Monday Lunch at CYC is an interesting event that seems a mix of auld lang syne, the current "world sailing report" and hearty fare (there may have been some salad there, but I went straight for the sausage and kraut).
It was a beautiful spring day with a nice view of the sound and mountains... and there seemed to be a good crowd of sailors representing a range from hard core racers to cruisers. The I-14 fleet was represented by Kris and myself as well as Baird Bardarson and his brother Linne, who are both long time 14 sailors. The program started out with ringing a ships bell (I assume this is tradition... it gets rung at the end of the lunch as well) and a quick run down of current sailing events. Updates ranged from Puma's current VOR standing to the local race report given by past commodore Steve Johnson. With that accomplished, the lunch mediator (from the look and feel of the event, I am sure there is an official shippy kind of name for this position) gave some quick background on the lunch presentation and introduced Kris.
Kris started his presentation by giving a nod to Baird, saying that Baird had always been the fleet spokesman because he was really good at it, and that Kris would do his best to follow that lead. Kris then went into a little more background on the fleet and more specifically, his latest I-14 racing activities. The lunch group seemed particularly interested in last years San Francisco race and doubly impressed with the pictures of that event that were passed around the table. I have to say, Kris and Jamie have good form in the 20 to 30 knot range! Kris went on to give a blow-by-blow description of that race, their 5 minute pre-tack conversation at the upper part of the course in 30 knots... The one surviving boat below and to leeward, the fact that if they blew the tack they would capsize, not-be-able-to-right-have-to-take-the-main-down-and-sail-back-under-jib... Kris and Jamie survived the tack. The other boat was shortly under jib alone and headed back to the dock. Kris also bragged about his trailer loading and boat delivery skills... mostly consisting of loosing boats and rigs at higher than normal highway speeds, and the kind trucker souls who had the wherewithal to straddle the lane behind to keep Bundy's mayhem from spreading to other innocent drivers! Kris's moral here? Have Joe load the boats...
It was entertaining... and before I knew it, the lunch hour was up. One thing that struck me was that Kris is pretty selfless, and epitomizes what I understand as the "Corinthian Spirit". Sure, there was conversation about his exploits, but he talked way more about how the Seattle 14 Fleet supports each other and sails as a team (even though the events are not team races). This attitude he credited to Jonathan and Charlie McKee. I mean, here is a guy who is mentioned in the CYC Honor Role of Champions as many or more times than Carl Buchan, downplaying himself and talking about how Seattle has some of the best sailors, boat builders and naval architects in the world. He mentioned that when Jamie has not been able to sail, being incredibly lucky to be sailing with Fritz Lanzinger "...an incredibly skilled sailor, and of the same level as Carl". He mentioned being very fortunate to have access to Kris Henderson "one of the best carbon boat builders" and Paul Bieker as being very involved in the fleet and "one of the foremost boat designers in the world".
All in all, the presentation made me feel pretty good about being involved in the Seattle fleet. Good job Kris!