seattleite of love

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seattleite of love

When Seattle does it right, it really does it right. While those of us who call the Northwest home have always known it, its days like this past weekend that fuel our fires and make all those other “Seattle” days worth it. It takes a certain type of person to be a Seattleite; it takes an even crazier type of person to be a NW sailor. Thank god for that!

This past Saturday a more picture perfect scene couldn’t have been staged. The storm front had finally gone on its way, leaving dramatic skies and gracing us with enough sun to earn rosy cheeks. Lake Union was oddly quite as the festivities of Opening Day and the 26th Annual Windermere Cup (silly people in long boats push these awkwardly long sticks to move) took over the Montlake Cut and Lake Washington. The Space Needle, painted “Galaxy Gold” (really, it’s orange) for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair, dominated the background, lest you forget what city you were in. On the water, dictated by persnickety winds, were 14 Flying Juniors and 14 Vanguard 15s manned by NW high school sailors. This weekend’s regatta set the sailors racing for their chance to compete at the ISSA High School Championship, the Mallory Trophy, to be held at the same venue on Lake Union next weekend, May 12-13th.

In the middle of it all on the bow of the RC’s whaler was PRO Brendan Fahey thoughtfully speaking into a VHF. Fahey is a prime example of a NW sailing veteran. He competed for North Kitsap High School, the University of Washington, and has logged many hours in the NW’s various sailing venues from the Sound to the lakes to the Gorge.

The conditions couldn’t have made Fahey work harder for that accomplishment. With a great team of on-the-water volunteers, all of which competed either at the high school or collegiate level in the NW, the RC managed a fair course with breeze that oscillated from Southwest to west and back again. The greatly anticipated Northerly, a favorite on the lake, didn’t show itself until Sunday and even then it flirted with the westerly. In addition to the shifts, the breeze on Saturday came and went, sometimes only managing to be an elongated puff. The crew on shore was equally critical, including parents and coaches who solidly came together as a community to support the high school sailors.

Not to be forgotten, the competitors were indeed the key ingredient. Racing ran from approximately 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday and again on Sunday until just before 3:00 PM. With A division sailing V-15s and B division sailing FJs and both fleets on the water, it was a long weekend for the sailors but their focus and enthusiasm never waivered. Congratulations to North Kitsap High School for qualifying for the Mallory Trophy! Racing was exceptionally close and Saturday’s results can be found here.

It is always encouraging to see positive attitudes both on and off the water. This weekend, it was inspiring to watch the NWISA teams sail with integrity, passion, and skill. As much as the sailors buoyed hopes for the future of NW sailing, the presence of many notable figures in the NW sailing community set a high standard for the commitment and investment alumni and supporters should continue to give youth sailing.

Role models include: Scott Boye, Alex Jones, Burke Thomas, Michelle Stitzer, Sugar Flanagan, Kyle Eaton, Scott and Mallory Wilson, and Steve Trunkey to name but a few. A huge thanks to the Center for Wooden Boats, Sail Sand Point, Sail Orcas, Bellingham Bay Yacht Club, and Seattle Yacht Club for their support as well.

Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, the super moon, Opening Day, and NWISA Doublehanded District Championships: a damn good weekend! – Anarchist Karen.

Title inspiration from cranky Lou Reed.