On a stroll through the boat yard this morning, in bright Florida sun and temps hovering around 90 degrees, there was a nice bustle among participants at the 2022 Thistle National Championship at Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville. Sailors were catching up with friends, making last-minute tuning adjustments, and constantly hydrating. A light-wind forecast meant the practice race (which was to start at 2 p.m.) wasn’t a certainty, so knowing I was going to need something to write about, I walked around and asked folks to describe, in a word or phrase, how they were feeling heading into the week. A recap of responses, starting with my own boat:
Chris Murphy: Hot
Mark Makielski: Anxious, as usual
Craig Koschalk : Hotter than hell
JT Fahy: Excited
Tom Hubbell, John Yingling, and Gretchen Loper: We really like our blue chairs and new blue Walmart sunshade tent that was on sale. (Later added to include… “blue beer!” See photo.)
Lloyd Kitchin: Enthusiastic
Matt Kreuzkamp: Intense vacation
Katie Norton: Excited for my base tan
Warren Duckworth: Find shade
Nicole Shedden: Remember the current
John Duckworth: Elegant southern living
Steve Gruver: Unsettled weather makes me terrified
Joy Martin: Excited
Bryan Parker: Stoked
Paul Abdullah (regatta chairman): Is it over yet?
Jack Finefrock: Glad I’m here
Jeff Eiber: One day at a time
Greg Griffin: Sea breeze champagne
Wayne Pignolet: Drink a lot of water
Anonymous: Those are the nicest port-o-potties I’ve ever been in
Dan and Tom Russell: Fun!
Jon Duffet: Relaxed
Brent Barbehenn: No worries
A word nobody said? Thunderstorms. But those moved in around 1 p.m., when several of us were getting some practice in on the St. Johns River. So we returned to the club, where the 48 teams and extended families have been socializing, cooling off in the pool (when not dodging the tornado warning), enjoying the view, and gathering for the competitors’ meeting and dinner.
My word? Happy.
We’re ready for a great week ahead.
—Jess Murphy, 3921