The year was 2012. The month was October. It was the week of Ocala Sailing Club’s Sunset Harbor Challenge. It is a one-day, Around-the-Lake Race starting off our beach.
A sailor named James Edens (with no sail club associations) had signed up for our regatta. He lived in Gainesville with his wife, Lisa. He called us about bringing his Nacra 6.0 on Friday evening to rig it for Saturday’s race. And of course, we said… “Of Course!”
Jim arrived Friday after work and set up his boat. Because we had not eaten dinner and neither had he, we asked him to join us for pizza and libations on the porch. He accepted. And thus began a close friendship and many more gatherings together.
Shortly after our first meeting, the Edens joined the Ocala Sailing Club and became active members, both as Officers, Potluck Dinner Meeting hosts, on the water… & TP providers for events at our house. (Special ‘thank you’ to Lisa!)
Although the Edens had to commute over an hour to get to OSC monthly events, i.e., racing on the lake, Buccaneer dinners or Potluck Meetings, they adjusted their busy schedule to include OSC functions.
Jim and Lisa are outstanding sailors… and won 1st Place in most multihull class races.
Jim has also raced with me in many Bone Island Regattas on my Hunter Legend 376. It is an offshore race in May from Venice to Key West. The skill of Jim and crew have earned us top awards -- including 1st in Class & 1st Place over all competitors in 2022. Jim has also raced with me on my Hunter 23 at other club’s regattas, including Lake Monroe Sailing Association’s Trans-Monroe Regatta in March & Sanford Sailfest Regatta in December, and at Mt. Dora Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta in March.
We have had a great time sailing since we first met -- whether racing together, cruising together, or racing against each other. One of the most memorable trips for me was on a tall ship named The Liberty Clipper. It was my 70th birthday gift from Lynn and included taking my three friends -- Jim, John & Paul. The Liberty Clipper was a “working” tall ship sailing adventure from Charleston to Boston.
Jim and Lisa have moved far, far away to South Carolina. (I guess SC is not really that far away -- but it is a lot farther away than Gainesville!) They now live on Lake Greenwood and I am looking forward to seeing their new home and sailing with them. No worries --- they promised to return for some of our major OSC events.
Lynn and I are fortunate to have met them and they have become very dear friends.
We will miss them.. and so will the Ocala Sailing Club. Thank you Jim and Lisa for your many years of friendship and OSC service…. and “everything else” in between.
And to think … IT ALL STARTED OVER “PIZZA, PIZZA”!
Ocala Sailing Club
July 24, 2023