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forever a champion

A beautiful obituary for what sounds like a beautiful character in a sport that’s got quite a few of them.  With thanks to SA’er ‘dacapo’ for the notice and the photo.

post-11311-0-63725300-1476998590You may not have known know Sal, but I’m sure you knew someone like him.  Sal was a real competitor.  The twinkle in his eye as he herded you to the wrong side of the course to get stuck in a wind hole that only he knew was developing as he tacked back into pressure.  The loud crazy Italian whose arms flailed as he prodded his crew to work harder, faster as they win the start and never look back at the rest of the fleet.  The fountain of knowledge who would pull me aside and call me foolish for tacking too soon…as he sailed to the layline and made the perfect tack to the mark.

Sal won in whatever boat he owned at the time. In the 1960-70’s, he raced a lightning with his family.  Then, for a short time in the 70’s he regularly won in the  Ensign Fleet. As Sal got older, he bought a Catalina 25…and encouraged 6 other to do the same.  They raced in a O/D fleet until they all decided to go bigger…and they all traded up to Catalina 30’s.  Mother Goose has won more races on the Hudson than any other club-owned boat that I know…correcting over the big boys with race boats was his favorite challenge. His boat sailed above its handicap; he could nudge out that extra 1/10 of a knot , when everyone else couldn’t seem to find it.

Sal was the first person to call you a chooch if you fucked up, but he was also the first guy to lend you a hand if you needed anything.(except for extra crew 😉  Sal treated his crew like family. Making dinner for them every Wednesday evening before racing and bringing wine and cheese after every weekend race.

He knew the race results before the scorekeeper did.  He knew the standings and what it took to win a series or regatta.  his mind was always sharp.

Sal won his final race of the 2016 season 3 weeks ago, making him our 2016 overall club champion by percentage points and today he passed away from cancer.   I will miss Sal very much on and off the water.

8 Bells, my dear friend

 

October 21st, 2016

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