On the final night, after the regatta, Offshore Sailing School and North U. hosted an awards banquet. We didnt discuss the spinnaker wraps or how the pole was somehow raised upside down and backward. We just ate, drank, and pumped up the days stories--the good parts. Wed won the regatta, and Beite seemed proud; it made him look good. I was glad wed won, but more excited about what I took home. Id improved my steering, developed a better eye for sail shape, gained a new tactical understanding of the sport, and got in a lot of quality preseason practice. I also flew north with a renewed enthusiasm for improvement. I still couldnt see the top of the ladder--if anything, I felt it was farther away--but I was excited about the next steps Id be taking in that direction. As for Sue and me, I think were almost on the same page. I wont claim weve reached any kind of blissful racing epiphany, but she says she had a good time. A few months later, we both said "I do," and, yes, currently the racing component of the marriage is secure.