this festive spirit, trophies are bottles of booze – first place is, naturally, sake, second plum wine, third a six-pack of Japanese beer, and last gets a bottle of native Jack Daniels #7 Tennessee whiskey.
“It’s a race for bragging rights,” Brown says, “where different crew can say, ‘We made it! Where were you?'” – Sailing World, read on