That excuse came at the end of August: the 150-mile Ida Lewis Distance Race. Getting crew was easy: he just emptied his J/24 bench and added a walk-on navigator. In the weeks before, we went for a practice sail and looked at the boat's inventory of secondhand spinnakers and jibs. He was ecstatic as each went up and down-he'd never actually seen a few of them. He painstakingly brought the boat into offshore racing compliance and readiness; buying all the safety equipment he didn't have and clearing out the cruising bits.
Now, Ian's not exactly an excitable guy, but on race day he was different, like a kid on Christmas morning, anxious for his parents to get out of bed. Once off the dock, he was glued to the wheel: through the pre-start, the start, and well into dusk, only finally handing over the helm so he could eat his serving of warm ziti. At least a half-dozen times in the first four hours of the race he commented aloud how much fun he was having. He simply couldn't contain his enthusiasm. When he was off the wheel (which wasn't often), he was restless. He'd sit for a minute in the cockpit, then bound to the rail, sit for a minute, hum a tune, and then move again to adjust something. I've never seen a guy so in his element.