Monday, July 26, 2004

The Youngstown Level Regatta - An Experience on Wind - Noisecontrol Publishing
The Youngstown Level Regatta - An Experience on Wind

The Youngstown Level Regatta - An Experience on Wind
by Christopher J. Bradley

While I was not fortunate enough to own or be a member of a crew of a boat this year in Youngstown, I have to remain in awe of the motions of this sea going community from beginning to conclusion of events this past Saturday. The water and the wind, and the birds and the insects, and the sun and the sky itself, could do nothing less than bring me one step closer to God.

I spent this time in contemplation of the tall ships whose anchors kept them bouant upon the waters off the point of Williams Marina for most of the early morning. My drink of choice was Diet Pepsi. The real exposition in my opinion was the preparation for launch. I watched the local and foreign competitors emerge from their tents on the bank of the lake and come to meet me at the picnic table that I'd chosen two days earlier with a friend. They shared their breakfast with me, polish sausage, poppy cake and dill pickles.

The polish team, fored by an engineer, was on a ship with Music notes painted on the side, whose back was slooped like a violin's body. I asked him about the dynamics of water and wind, and he called them fluid dynamics. I cannot pretend to understand everything he said, but, I am enjoying the competetive atmosphere and the tension in the air, as more and more of the shipsmen come out of their tents and begin toying with the riggings.

Another of the competitors was a beautiful red headed Canadian. She and her boyfriend, with spiked hair, who looked like Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols exchanged a few lyrics with me. I showed them my earth shoes and hoped that they would spread the word. The girl and her team looked like a team of Ravers straight out of Atlantis when I was young. I am glad that I had a chance to meet them briefly, I would have liked to see them place third or better, unfortunately, their place was about sixth.

A lot of the situation has to do with wind, and weather the sails can handle the stress. More than one sail was ripped this afternoon, and one Mast was even cracked and bent over completely. And these boats are not small, and by far, not weak. Most are two or three minivans long. And they are tethered six or seven deep on the docks because of the sheer number of them that turn out for the race. The spirit is purely American and Canadian in nature. It is possible that this happens in other countries, but the people here, tended to mention free trade quite a bit.

For this weekend at least, Youngstown was Americas city. Even the children participated, some young girls maybe 7 or 8 years old were industriously selling ICE along the docks to those ships that were coming and going, and the fishers casting out into the open waters. I spoke to three of them and they told me of a medical business they were in. People from Lockport passed by and introduced me to the sheriff who invited me to get a pass for the Yacht Club itself. I couldn't have been happier to share in the good times starting there around five o'clock when the ships returned.

I met the captains of Pennies Five and the Green Machine, and a team from Port Hope. I met the Canadians and the Polish team again. The team from Port hope made me an excellent pineapple daquiri and told me about their flower and furniture businesses. Placing well in the races seemed to most, less important, than enjoying the sport of sailing itself. Everyone wanted to win the flag though. The Youngstown Level Regatta happens once a year, and I am sorry myself for never seeing it before.

Earlier in the day when I was still sitting and watching the ships come in, I spoke with a woman and her daugter. They were from Ottawa and own real estate in Florida. We had an extended conversation about the political platform that I would challenge either candidate to take up. The platform is Housing Education Literacy Medicine - HELM. We were both fairly confident that John Kerry will be the next president. This is a viewpoint I espoused to several of my new friends, and I hold it with pride.

Another woman and her son from Niagara Falls spoke of her concerns that the war is affecting America adversly. I could not disagree. And her discussion brought me to a new ideaof my own. This idea stems from the possibility of the revision of the United Nations to a version 2.0. My idea was that the United Nations could expand the Security council to include rather than 5 countries, 20 countries, so that the United Nations might become more egalitarian and equalized in the increasingly globalized human condition.

Back at the Yacht club, I learned that there had been four races on the wind, seperating the boats by size class, for fairness and effectiveness. One ship called the Quantum Leap was particularly impressive set upon the dock. While I did not have a chance to step onto any of the ships, I took several pictures with my digital camera, while they were at sea as the wind swept them about off of the point of Fort Niagara.

All in all, Saturday was one of the best days I've ever had locally, it was enough fun to draw me back to Youngstown on Sunday for a game of chess and a cup of coffee with my friend Scott Ansel at Brennens where it is particularly affordable. While we were there, I learned that the new Tom Cruise movie Collateral starts August 6th. Just in time for my next paycheck. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and I will definitely be around for round 2 in 2005


Post a Comment

<< Home