When traveling, there is a special delight when receiving a reminder of home — even if it is just a subtle wink.
The thrill of seeing someone in at the airport in Venice, Italy, in a Joe Jost t-shirt, or hearing Snoop-Dog’s “Gin and Juice” playing on the radio in a New York taxi.
For boaters, the wink can be the sighting of a familiar yacht club burgee or a hearing a local news story while vacationing about a boat that calls Long Beach home.
This week, retired Press-Telegram managing editor Carolyn Ruszkiewicz’s husband Joe of Road & Track fame shared their flash of home moment.
“We’re in our condo on Maui where I saw a story in the Maui News about the Vic-Maui yacht race and the leading boat, Peligroso, from the LBYC,” Joe wrote in an email to the Press-Telegram’s Rich Archbold.
“Doug Baker’s Kernan 68, Peligroso, is ripping through the fleet at 9.6 kts, having found wind. That tall stick gets them wind other boats can’t reach,” one news account noted during the race. Other reports on the Victoria to Maui race noted “Peligroso dodged fishing nets, flying fish, and hot, hot heat.”
Joe Ruszkiewicz quickly became hooked on the sailing regatta — the finish line would be almost in front of his condo.
“Anyway, I became obsessed with yacht racing and even downloaded a great app that tracks all races including the West Pac, which is taking place at the same time,” Joe wrote.
That was the moment when the expert on everything Porsche and the need for speed become a full-fledged yachting racer chaser.
“Having deduced, based on what the tracking site said, that Peligroso would reach Maui around 6 a.M. Saturday, I was up and about at 4:30, so as not to miss the sight (spoiler alert: it doesn’t get light until 5-ish). But, at about 5:50, when I saw her round the tip of West Maui with spinnaker and main all blown up, it was, as the Hawaiians say, a ‘chicken skin’ moment.” (Chicken Skin literally means goose bumps.)
“I felt so proud, even though I don’t know Doug Baker, the skipper and owner, who has an incredible record in these races,” Joe said and added he took some photos with a telephoto from several miles away, regretting he didn’t sweet-talk his way onto the committee boat that sailed out to escort Peligroso into Lahaina.
I emailed Joe asking if based on his newfound fanhood of boats racing they will be joining a local club soon.
“Several ladies on our street have joined the Seal Beach YC and are, as the saying goes, ‘between boats.’ That said, and in view of what happened, I’m thinking Carolyn and I should join a yacht club just so, the next time we go to Monaco, we can stroll in and take advantage of the reciprocal rights afforded to yacht club members ’round the world,” he wrote, with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.
Well, Joe “Rusz” and Carolyn, there are plenty of clubs in the area and they would all welcome you as members.
The First to Finish trophy was presented to the Peigroso team on July 23 after sailing for 9 days, 21 hours, 6 minutes and 19 seconds, to Lahaina Harbor from Canada, the first yacht to complete the 2,308 nautical-mile race.