Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club
Latitude 33° 36' 24" N | Longitude 117° 53' 07" W

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My Moments

As both my year representing the Junior Board of Directors, and the summer sailing season come to a bittersweet close, I reflect on an overwhelming set of “lasts.” As a sailor, any period of time elapsing does not matter to me as much as the five minutes before a start.

At five minutes before the start of a race, we sailors stare at the huge course ahead before settling on a game plan to navigate through the endless possibilities of the competition. My “five-minute moment” in junior sailing was five years ago, involving my favorite youth regatta – the Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship. I was 13, with absolutely no idea how to sail a club 420, I made no commitments to compete that year. However, each day, as we dropped off the girls we hosted, I saw clearly both the camaraderie and the competition, and grew more confident in formulating my own plan to compete in that event.

This year, in Annapolis, I sailed in my fourth and final JWDC regatta. I can say that this year was my favorite event, as I gained a second family thanks to my hosts, and learned a tremendous amount about competitive sailing from the lineup of world class coaches, my talented competitors, and the infamous Annapolis light wind conditions. Additionally, reaching the podium with a third-place finish brought this experience to a pinnacle, especially since the last time I was on the JWDC podium was in 2014 as a newbie with “Most Improved” sailor.

I now have one final “minute” as a junior sailor, entering my senior year on the Corona del Mar sailing team. As I often times feel during a start countdown, I wish nothing more than to freeze the clock and receive further time to reflect before continuing. But time moves forward and the only thing I can do when the gun goes off to adulthood is the same as on the start line – head with both energy and focus, and a trust that with all the lessons I’ve learned in my youth, I am the most prepared I’ve ever been.

I know I just floundered ever so sappily in the finality of it all — forgive me, as this is my last time writing for The Masthead too. But one thing I am thrilled to pass along is this role of Junior Commodore to my teammate and friend since Summer Program Starfish, Max Mayol. Having sailed with Max, I know we should all be confident with him at the helm. So, thank you, fellow juniors and advisor Mrs. Mayol for all your dedication and time invested in the Junior board. Lastly, thank you to BCYC for helping the Junior board to be successful, building me into a better sailor and allowing me to have the best memories of my life all as a kid under our burgee.

Cheers to the new race ahead.

Junior Commodore
Sammy Pickell