Bananas good, COVID-19 bad

Published on June 23rd, 2020

When a society is a large group of interacting people in a defined territory, sharing a common culture, but unable to interact due to the COVID-19 disease, retaining the communal features requires a re-think.

Enter eSailing.

What gained notoriety as a means to engage fans during distance races has now attracted a massively committed audience, with eSailing TV reporting on activity which included the inaugural eSailing World Championship in 2020.

And eSailing is proving to be the conduit during this period of limited racing and social distancing, with St Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA) now hosting a virtual racing group to remain connected. Here’s a report from a recent event:


Did you know that bananas float? In the flotsam of some shipwrecks were found floating stalks of bananas.

Did you know that bananas emit ethylene gas, causing other fruit to ripen quickly?

Did you know that bananas are favored hideouts for tarantulas and other spiders, which then travel around the ship infesting other food stores (and bedding)?

Is it any wonder that sailors are so wary of the yellow fruit coming aboard their vessels, for fear of bad luck? Legend has it that this superstition was even recorded long, long ago in an ancient Sanskrit text.

Nicole Breault brazenly puts that superstition to the test every time she races in the Virtual Regatta Inshore game by brandishing a giant banana on the mainsail of her yellow boat (nbsailor).

Last Wednesday evening, going into the final session of the StFYC Spring Invitational Series Round 2, Breault sat two points behind VR master Philipp Berner (philippdk), the champion of Round 1. Nerves were on edge as the competitive cauldron of our Club racers cranked up the heat on the series leaders.

Race 1 of the night was won by David James (LedaSailor), and Berner added another point to his lead over Breault by finishing 3rd to her 4th place. Race 2 saw both Berner and Breault completely falter off the starting line, and thus became a contest of who might better fight their way back through the fleet.

Breault bailed right and found a clear lane, pressure and a favorable shift, and by Mark 1 was at the front of the pack! Much to his dismay, Berner couldn’t shake the tenacious fleet around him. Breault nabbed the bullet in the end, while Berner finished 10th.

Race 3 brought sporty play at the front of the fleet for both racers, and Berner rallied to win. It was not enough to retake the overall series lead, however, as Breault crossed the line in 4th and secured the Round 2 title.

So back to the humble banana lore… more recent research has shown that authors of ancient Sanskrit texts sometimes use double negatives, as in the case of the banana citation: “Do not fail to bring bananas as they are healthy for your crew!”

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