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Sailing, and learning to race, with royalty

THE LONG BEACH YACHT CLUB is growing sailing participation with a fleet of six donated Solings. The Club hosts Taco Tuesday sailing clinics for new sailors and racers with club members coaching novice sailors. The fleet is also available to members for a Wet Wednesday series. We signed up this summer. I thought it would be fun to be the middle man as my boys took turns helming and crewing.

I received a call Wednesday afternoon from Scott Dickson asking if we planned to race Wednesday eve. His father Roy Dickson [a legend in Kiwi yachting, and father of both Scott and Chris Dickson –TFE] was in town and they hoped to go for a sail. It should be noted that Scott has been the driving force behind this program and was awarded our Club's highest award for sailing excellence and service in part to this effort and in large part to his thrilling performance in last year's Congressional Cup.

Well how do you say no? I mean I've known Roy since 1984 sailing in Hawaii on KIALOA IV, and Scott, well we've been sailing together off and on for 20 years. I asked if they'd mind taking my son William. Sure no problem. To say this was an extrodianry gesture is an understatement. For my non-sailing friends, this is like playing football with Archie and Eli Manning.

Ten minutes after the start, we ran outside to see Boat 6 in second place – with Will driving! The clincher came on the first run where they passed into first and never looked back.

I'm pretty certain William will remember this win for the rest of his life. Many thanks to Roy and Scott for their generosity.

[John Sangmeister is a long time friend, denizen of SoCal yacht racing, a power behind the 2024/28 LA Olympic bid (to have the sailing in Long Beach), and the managing partner of the popular Gladstone's Long Beach eatery in Rainbow Harbor as well as a number of the popular Pieology pizza franchises. He campaigns OEX, the Santa Cruz 70, with his friends and family, and has been known to attempt and set a few distance records in multihulls of which he is also a big fan and proponent. Oh yeah, he raced with Dennis Conner on STARS & STRIPES in the 1987 and 1992 America's Cups. -TFE]

Roy Dickson (NZL), William Sangmeister (USA) and Scott Dickson (NZL/USA) at Long Beach YC Wednesday evening after racing a club Soling in LBYC's Wet Wednesday series. Cool people all. And isn't it cool when seniors and pros freely and happily pass on their knowledge and joy of sailing to the kids.

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