Monday, January 19, 2009

A Boat Racing



A Boat Racing

I was first exposed to boat racing as a kid. My dad was a big America's Cup fan, and we would often watch sailboat racing on TV. I say often, but it was every four years in fact. Nevertheless, it was such a great event that I would remember every race in perfect detail until the next event. Each race would take hours, and there were dozens of race. It gave us plenty of time to bond, and he explained all the strategy to me.

We actually got involved in sail boat racing ourselves a few times. My dad had a boat on a nearby lake, and we would go out there on most Sundays. We would crank down the rusty old boat lift, walk it out to a nearby buoy, raise the sails, and be off.  For a long time, my dad didn't have anything to do with boat racing. He was not very competitive by nature, and the people involved in the boating club out there raced every weekend.

Finally, however, I convinced him to try boat racing with me one time. Although he wouldn't admit it at the time, he definitely seemed to love it. We didn't win, but we did finish respectably in the middle of the pack. For our first boat race, it was actually a pretty good showing.

I didn't get into motor boat racing until I was in college. You see, my dad was a sail boating fan. As such, motor boats were anathema. They made a lot of noise, polluted the water, and most importantly churned up the lake. That would create a lot of wake which would spill the wind out of the sail boats sails. They would also zoom around too close to us, sometimes threatening to hit us.

Needless to say, I didn't tell him when I bought some boat plans, made a motorboat of my own, and set out to race. I wasn't in a serious racing league or anything – it was strictly an informal thing between me and a few friends. Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun racing boats up and down the lake until we were caught by the sheriff one time. That put an end to that fun! Still, it didn't put an end to racing for me. I decided to race sailboats again, and dived into the sport with enthusiasm. I have been doing it ever since.

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