A No-Lay-Low Lay Day
By Erik Stork
Remember the Block Island Race Weeks when everyone slept aboard their boats? When there were feeder races? How about the “band boat” that drove around the harbor to rouse everyone for another day’s racing? Or the famous tug of wars and mini 12-Meter races? While I think we can all agree we’d rather a dry bed and a real shower after -racing, I’ve always enjoyed hearing stories from the good ol’ days.
Sure, it’s fun to race every day of a regatta, but some of my best sailing memories have been from planned or unplanned off days. In 2015, at the RORC Bicentenary Regatta in Cowes, racing was canceled because there was too much wind, so we took a boat trip up the River Medina in search of a proper English Pub lunch with a good number of our competitors. In Perth, Australia, for the 2009 Team Race Worlds, we went to an animal sanctuary—koalas! kangaroos! emu!—and hosted a regatta party at our rental house; by luck alone there were no impacts to our damage deposit. Finally, I’m confident my 49er crew, Trevor Moore, holds the lap record at the local go-kart track in Hyeres, France, where 30 sailors or so from a dozen nations would take the competition shoreside. I’m lucky to have made friends from around the world through sailing, and that wouldn’t have happened without plenty of downtime over a café au lait or some friendly onshore competition.
Photo: Stephen R Cloutier