The venue in Thompson Bay, Long Island, was shallow, leaving one thin inch under our keel. We could watch racing from the cockpit, but the real fun was joining the spectator fleet by dinghy. Near the starting line was a mix of boats, from open launches to small cabin cruisers. Revelers played music and floated in inner tubes or swam in the turquoise bathwater while cheering a hometown crew or playfully heckling visiting sloops. Everyone was having fun, but know this: The competition was fierce, and pride was at stake. This didn’t stop the sailors from enjoying themselves, however! The crowd cheered on the pry-board crews, which was answered with fist pumps and smiles around the course.