Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sail Like a Girl

At last night's ACSA general meeting, I met my new sailing hero. (Scootch over, Captain Bill Pinkney, there is room enough in my heart for two sailing heroes!) Our guest speaker after the meeting was Heidi Backus-Riddle, the 1985 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and an all-around kick-#ss sailor and speaker!

In the photo to the left, which I must admit to "borrowing" from the internet, Heidi (second from left) and her all-chick crew are posing after winning the 2007 Fall Bay Regatta on her Tartan 10 - "Nuts."

Heidi also served as the first lady Commodore of the Great Lakes' Inter-Lake Yachting Association.

Sailing is a family sport for Heidi, as her crew is made up primarily of her sisters and her daughter. What a privilege to race with family. (Note to Bro -- please come up and race in a weekend regatta with me!)

Heidi concluded her talk by providing us with two pages of tips for better racing -- really good stuff. Many of her suggestions involved the importance of maintaining focus and concentration, two areas where I've realized that I come up painfully short. Hopefully by the end of this sailing season I'll be able to make it through a 1-2 hour race without making random, inane comments or pausing to freshen up my lip gloss.... and will win some blue flags as a result.

Someday, when she's not so busy winning regattas and such, I hope that Heidi will write a book about her experiences. If Heidi has a fan club, and she should, I'd like to apply be President.

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