Thankful for the almighty alibi

Published on November 25th, 2019

As the sailing season pauses this time of year in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere, Lawrie Yearsley shares this invocation once given at a yachting banquet by an Episcopal minister who was also a sailor.

Almighty God, Lord of wind and wave; we are gathered here to take credit for our races won, and to blame You and our crews for the races we lost. We dare to do this because we trust in Your understanding love.

We trust that You smile as one of us explains the brilliance of his racing tactics, when it was actually the shift of wind that You sent during the last leg of the course that gave us victory. As an indulgent parent You take pleasure in our proceedings.

Not that we give You all the credit for our victories and blame for our losses. You must admit that some skill was involved as well as stupidity. But we shall agree that sailboat racing is one sport in which, more than any other, You provide an alibi for losers.

We thank You for thus soothing bruised egos, and we ask your blessing upon our comradeship in competition, on the pleasures of being shipmates, and on the food that we are about to receive. Amen.

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