Incredibly we are sailing again already. Oakcliff had its first regatta of the season Saturday April 2nd We were surprised and very happy to have 8 teams sign up for the first regatta of the season with the snow barely melted. Not only that we had a full contingent of race committee, umpires and volunteers. The only bad thing is that I wasn’t there to participate but I have a good reason and that is that I was at the US Sailing Yacht Club Summit. It is an amazing event that Gary Jobson dreamed up. Board member Susan Epstein and Katie Ouellette at US Sailing took the ball and ran with it and now we are sitting in Chicago in a ballroom that literally has standing room only with nearly 400 people representing 198 yacht clubs from across the country.
Ted Turner was in town and mingled during the cocktail party and spoke after dinner. As is to be expected in person he is charming enough to be able to say just about anything. I congratulated him on the Gorbachev Peace Award he received in London the night before. His response, well he is a good friend of mine. Well OK – then J.
After dinner, Gary and Ted pulled up easy chairs, sat on the stage and had a conversation. They talked about the Fastnet and some good old days stuff but by far the most fascinating portion was the discussions on the state of the world according to Ted: 24 hour news and his thinking on insurgents and war and international policy going all the way back to Vietnam. He was often irreverent but elegant at the same time. I don’t know how he does it but he gets his point across when anyone else would have to add ‘dumb ass’ behind a statement for the same effect. When Ted was in full international political discussion, Gary asked him where he gets his information he said: CNN! (dumb ass implied).
I knew Ted was generous but I was once again struck by his sense of fairness and equality. He spoke on women’s rights and charity. He of course has led the charge in mega philanthropy giving away “One Billion Dollars”. He commented, you can’t do that too many times J.
It was amazing to see Gary who’s been working his butt off representing US Sailing and leading the charge to conceive, organize and promote this event and Ted who came in from London and headed out to go fly fishing in Argentina in the morning taking the time to sit and chat for almost an hour while we all listened in.