What most people don’t realize who race in their 1st Newport-Bermuda Race is that they are beginning what could become a true addiction. There are many reasons the addiction develops, the beauty of a rough Gulf Stream in brilliant sunshine, the coordination of a well oiled crew changing a jib, the conversation and camaraderie sitting on the rail on a quiet evening and even the pomp of the ceremonies in Bermuda. These all bring us back. But the serious addiction is rooted in the nature of the course and its challenges, the ever changing Gulf Stream with its multiple eddies and the early summer, mostly gentle, weather patterns coming off the East Coast.
When our crew crosses the finish line the first topic of conversation is always that we will do it next time and how well we could have done. The “If only…….” thoughts are rooted in the Captain and Navigators hubris that we can figure it all out correctly the next time and we keep coming back and back like swallows that come home every two years.
Then there is the rare occasion when one does get it right and beats all the hot shots. It is a high that can only come from a real addiction and cements that a crew will not miss another race.