A REBEL WITH A CAUSE by BILL RYAN
I remember how terrified I was the first time the boat went waaaaay over. The high side was not high enough!! I still remember the first time I took the helm. I was following instructions so intently that Rick Holcomb fell into the water as I drove into the shore! I can recall those episodes fondly, now.
The view of the world as seen from a boat in the eyes of a youth is wonderfully new. A lake is transformed into an ocean, an island becomes uncharted territories. The night sails that allow the shore near home to become completely foreign leaves an image of the world that never leaves the soul of a young person. I remember and I am still thankful for those with the patience, love and understanding, that showed me the wonders of sailing.
The Junior Nationals are open to any youth sailor between the ages of 11 an 18. They are open to any youth who is sponsored by a REBEL sailor ie. YOU. There is no cost to enter and the benefits of a week in the sun racing in a fair, objective enviroment can not be measured.
. I don't know whether it is the memory of wild reaches and equally hairy jibes or close hauled to weather but the sound of the wind as it goes through the rigging always brings me some peace and inner joy. When I see all those masts I know that there are people nearby who feel intently and passionately about something that is very special to my life. Wherever my travels have brought me to, there is someone who will help me feel at home because they are fellow sailors. It is a common bond with a common understanding. This "common" feeling is wonderfully uncommon today. I wouldn't have it except for some special people who took the time to care and share their passion, their drive, their awareness of the world with a youth who was curious about sailing.
As I go out to the race course I look to the boats in the fleet. I see the hot shot and the cruisers, the couples and the ones just out for the fun of it. As we pass along side of each other we wave and exchange words that convey the same message, "I am glad to be out on the water today!" We understand one another, after all I am just your REBEL with a cause but have you taken a kid sailing lately?