August 20, 2008

A Peachy Dandy sailboat race, and summer is almost over

HAZLITT'S BEACH, Hector, New York, USA - The weeks have flown by since I went fishing with John Bills.

But a summer highlight was racing in the Peachy Dandy sailboat race last Saturday, skippering Cousin Roger's sailboat, the Andalé. Last summer I missed the race and party completely. I was recovering from a nasty flu I picked up in New York.

This summer - thanks to Airborne and lots of vitamin B complex - I seem to have escaped most illnesses, except those self-inflicted by having too much fun.

I don't have any great race photos of the boat or crew for two reasons: First, I steered the entire race, except for a couple of relief moments to, well, get relief. Second, the only great racing shot I think I could have gotten was being second over the starting line, in a field of maybe 20 boats.

It was all downhill (Or would it be down-lake?) after that.

Hula girl pours a Peachy
Hula girl pours a Peachy Dandy

The wind was blowing pretty hard as we prepped the boat for the race and I advised Cousin Roger that we should not put on a much larger jib. I was worried about being overpowered.

That proved to be a gross blunder as we came in a solid last, even though the wind stayed steady. Sometimes bigger clearly is better.

But the pre-race party, followed by the post-race party were both great fun, sipping a frozen concoction of peaches, limeade, ice and rum. Lots of rum. And following a brief awards ceremony (to which the crew of the Andalé was a tad late), a great barbecue was served by a group of volunteers, who only asked that their Peachy Dandy glasses were kept full.

Cutting up the peaches
Cutting up peaches for the drinks

So who did win the race? Jim and Sue Hazlitt, who have put on the party for some years and who in last year's race, pitchpoled their Hobie Cat sending them into the water. This year the race went without mishap for them. Close to them in order of finishing was Jim's son Eric and his wife Tina who were co-hosts of the event and who sail a very fast Yankee Dolphin 24 that I have been considering purchasing. I know how fast it is because I beat them at the start line by a quarter mile, only to have them smoke by us before the first mark.

Roger at Peachy Dandy
Cousin Roger and amigos at the pre-race party

Post race party
Post-race festivities

With the Peachy Dandy party behind me, and the Admiral safely in Puerto Vallarta waiting for the birth of granddaughter Sasha Fox, life is mostly about cleaning up/closing up the house, cabin and beach, though with 85-degree days forecast for the rest of the week, it could be I should take out the Spirit of Louise pontoon boat for a few last runs up and down the lake to search for wildlife along the shore.

I do have two cases of beer left. Just might make be able to keep up my fluids until August 29.

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