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Capsizing is bad and Advil is good

Published on May 24th, 2022

Steve Brown is a lifelong friend, and I will never forget him passing a hundred dollar bill to me on the dance floor at my wedding. It was his gift, his style, and his love all in a crazy moment on a crazy day. Brownie now can be found racing his Star or Farr 40, but being a big boy, the Finn Class recruited him for their 2022 US Nationals… see his report below. – Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

My dear friends said, “You’re going to love it. Charter a boat. Dude, you have to.”

Not exactly knowing what to expect aside from capsizing is bad and Advil is good, I figured it to be a fun, worthwhile endeavor. So I bit to catch up with old friends and get a ringside seat for the show. Finn sailors are notorious caricatures, and they did not disappoint.

It also turned out to be a fabulously fun regatta.

I put on my sandals with socks, a goofy sun hat, overdid my sunblock, and hit the boatyard opinionated, grey, and 64 years of age. I fit right in.

The first day was a huge learning experience. Everyone was so helpful and positive, sympathetic to the boom hitting me, and pointing out that older sailors make a loop on the hiking strap to get back into the boat. Also, I should adjust my centerboard to extend down after capsizing.

“Don’t worry, they all turn turtle,” assured the crowd.

The successive days got better, with the downwind jitters slowly becoming manageable, and the view of the regatta getting better. While the final day saw the Long Beach breeze topping out at 25 knots, I proudly swam only once, and surfed sustained waves to finish a burly day.

I took a mental snapshot on the last run, grateful to witness the best North Americans compete at that level, and thankful for the race committee and on-the-water volunteers for shepherding us in to the stables.

Dude, I had a great time!

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