Friday, July 14, 2006

An expandable sort of sport

The final paperwork is criss-crossing the country, courtesy of overnight delivery services, and it looks like High Cotton will be coming down off the cradle and headed back to the water in a week or two.
Dave and Co. at American Marine are going to repaint the bottom and install some instruments that were still in the boxes. (Hint: the insurance company will knock off some premium for a depth finder. Wonder why ...)
Then it's time to brighten the teak, shake the mud-daubers out of the sail covers, swab the decks, put the solar panel in line with the sun and try to figure out exactly how a GPS system works.
Sailing is an infinitely expandable sport, it seems. I was watching a news segment this evening on Optimist sailing at Salem Lake. The kids and their mentors build the snub-nosed boats themselves out of plywood, and learn to sail them. There are Opti regattas, such as the one held in conjunction with the recent Governor's Cup. And from there - Sunfish and Picos, Tanzers and Flying Scots, Lasers, Isotopes, pocket cruisers that can race in the PHRF division, and the royalty of the Americas Cup and the Rolex ocean races.
Room at this table for people of all abilities - and despite the upper-crust sound of "yachting," it's really open to all ages and income levels. Yacht is just a Dutch word for boat, as I was once told. It comes from the same root as "jaeger" - hunter.
Seems fitting that High Cotton is a Hunter.

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