The 12 Meter Worlds in Newport Rhode Island was a combination of sailing, history, reunion and festival. The docks at Bannister’s Warf looked pretty cool with 12 Meters from many decades pulled along side. The organizers did an amazing job of catering and supplying the regatta tent. I’m talking shrimp cocktail and filet mignon wrapped in bacon being passed while the tables were laden with so much food that the sailors didn’t feel the normal need to rush the table. The bars were stocked with a nice Harbor Town Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and plenty of Gosling’s Dark and Stormies!
Probably the most surprising part of the event was the success of the legend’s program. Gary Jobson led a discussion and the stories, especially from the guys who had been involved in the golden days of Newport. It is testament to these people that the drinks tent full of sailors was quiet for 30-45 minutes each night during the panel discussions.
I was honored to be asked to speak on one of the panels and coincidentally, I also was honored today in Milwaukee at the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, “Luncheon with the Legends’. They gave 5 of us their “Power of the Human Spirit Award”. Ria Cortesio, one of a few women who are professional baseball umpires and who is running her first marathon tomorrow, Elaine Goya, professional football player and mother of 7 month old twins, Julienne Simpson Basketball player and now coach and tennis legend and good friend Billie Jean King were the other honorees. But again what was really cool was to be able to talk to so many of the woman who were the real ‘league of their own’ players. These women were clearly athletes and they take spunky to a whole new level. One told me that you had to have a little bit of ‘edge’ before you started but then the experience of being a professional ball player took that edge to a whole new level.
I met 3 women who were scouted and began their careers early, as in age 13, 15 and 16. This is ironic because tomorrow morning at 9am EST, I’ll be on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” program discussing Abby Sutherland, Jessica Watson and Laura Dekker who are vying to be the youngest person to sail non stop around the world. Ages 13, 15 and 16.