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trying to find the next boat. I'm looking at an Alerion 28."

Du Moulin has always had a winning diplomatic manner and has often brought adversaries together. I recall being on an America's Cup team that was eliminated, and even though Ed was part of another team, he and Fritz Jewett had the courage and good sportsmanship to thank our crew for pushing their team so hard. His extraordinary class has served many as a good example.

Emotions ran high in Newport, R.I., when the New Yo rk YC lost the America's Cup in 1983. At the prizegiving the next morning, a few thousand people were understandably anxious about handing over of the trophy. Bob Stone, now 83, was the club's commodore then, and I'll always remember how his sense ofhumor and graceful manner made the historic ceremony a great sporting moment.

Australia IIs designer, Ben Lexcen, had told the press before the series that if he ever got his hands on the Cup, he was going to crush it. Commodore Stone got some help from th e Newpo r t p o lice, finding an old Plymouth hubcap and crumpling it. At the prizegiving, Stone first handed Lexcen the hubcap and told him now he no longer need to smash up the America's Cup. After putting both the Australians and Americans at ease, Stone laid his hand on Lexcen's shoulder and said, "Please take care of the Cup, will you?"

Commodore Stone, as many still call him, has served on countless corporate boards and as a longtime fellow of Harvard College. He still races and cruises his 69-foot Arcadia and is scheduled to skipper it in his 25th consecutive Bermuda Race in June.

At the NYYC Senior Members Dinner, where I recalled that momentous day in Newport, Stone addressed the dinner guests, reflecting on his years of sailing, and pointing out that the best part was the many special people he'd met and sailed with. In particular, he said Percy Chubb, Henry Morgan, and George Hinman were all role models. Everyone in the audience visibly brightened as he spoke. I think we all began recalling our own mentors, realizing that many of our best friends in life all share the same passion.

There's a common denominator I learned that night about the senior sailors: They cherish their time on the water and they do anything they can to help and inspire others to do the same. ♦

APRIL 04-06 • 2006 CHARLESTON RACE WEEK • SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP • CHARLESTON, SC

~EE BELGES'

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