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Shell Point Sailboard Club

                                             . . . it has always been thus
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A Short and True History of The Wind Ceremony

Once upon a time long, long ago (1978), there was a dude who lived in Tallahassee (but who now lives at Shell Point). His name was Jim and one day he decided to take a vacation to a little island called Ibeza. They had windsurfers there and Jim caught on fast. He liked this new sport called windsurfing and he came back, bought one and brought it to Shell Point. Jim was good; he could free style and go fast and he sailed his windsurfer for years at Shell Point. He even taught many others how to windsurf, including myself.

One afternoon Jim got up and said, "Fishing is what I really like to do" and the very first windsurfing board at Shell Point lay against his house, and the years went by, but the seeds of windsurfing had been sewn at Shell Point. Of course, there were others in their own time who made large contributions to the development of windsurfing at Shell Point. Bud Swindell and his friends in the early eighties and later the officers and members of SPSC have all done their part, but that's another story.

Photo of the Festoon BandJim still did a little windsurfing so he joined the SPSC when it first formed and awhile after that he gave his old board, the first board at Shell Point, to the SPSC. Unfortunately, before the true spiritual and historical significance of this act could be understood the officers of the SPSC found themselves in the middle of a regatta with no wind. We thought back to the last time this had happened and to a new game called the Board Toss that had been a lot of fun. But we needed a board to toss!

To make a long story shorter, Jim's board, the first windsurfer at Shell Point, was broken during that Board Toss and the wind did not blow again. As the days, weeks, and months passed by with no wind and depression over came us, many of us began to believe that more than an old board was broken that day. Indeed as we sat on the beach swatting flies it became increasingly clear that Jim's old board represented a cosmic thread that linked all of us who ride the wind to the source, the power, the cycle that drives the wind and thusly us, and that thread had been carelessly and foolishly broken. Something had to be done to reconnect us to the source and right then and there T.P. (Perry Williams) spoke up in his modest monotone way and first suggested it, and Swami and I immediately saw the truth in his words. A Ceremony must be held, a Wind Ceremony to re-tie the cosmic thread, to bring us back into the cycle, yes, to reconnect us to the source.

The rest, most of us know. During the first Wind Ceremony we buried Jim's board (now a short board) forever pointing to the Southwest... We built a big fire and danced around it, we chanted "North, South, East, West, Festoons" and we all felt better and the wind came back. The Swami had helped us re-tie the cosmic thread and the wind was with us once again. It was such a great feeling that the next year we decided to do it again. This time we buried a complete rig next to the board and Swami led us in chants and we danced around the fire. It was great, the wind blew so hard that night it almost blew us away.

For the next year, and each year since then, the great and powerful Swami (don't look underneath the turban), in his infinite wisdom, decided that the Wind Ceremony should not bury anything, but that all who took part should write their own personal wind wish on a piece of wood and put it in the great fire as they danced around it and let the flames take it to the source of the Big WInd and thus re-tie the cosmic thread. A final addition was a band to lead us in the Ceremony.

So you see people, it's not just a party, but after a long winter it's a re-tying of the cosmic thread that connects us to the natural cycle of wind, water, and sun and of course to each other. Visit this year's event page.

It has always been thus.
Rama Don, Follower of the Great Swami, etc, etc.

Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta

The Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta, held every spring for the past 46 years, is a benefit event for the American Cancer Society, in memory of Stephen Smith, a local sailor who died from leukemia at the age of 29. The event organizers include the Shell Point Sailboard Club, the Apalachee Bay Yacht Club, the American Cancer Society, Wakulla County Parks and Recreation Department and numerous businesses and individuals.

Each year, the regatta draws as many as 200 participants from all over the southeast. Sailing categories include: sailboards, hobies, and larger multi- and monohull boats. Races are held on Saturday and Sunday, and trophies often are given 4 places deep, so that everyone leaves a winner. Sunday afternoon, a public auction is held, and thousands of dollars of donated items are sold, with the proceeds going to benefit the American Cancer Society.

For more information on the Smith Regatta, please go to the SCSMR website.

The Rum and Rootbeer

The Rum and Rootbeer Regatta is a local SPSC event. This is not a serious racing event, so don't come here looking for points! However, feel free to stop in and register for a great fun event. Visit this year's event page.

The NIMBY Regatta

This Not-In-My-Back-Yard road-trip regatta offers competitive racing and a chance for Shell Point sailors to get out of town for the weekend. Each year the event is held in a different place. This is a low-cost event which provides only a t-shirt and a challenging race. You're on your own for dinner though we usually try to arrange for a lodging discount at a local establishment. For more information go to the notice of race page or call Wright Finney at 850-668-7700.

Endless Summer Sailboard Classic

The Endless Summer Sailboard Classic, held in the fall, is a don't miss for the serious racer. The event generally begins with a welcome party on the beach, with hot buffalo wings served up in the evening, washed down with cold beverages. Camping and motel rooms are available but reservations for both are recommended. On-site registration is Saturday morning, which includes customized t-shirts by Homestead Handcrafts, course and long distance racing, trophies 5-deep, and dinner and entertainment Saturday night. The SPSC sponsorship committee ensures that everyone goes home with great door prizes, generously donated by windsurfing retailers and manufacturers. Visit this year's event page.