By J. Boyd Bert
Some years ago we were enjoying a delightful spinnaker reach aboard Diablo to Port Dover in the first leg of the Interclub. As we approached Long Point we speculated on how great it would be if we could harden up around the Point and carry the chute on into Dover. My good friend, the doctor, was navigating and very much aware we wanted to pass over the sandbar extending out from the Point as close as possible. Diablo would be one of the early rounders and we had visions of a flag finish, and possibly a blue one! Doctor Navigator was below working Loran coordinates. He was providing no extreme cautions about our course when Diablo drove her 7′ keel solidly into the Long Point sand bar. Doctor Navigator shot through the companionway, surveyed the Point and announced loudly, ” You dumb s—, no wonder we’re aground. You’re too close to shore!” There we sat, like a mark of the course, as each of the fleet rounded Diablo. Efforts to have the full crew sit on the boom extended out over the water, hoist and sheet in head sails, keg off with an anchor, were all to no avail!
About the time the tail end of the fleet was rounding us, we polled off the bar with our two 17′ spinnaker poles and completed the race. It is probably apparent that there were no flags for Diablo in this event.