sail number," radioed the committee to the press boat as we swept over.
"Number 260 is Finisterre—it can't be!"
In any lottery
the most important factor is chance—or fate or luck, to give it other names.
Finisterre simply hit it right twice in a row, proving and not disproving the
ancient laws of chance. So, to me, the most exciting and significant feature of
the race was not our second victory but rather the realization that ocean
racing has become a major participation sport. Little more than half a century
ago the first Bermuda Race was a door-die stunt staged by a handful of fanatics
determined to prove a point. This year 800 men set sail in over 100 vessels, an
impressive armada by any standards. And the quality of yachts, sails, gear and
crews had improved in proportion. Even with the distraction of the first
America's Cup competition in many years the toughest ocean race on this side of
the Atlantic attracted the biggest and finest fleet in history. This might be a
consolation to those who fear our country is going soft and seeking the more
line looked like Times Square with all those lights converging," said one
oldtimer at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club bar as he looked out over the moored
fleet. "And next time I'll bet it'll be twice as big."