Annie Gardner: My Ultimate Sailing moment

Published on October 12th, 2014

Photographer Sharon Green, in her newly released coffee table book 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing, sought out the leaders in the sport to share their Ultimate Sailing moments. Here Annie Gardner provides hers…

There have been so many ultimate sailing experiences in my life, it’s hard to say which one stands out the most. Perhaps that is what keeps drawing me back to sailing: the thrills are so diverse, and the big ones that make my heart skip a beat are the ones that help define me as a person in my soul.

Some of the more memorable moments? Driving and surfing down waves in 20-foot seas in the Gulf Stream; 40 knot winds; the 1981 SORC with all my girlfriends; winning the slalom event in Santa Barbara at the Olympic Boardsailing Exhibition while my parents watched; flying over huge waves and winds in Dubai on a Hobie 16 with my friend Heidi, praying we wouldn’t crash (we did); driving America3 under spinnaker, feeling the power of a great team on a great yacht; dragging my kids while they hung on to the cross bar of a Hobie, as we weaved in and out of the moored boats; sailing next to a bluff and hearing the Mayan men giggle as they watched us windsurf on Lake Titicaca; boardsailing at full speed in a Palm Springs reservoir at midnight under full moon; flying a hull with Sue in Austria, trapped out, spinnaker up, knowing it would take just one small mistake for disaster to strike; watching someone drive a boat for the first time with a huge grin on their face; and the list goes on.

I live for the thrills in sailing, and the promise of more to come. But as much as I live for the moments of adrenaline, I also crave being on deck with friends, food and drinks as the sun sets, no matter what port I’m in. There is a balance in this lifestyle, and the tranquility of just being around the waterfront.

Click here for information about Sharon Green’s 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing.

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