Dear Friend of CHARIAD:
Rich is an MIT and HBS grad. HBS just ran the piece Wilson Claims Title of Fastest American Solo Sailor on Rich’s non-stop around the world race.
To give you a little feel for the kind of guy Rich is, let me share a story from our world. Rich now holds the record for the fastest sail from Boston to San Francisco beating the clipper ship record.
The first time that Rich attempted to break the record, his trimaran – Great American – was going down the face of a 50 foot wave in hurricane winds 500 miles west of Chile and flipped over. At 3 AM, New Zealand cargo ship got close enough to the flipped over boat that Rich and his crew mate could leap to a net hanging over the side of the ship.
Rich eventually gets back to Boston. The boat was found months later washed up on a beach in Antarctica. I asked Rich if he would share his experience with my sailing crew. About 20 of us gathered at my house in Cambridge and Rich joined us for a gathering like many of you have enjoyed. After a while, we gathered around to hear the story of his attempt to break the sailing record.
My cat immediately realized that Rich was the center of attention and needed his attention as well. Cleat – the cat – was rubbing Rich’s legs and wanted to sit on his lap. After a while, Rich asked if he could excuse himself for a moment. I did not realize that Rich is asthmatic and was quite allergic to Cleat. If you go to Rich’s website, you will see that a big part of the theme of Rich’s sailing is overcoming his limitations including his asthma.
Did Rich run out of the house saying he was not coming back? No, he got some meds from his car to reduce the asthma and asked if I could hold Cleat at bay. He then went on to tell the amazing story of his sail and rescue. Rich is a wonderful guy who is an inspiration to me.
I am leaving on Friday for five days in Key West followed by five days in Coconut Grove – part of Miami. I will catch up with Kathy Gunst, Steve Herman and Jo Ann Mathieu at Coconut Grove and hope to make some sailing connections.
We will schedule a Meet Up when I am back.