10 - Riding in the most beautiful 28' Whaler as one of our signal boats. Thanks to the Graham family for the loan of a spectacularly comfortable and functional boat. Dale Roble (and many other Whaler lovers) were in HOG Heaven (get the Iowa reference? - lots of Avery hogs around) when it arrived at the pier. This reminds us of the number of volunteers and equipment required to run an event like the X and Opti Inland. Speaking of volunteers, thanks to Charlie Helmes and Meg from Clear, Brad Osmundson and Steve Swift and AJ and Ken Hanus who made the Green Fleet run so smoothly.
9 - The families - there is excitement in the air as families of FRIENDS meet again and have the luxury of 3-4 days together. This is not about only the youth sailing. We are so close after so many years of sailing together or watching our children together or volunteering for events that we seem like one big family.
8 - Our instructors - In case you haven't looked, there is not one finer group of individuals. They have to be exhausted! They are "on" from 8AM until late after the last race ends. They are responsible for encouraging our sailors when things don't go as expected, giving that one bit of advice to improve performance, calming nerves, keeping the troups focused! Then on the Green Fleet Opti days, they coach continuously for approximately six hours nonstop. We entrust our children to the finest young people. Remember to thank them as we end the season this year. They really have served to shape your young sailor.
7 - Learning a new language:
Piers are docks
Lifts are hoists - this one got me since I was looking for a crane
Corn Roasts are Corn Feeds
6 - Listening to the formal presentations - first the Okoboji Commodore Jim Coddington struggling with our funny names during the parade of lakes - you try "Okauchee" when you don't know it! He came out with several iterations to giggles from the crowd. Immediately following his presentation of the lakes, ILYA Vice Commodore David Porter welcomed us all to Okauchee rather than Okoboji. Guess he had Okauchee on his mind - and who wouldn't? A fine lake with fine friends. Then Margaret Osmundson introduced us to Bob Berg, the new Executive Director of the ILYA who is really Dave Berg. He was staying with Margaret so she definitely knew his name. Even the best make mistakes to a most forgiving audience.
5 - The new ILYA Executive Director Dave Berg looking a lot like Jim Smith, minus the hair. First off, he SURVIVED!!! It's tough in case you don't know. But more than that - he flourished! He owns the job now. Videos everywhere, meeting all of you. Nice to have you, Dave. You are perfect for the job!
4 - The hospitality of Clear Lake and Okoboji as they welcomed and fed 300-400+ of us each day. The volunteerism at both events will be!t Osmundson at the Geneva Championships Friday Night Sail it Forward event.
3 - The consistency of the Chapman Petersen win both the X Junior and Opti RWB fleets in a year and on a lake where his grandfather was commodore some twenty years before. Loads of tradition this week as we recognize the family history on all our lakes.
2 - Watching the Opti Green fleet improve day one to day two. They were sailing as a fleet on day two, sailing upwind beautifully, sitting with excellent posture in the boat, individually working on goals, sailing so honestly and fairly - taking penalties with self- initiation, talking to their competitors to avoid mishaps. Just the start of something so special for our future. ---- Congrats, again, to and appreciation for the honest effort of Michael Sweeney who gave up a race win lead at the finish to perform two circles when he lost attention and turned down rather inadvertantly on his competitor. My best sailing memory of the week.
1- The reaction to a serious accident on the water. Our sailors, spectators and friends really have the best perspective on life. Thanks to all and, in particular, Dr. David Strothman and Dr. Dave Cullinane. It was a lesson to us all but, most importantly, the best outcome imaginable. We are truly blessed with so many advantages in life. This was truly what we are all about.