The Need to Win
I met a chap on my bicycle ride today who like myself used
to race sailboats. When we parted
company, I thought of a story that demonstrates that when it comes to any type
of competition, I want to win. I
used to live on Lake Dora, a rather large lake in Lake County, Florida. I was into boating and was fortunate
enough to have my own mini marina consisting of an enclosed boathouse, a large
boat shed, and lots of docking and beach space. I owned two sailboats, a party barge and a ski boat.
One of my sailboats was a Laser, probably the largest class
of single-person racers in the world.
I used to patrol the lake and take on any sailboat that looked to be a
challenge on MY lake. Although
many did not realize that they were in a race, I still reveled in beating them. I suspect that this need stemmed from
some glitch in my early development, but I digress.
One day, I was on a beam reach across my lake searching for
potential victims when I spied a clutch of single-sail, narrow hulled apparent
racing sailboats engaged in what appeared to be a casual regatta. I quickly headed for them in order to
demonstrate that they were trespassing on my territory, and their punishment
would be watching the stern of my trusty craft disappear as they fruitlessly
Things did not quite go as planned when I discovered that
these mystery boats were apparently much faster than my Laser, and I was left
watching the flotilla disappear across the lake. I stalked them until their event was completed and followed
them to a house about ¾ of mile down the shoreline from my house.
I introduced myself and received a tutorial on the US 1
sailboat, which unlike my Laser which at 13.9 feet long and sported 76 square
feet of mainsail, was 15.42 feet long and carried 90 square feet of sail. Fortunately, one of the chaps knew of a
US 1 that was for sale locally. It
might not surprise you to learn that on that very day, I became the proud owner
of a US 1, and was patrolling MY lake the very next day looking for
victims! Thankfully, no one showed
up with an America’s Cup type sailboat – that would have become rather