That summer, we joined Southold YC, where our children learned to sail and I helped co-found the “Annual World’s Longest Sunfish Race, Around Shelter Island, New York.” I joined the U.S. Sunfish Class Association, and as our children grew older, we participated in many regattas within 150 miles of Long Island. I’ll never forget when our two older boys, Joe and Sean, were 13 and 12 years old, and we competed in the North American Championships in Barrington, Rhode Island. They were racing with about 120 other boats in the consolation fleet.
Sean was 90 pounds at the time. At the lobster dinner that night, we dined with several adult sailors, who talked about how they sat to leeward trying to blow air into their sails while some little kid was hiking out and sailing away from the fleet. That was Sean, of course, who ended up winning the race and finishing in the middle of the fleet with a score of something like 416 and 3/4 points.