August 16, 2009

A Peachy Dandy sailboat race ends with a towboat

HAZLITT BEACH, Hector, New York, USA - The 2009 Peachy Dandy Sailboat Race started with the sharp report of a starting gun and the Red Rocket sailboat second over the line, only to find (about an hour and a half later) that the wind had dropped to zero and the race, alas, was over.

But it was a grand race for the first hour or so, with the usual tacking duels. As crew, my sister-in-law Beth Crosby handled the jib and kept us on course, spotting the marker buoys. At the first mark we rounded the buoy soooooo close we nearly snagged its anchor with our centerboard, but in doing so pushed ahead of our main competitor and felt pretty smug, for a few minutes anyway.

It was my first race in the Red Rocket and the conditions (light wind) were good for the vessel, not so good for the heavier displacement boats in the race. Still, when the race committee (like retired prizefighter Roberto Duran) cried out, No Mas, No Mas, Beth and I were happy to head back to shore (under tow) where pitchers of blended Peachy Dandy cocktails waited.

jockeying at the start
Jockeying at the start

Red Rocket gets towed in
Red Rocket being towed in

Red Rocket crew shows off champagne
Red Rocket crew with champagne prize

The 2009 Peachy Dandy Race won't go down as a memorable one for sailing, but as a social event, it was over the top with great food, great drinks (what I remember anyway) music and fun meeting with Hector neighbors, some of whom we only see at the annual party, thrown by the Hazlitt family. And as an added nice touch, my cousin Kathleen McAvoy from Virginia - the first person I ever sailed with - was on hand on our pontoon boat with Adm. Fox, helping with emergencies - and towing during the race.

Our Canadian amiga Laura (who left earlier this week) has already put in her request to stay with us during Peachy Dandy time next year, both to crew and party, I suppose.

A tablefull of Schamels
A table of Schamels with friends

Peachy Dandy party on beach
Party in full swing on the beach

Today, dealing with the after effects of Peachy Dandiness, the lake was flat again, temperatures were up near 90 degrees and we declared another SLAD (Seneca Lake Appreciation Day).

So instead of staying home and rereading the back of the Bayer aspirin bottle, we headed out again for another day of boating adventure, meeting up with amigos all over the lake, including Barney and Marsha on their pontoon boat and Eric and Tina Hazlitt who were cleaning up the beach area from the party. And, of course, we took Arnold the Wonder Dog, who declined an invite to swim, but did allow people to pour cups of lake water on him.

We went to the middle of the lake, turned off the engine and swam in the lake water that is getting close to 80 degrees. Ok, maybe 75-80, but is was very refreshing and relatively warm - the warmest of the summer.

Sylvia talks to Arnold
Admiral Fox tries to convince Arnold to jump in

The good news is that the forecast for tomorrow is for another scorcher - probably in the mid 90s - and that we are planning another SLAD. The bad news is we went through the entire beer and ice supply today and need to go to the store in the morning.

We'll cope.

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