Stardate 11792.6

Captain's Log: Stardate 11792.6
Yesterday morning, my wife and I took the shuttlecraft to Harlem Yacht Club on City Island for the 2017 EBYRA Awards Brunch, where several crews gathered to collect their pickle dishes, eat non-brunch-like food, and drink up on Chaika's running bar tab.

While it appeared to be a nice turnout of 60-70 people, I could not help myself to looking back at when we'd have 200 or more people at these things, and instead of two City Island Cup divisions and three Wednesday Night divisions, we used to have so many more (five City Island Cup divisions and nine Wednesday Night divisions -- 6A, 6B, 5A, 5B, 4, 3A, 3B, 2 and 1.) It's all a painful reminder of how the sport of yacht racing has diminished over the years.

And it appears EBYRA is barely interested. The awards ceremony is considered the celebratory event of the year and not only was there just one representative from one (City Island Yacht Club) of the three remaining clubs present, the group's commodore, who is supposed to be the host and emcee of the event, was nowhere to be found.

Maybe it's time to take EBYRA to a different level. Maybe they need a leader who will promote a race series to not only the so-called hardcore racers, but to entice entry-level cruiser participation and breathe new life into the sport. Maybe a new commodore who will reach out to the medium-level boater who feels left out and unrepresented. Maybe a commodore who could run on a platform of draining the Nanni-infested swamp and to Make EBYRA Great Again. #MEGA. What a cool idea!

Just as long as it's not me.

I've had my fill of broken-down committee boats, scary-low finances, wannabe sea lawyers, misinformed pontifications, and J/24 jihads.

But this log entry is not about a rant of EBYRA -- I don't think the webserver has enough storage to handle that -- but more about getting together with the great team of New Freedom and celebrating our two third-place finishes, as well as congratulate the other boats who scored as well or better.

Here's a photo of our intrepid crew after Captain Mark Lasser accepted the awards:

From left to right: "Little" Rob, Michael, Captain Mark, George, "Big" Robb and yours truly -- and suddenly I'm now painfully aware of where the term "Motley Crew" originated.

And before all you feminists chime in and say something like "It's all men", I say there must be a reason why they call it a cockpit.

After hearing a Div 5 captain thank his crew, especially his foredeck guy who doesn't yell and does everything the back of the boat needs with speed and zero complaints (imagine that Robb), we asked Mark where he keeps all of the awards he's received over the years racing New Freedom. Turns out he puts them in shopping bags and gives them to family, to crew, and even shared a story where an award platter was used to feed his dogs.

I guess that pretty well sums up the decline of yacht racing right there.

And here I was proud to have this in my house:

Before the day was over, someone asked me how was it that I actually looked younger than I used to. Without skipping a beat, my answer was: "I stopped racing the Enterprise."