Ripple Effects from the Bay

Our CW Editor puts the challenge out to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, are you up for it? A "Shoreline" story from our January 2010 issue

shoreline ripples 368

The downwind run of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Fantasy Sail in San Francisco.David Dibble

When it comes to boats and water, we all have our little fantasies, now don't we?

Picture this: You're sitting in a room, having just sailed three races in a J/105 on San Francisco Bay with other crewmembers. Actually, you're in a yacht club, surrounded by 100 or so other people who'd just had their dream come true by sailing with ESPN sailing commentator, CW editor at large, US Sailing president, and all-around promoter of the sport, Gary Jobson.

You're having drinks, toasting each other, and chowing down on a first-rate dinner. Everybody's thanking each other for having the same fantasy. Pretty neat.

I was there, though it wasn't my fantasy that got me in the door. Instead, it was an invitation from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that brought me to the San Francisco Yacht Club last fall for the 2009 running of the annual Fantasy Sail with Gary Jobson (www.leukemia.org). Everyone I ran into at the event, it seems, had a sad tale to tell about how cancer had touched their lives.

But they also told inspirational stories about how this made them get their boats and crews out on the water annually to raise money at one of the 40-some Leukemia Cup Regattas and related events.

The hitch? If Gary invites you to sail with him, you have to raise at least $8,500 yourself. That's how, collectively, the Society raised $3.8 million from sailors last year for research. A whopping $655,000 of that came from the SFYC alone!

My fantasy is to get each CW reader-all 150,000 of you-to pledge just one dollar. Then I can enter one of the regattas next year and sail with Gary. Feeling generous? Drop me a line by clicking here.

Mark Pillsbury