Friday, February 26, 2010

Key West 1981

In January 1981 I was keeping a big yawl on the Miami River. My college sailing buddy Leo called me and said he had a berth for me on a brand-new J/30, for the Ft. Lauderdale - Key West race. I joined him and we rigged the boat and raced hard, and we kicked ass. All that frozen night we hung so close to the reef - avoiding the Gulf Stream's 4 knots - we saw breakers to starboard. We were in Class D, and we beat all of our class, all of Class C, and most of B.

Arriving in Key West's Truman Annex, we were given pride of place in the old submarine berths. The Annex gates were open to downtown, the rum tents were free and a huge crowd, thousands, soon formed. (Note the guy in the spreaders.)

The scene was ripe for a wet T shirt contest and we dispatched the crew to roam the crowd for contestants. They brought back a dozen perfectly suitable and perfectly willing young women. The contest occured on the deck of our boat and the locker room was below. It was a time.

In due course a winner was crowned, and she chose to show the crowd her unadorned glory. You should have been there.

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