Nothing Finer than a 29er

20160325_172140This week end Cavalaire is invaded by young fresh smiling faces.
The Eurocup 29er Regatta is underway.
Sailing teams descend on our town.
Cafés and restaurants push tables together, feed hungry young sailors, families, friends and fans.

Your not so intrepid roving half-correspondent went for a walk along the Promenade late yesterday and watched a ballet of sails in the bay.
Then I moseyed to l’École de Voile, the Sailing School, where sails, masts, and what looks like a confused mass of people occupy the beach.
Laughter and voices fuse in multiple languages.
I play a solitaire game of linguistic recognition…

It is Easter weekend and our main beach comes to life again with this new energy, a sense of renewed strength and optimism, a foretaste of spring.

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This week contestants trickled in.
They registered and practiced, crisscrossed the bay in small flotillas.
They tested the waters, checked the equipment, passed whatever requirements are necessary, sailed the course, planned strategies, and prepared their minds and bodies for today’s victories.

I walked through the maze of seeming chaos, reflecting on the strength and discipline of these young people who inherit a troubled world…
And it struck me that sailors keep their eyes on the horizon, towards their destination.
They measure the wind, the currents and depth of the sea, and the risks.
They know where the dangers lie, but they always know where they are going.
Even when they seem to drift, they are in control.
Young sailors learn early how to read the wind and keep a sure compass, never losing true north, as we say in French.
Nothing to worry about.

Yeah, right!
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