I briefly crewed on a Thistle dinghy that was raced by a collegue on Lake Canandagua when we lived in western New York state. During that time my wife Louise and I bought a little Sunfish sailboat for ourselves, and after some initial fiascos got our "sea legs."
After moving to Annapolis, I did some sailing and racing with friends and bought my first keelboat in 1973. It was a 24 foot Kittiwake, designed by Carl Alberg. It was exceptionally seaworthy and nice to look at like all of his classic designs, but not terribly fast. We started cruising and racing "Shortswing" immediately. I also started crewing on a variety of racing boats. These spanned from the olympic class Flying Dutchman (exciting to be "on the wire") to a 41 foot IOR design. I learned a lot sailing with different skippers, many of whom were local or national champions.
In 1978 we bought a Helms 30 and named her "Mojo." I raced Mojo very actively for the next ten years with some success. Mojo was a Highpoint champion as well as taking a first place in the Governor's Cup and other events on the bay.
I took an active part in the administration of the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet of the Chesapeake, a fleet in the largest sailboat racing class in the world. I served as Technical Committee chairman, Chief Handicapper, and President. Those activities brought me in contact with yacht designers, sailmakers, and racing sailors from all over the world and taught me a great deal. We stopped seriously campaigning Mojo in the late 1980's. I continued to occasionally crew for other skippers.
Both of our sons have been sailors from the time they were infants and they have had their own small sailboats as they were growing up. Both sons crewed aboard Mojo, and one occasionally raced her as the skipper. Louise frequently sailed with us on races and on almost all cruises. I still own and sail Mojo from her slip in our community on the Magothy River, usually single-handed.
revised 03-05-2008 by dbz.