Stories of Sportsmanship

Published on November 9th, 2022

Competition allows us to test our sailing skills, but can also challenge our human skills. Michael Titgemeyer shares this story of when both were managed:


In the early 1980s my family had a C&C 33 and we raced against a group of similar design/era boats on Lake Erie. These four boats – Ranger 32 (Tinkertoy), Ranger 33 (Checkmate), Kirby30 (Jack of Hearts), and our Night Train – were similar in speed and all great friends.

We all knew one of the four would win each regatta, and it was during this time when I learned camaraderie and to celebrate each other’s successes, instead of the opposite. We had tons of fun competing on the race course and a respect that would be hard to match today.

At one event, a Lakeside regatta around 1982, our friends on Checkmate blew out their only spinnaker at the last weather mark. They were leading, and while trying to re-set their genoa on the pole, we caught up when my dad called for us to toss them our “STARCUT” Spinnaker (not great on a run, but it was a spare we wouldn’t need).

Checkmate set our chute and started hunting down the fleet that had passed them. While coming into the finish, they crept right up to us, but out of respect, never challenged us for the win.

Great memories and very competitive sailing, even though we slept on board and ate sandwiches downwind. Different times, better times!


Do you have a story of sportsmanship to share? Send to editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com.

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