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Provincetown :: Wednesday, October 22nd 2014

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Beautiful Boats, Brave Swimmers

Notes from Land's End: Sept. 12


September 12th, 2011

MacMillan Wharf was the epicenter of three major events this past weekend: The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta, The Provincetown Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla and the Yankee Lambda Car Club Show. Sleek vintage automobiles were on display at the end of the pier while swimmers in wetsuits shuttled to Long Point and majestic schooners circled the harbor dodging packed ferries.

Cape Codís beloved Caroline Kennedy also swam. Now, how great is that?

An overcast day with a good wind, I board the Native Dancer to crew for Captain Hal Winard, eager to place in the Long Point Schooner and Yacht Race honoring lands endís legacy with the sea. Also on deck are Jay Adams, Kerry Castle, Chris Cotugno and Jack Macara, all experienced sailors. Five categories of boats wait at the starting line. Course 10, a race to the Pamet and back, is our challenge. Itís a glorious day to be on the water. And weíre off. Commands blare out of the hand-held VHF. The Alabama didnít cross the starting line and circles back. Bright orange tetrahedrons mark the course. My job is to hold up our number C-303 when we pass each checkpoint.

As our boat speeds up, I see joy on the faces of everyone sailing. The race ends an hour ahead of schedule. Captains Susan Avellar and Cheryl Andrews, Event Chairwomen, award trophies:

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Fisherman Series Cup:
Captain: Noah Santos on Flyercracker

Justin Avellar Cup:
Captain Jim Downey on Magic

MacMillan Cup:
Captain John Wolf on Gala VI

John Bennett Cup:
Captain Mike Taber on Dove II

Munro Moore Cup:
Captain Jim Santos Gala VI

Rose Dorothea Cup:
Captain Ian Risway on Alabama

Alongside the Regatta is the always-extraordinary Swim for Life in the healing waters of Provincetown Harbor. I witness flying arms as hundreds of people cross from Long Point to the Boatslip Resort, a 1.4 mile open swim drawing people from all over the country, neon green caps bobbing, and cheer on locals Liz Carney, Mimi Gonzalez and Alice Neiley. Carney of 411 Studio is the third largest donor with over $5,000.00, a remarkable achievement in memory of her late husband Paul Hansen.

Jay Critchley, the eventís creator said, ďThe water was choppy and chilly but few seemed to mind, the spirit of Provincetown spread her wings and we were all embraced by the sweeping arms of the harbor.Ē

ďThe 2011 Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla attracted 397 swimmers and 75 kayakers; raised an estimated $190,000 for AIDS, womenís health and the community,"- showing us all how a group of people can change the world. Cape Codís beloved Caroline Kennedy also swam this year. Now how great is that?

ďNotes from Lands EndĒ, by artistic bon vivant Laura Shabott, is a weekly account of the people, places and events that make our town so special.

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