Close Finish 2011

The 2011 Annual Chesapeake Poster


Every summer, clusters of small white triangular sails flit across the Chesapeake like little butterflies. Yacht clubs and sailing schools offer junior sailing programs where kids learn new boating skills. How to rig a boat, hoist s sail, knot a sheet, fix the rudder and adjust the center board are just the first steps.

Afterward, more sailing vocabulary is introduces: tell-tales, close-haul, luffing-up, tacking, jibing, and ever-exciting capsizing. Soon, racing is underway. Families gather on the shore to watch, through binoculars, their junior sailors perform on the course marked by orange buoys set out by the race committee. Other family members are in the committee boat at the end of the course, marked by a flag with a large “RC” emblazoned on it- the all-important race committee boat!

One parent has a stop-watch and does a loud countdown. Another parent has the clipboard to note the order of the finish in all its hectic moments. One hand-signals each race his or her position as the finish line is crossed and one blows that unforgettable flat blast from the boat horn- BL-A-A-A-T! The invisible line between the final orange bouy and the committee boat is crossed and the scramble for second, third, fourth place, etc. is on!

Single-handed racing in a small dinghy like to optimists shown in Close Finish is a feat involving balance, trim of the sheets strategy and quick reflexes. Good sportsmanship is a must! Hooray to all the young sailors who tack, jibe and cross the line!

We salute you!