Covering any event at CORK Kingston is kind of like coming home. Marianne is somehow managing to answer twenty questions at once, Kim's got volunteers, food and festivities on lock, and Jamie and the equipment team have all CORK boats up and running despite their operators. (Seriously, I’m REALLY sorry about the antenna!) But what really clinches it are the athletes. You watch them come back year after year, improving in skill, ranking and composure. You invariably come to be protective of the veterans, eagerly awaiting them at every mark rounding and commending their superior performance. Getting to the windward becomes not so much a matter of getting a better angle as it does a matter of being able to see them take on the course and cheer them on (albeit silently while trying to avoid drifting the boat into course).

Watching someone like Coralie step up from Canadians to this,

Coralie Vittecoq  

or watching Rob sail confidently into first elicits something akin to hometown pride.

It had us ringing our hands and sending all the luck Sarah's way as she battled it out along the radial course. We take pride in your accomplishments. We rejoice in your victories,  

            

                                                                                                                                                                 and yes Everet, we notice when you’re not there. (Though seriously, had you tried to race with the nightmare of sick you had going on, there would have been an individual or two that would have hidden your boat in favour of your health.)

 

You see the thing about sailing is, to be frank, it's kinda meh to watch unless you sail yourself. The whole process seems a little abstract and the rules are well, there’s a whole jury team that still needs a book or five to sort matters out at protest. But when you do sail, or you have vested interest in the people that do, then it becomes a whole other ball game. It makes the podium round up that much more satisfying to watch, with Robert Davis taking first in Lasers and Sarah Douglas taking second in Laser Radials this year.

 

 

That’s the thing about OCR, it's not that it's a qualifier for the national team, or an international regatta (we have a few of those a year), it's that it's the homecoming football game against the rival team. The whole town comes out, literal groupings of volunteers that wear their shirts and name tags with pride. The fresh water sailing capital of the world takes their name to heart and strive to prove it true to form time and time again. And man, Kingston couldn't have asked for a better parade this year. 

 

 

Strike up the band, and light the lights! The team's rolling on in, we're all homecoming kings tonight.

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