Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway.
Georgia Poet Roselle Mercier Montgomery
As the warm, gentle breeze of romance replaced racing wind in this year’s pursuit race of the Hospice Turkey Shoot, Cupid took aim and fired at least two well-placed arrows. One of them hit Linda Meneghini, a former crew member of Helen Quinby’s Avalon II. The other lodged firmly in the heart of Captain Joe Waters, skipper of Birthday Party.
“It was his blue eyes that did it,” said Linda. As she spoke she threw up her hands in a mock display of surrender to the inevitability and unpredictableness of love, as if to protest that there was truly nothing else a girl could do under the circumstances.
The circumstances, like race results generally, are somewhat murky. But apparently the romance was originally kindled by an unfavorable, or at least unprintable, story concerning Joe’s behavior during a previous Turkey Shoot.
It’s not known if the Avalon II was actively involved, but since the story’s narrator was Linda’s long time friend and sailing mate, Captain Quinby, one suspects that it was. In any event it should be noted here that Turkey Shooters, no matter how high or low their PHRF rating, have been known to become seriously aggressive while racing, and occasionally even boisterous. “It has something to do with their hair color and muscle tone as well as the size of their sails,” according to psychiatrists who study these things.
Usually the aggression is not serious enough to warrant medical attention according to these experts, and it dissipates completely with a cold beer when the race is over.
But to get back to Cupid’s mission. Following the presumably unfavorable story, Linda contacted Joe, perhaps out of curiosity or maybe because she had seen his blue eyes? We’re not sure of Linda’s motivation, but in this area we must respect her privacy. Once contact was made, well, what is there left to say? Like a jib and a mainsail, the couple clicked. First on the Internet and then in real life.
Now the two will be sailing through life together as man and wife, captain and first mate onboard the Birthday Party. According to Joe, Linda “controls the water.” And according to Linda, Joe “controls the boat.” So between them, everything will be under control on their way to Lexington, SC, Joe’s homeport.
Linda and Joe were married following the conclusion of this year’s Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta at the Yankee Point Sailboat Marina in Lancaster. Among the guests were friends from South Carolina and Virginia including long time race participant and a previous Turkey Shoot winner, Lee Williams. Lee, you might remember, is the captain of Poe Bird who fell overboard in last year’s race. “They duck taped me into the boat this year,” he said.
While Linda and Joe were busy getting married, race officials under committee chair John McConnico, were even busier. They worked steadily throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, tabulating, double-checking and then re-tabulating race results. With eyelids held open with toothpicks, they continued working late into the night and well into the next day. According to one bleary-eyed volunteer, no one had told him that shift work would be involved.
But when all was said and done, the results showed that Joe had won this year’s Lightening Division. He will represent the Turkey Shoot in the National Hospice Regatta. Skipper Bob Fleck in Horizon placed second, and Aerwana, skippered by Billy McCarty, was third.
In the Flying Cloud Division Scuba Kat, skippered by Michael Chesser, placed first; Ladybug with Skipper Ned Crocket, second; and Skipper Peter Knight in Salute, third.
Among long-term rivals, Skipper Wayland Rennie in Trilogy placed first in the Green Fleet less J-24s; and Poe Bird under Skipper Lee Williams won in the Blue Fleet.
The Hospice TSR is held each year to benefit Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck, Riverside Hospice Agencies, Inc. of Tappahannock and Walter Reed. According to TSR committee member Karen Knull all monies raised in the Turkey Shoot go to support services for local hospice clients. “Funds are raised locally and used locally,” she said.
For a complete listing of race results, go to turkeyshootregatta.com. For a report on how Linda and Joe are doing, wait until next year’s regatta. “We have to come back for our anniversary,” they said.