Dear Santa,

It’s me again. Before I start droning on about how good I’ve been (though I have), and all of the stuff I’m going to ask you for (a lot), I have something I need to say.

Our entire fleet is shaken and profoundly saddened by the unspeakable act perpetrated on Lindsay Smith, who we regard as one of our own. Our hearts are broken, not just for the horrible injuries she sustained, but also for her whole family, for whom the pain of this nightmare must be overwhelming. We are heartened to hear that Lindsay is recovering quickly, but also suspect full healing will take time. We wish them all a full recovery, and want them to know that Fleet 5 stands with them, and is willing to help in any way we can.

* * *

So Santa, what a year – again. When will this cursed pandemic be done? I’ve had just about enough, as I’m sure you have too. Hopefully, you got your booster and have managed to stay healthy. I got mine, and have so far managed to avoid contracting the dreaded little beast (fingers crossed), but unmasked daily gym visits, holiday parties and going to the grocery store are increasingly feeling like banging a corner. It could work out, but it’s not a great strategy and there is plenty that can go wrong. And don’t even get me started about the Genesis concert at TD Garden, because if that wasn’t a super-spreader event, I don’t know what is.

I’m incredibly thankful for all of the stuff I’m lucky enough to have, the things I get to do, and the wonderful friends I get to do them with. And hey, before I forget, the missus and I were really excited to win our 6th Race Week, so thanks for any help you gave us there. It’s been 15 year since the last one so it really meant a lot. So many friends were excited for us, and that also meant a lot. I know that you aren’t responsible for all of that, but hey, you’ve become kind of therapist to me, and I somehow feel better after unburdening myself to you.

Anyway, as I hope you know, I’ve been good again this year. I suppose that’s probably more for you and my wife to judge (not necessarily in that order), but I think I check all the big boxes. The good news is that I really have everything I want, so no need to wrap anything for me. But to the extent I have any pull with you, I’d like to ask you for a few things for my friends, if that’s okay. Don’t feel obliged to get to all of it, and if you can do only one, please make it the one I already mentioned. Beyond that, here we go.

For starters, you may or may not have heard that my pal Elise Nash is in a family way. While that’s awesome news, with a 3-year old, a business, a fleet to run and a pathological inability to say no, I think she’s going to need a little help. Wondering if you could spare an elf or two, at least for a year.

And speaking of people who do a lot, my friend Joe Fava has, after multiple years of incredible service to sailing, just stepped down as chair of the CYC sailing committee. That promises to leave him time to actually do more sailing himself, which is awesome. Problem is, his sailing partner Elise Nash looks like she may be otherwise occupied for a while. So if you would, please find Joe a crew for the summer. He deserves it.

Our Nationals Regatta was a huge success this year, and we owe it all to the hard work of a few people, including Elise, Peter Sorlien, Tom Dailey, Christina Pandapas, Jocelyn Cook, Mark Rubin, Dave Rubin, Stefan Thibodeaux, Timmy Dittrich and Steve Uhl. I was thinking maybe you could give them each a few of those nationals hats, which were finally delivered a month after the event ended. Also, I hear our friend and PRO Tommy Tompkins could use a little merriment, so maybe drop him off a bottle of Christmas cheer, if you know what I mean, and let him know we’re thinking about him.

I can’t talk about Nationals and not thank two key people who really made it go. RC Chair Mark Toso was a rock, as was CYC GM Dave Titus. Both of these guys were always there, and we owe them so much for letting us lean on them. Maybe get them each a few days off with nothing to do so they can unwind and enjoy the holidays like everybody else.

There are a bunch of people who devoted substantial time to keeping our fleet bus rolling last year. In addition to Elise, they include, Steve Uhl, Stefan Thibodeaux, Larry Ehrhardt, Dave Reynolds, Nat Taylor and Martha Martini. I’m humbled that they were willing to devote their time so that the rest of us could have fun. Pretty special, right? Honestly, I’m not sure what to get them, but we have a bunch of 1st place nationals glasses left, so what do you think about giving them each one of those?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you to get a little something for all of the fine folks of MRA. Our friends Sinan Kunt, Susie Schneider, Judy Adam, Joe Guglielmo, Mike Lane and a bunch of others worked tirelessly all year long to build our season, and we owe them so much. I can’t imagine the hours these guys contribute, all so that we can play. And by the way, we don’t always make it easy on them. They deserve better than our constant whining about what we don’t like. How about giving them each an extra dollop of patience to help them deal with the fickle likes of us and our one design brethren.

I can’t talk about MRA without mentioning my old friend Jim Whipple, who as you know, we lost this year. He was a prince of a man who contributed so much, and we really miss him. Obviously, we can’t get him anything, but perhaps you could let his family know how much he meant to us.

And we can’t forget the legions of race committee volunteers. Oh my God, those guys are heroes. People like David Graham, Rick Hamill, Susie Schneider, Joe Whipple, Karen Tenenbaum, Ken & Judy Adam, Chris Lubeck, Dan Himes, Barbara Hallawell, – so many people from all three clubs – I can’t possibly name them all, but they go out every week and run races just for us. That’s amazing. I hope you can put a little something in each of their stockings.

One final thing Santa – and this one is kind of for me but also for all of my friends too. We have a bunch of awesome younger sailors in our orbit who I know would enjoy racing with us. Can you help us get the word out to them. Sure, I can understand they might be apprehensive about coming out and getting their butts kicked by a bunch of old folks like me (kidding!!), but honestly, we’d love for them to join us, so please let them know.

Along the same lines, there a bunch of our Fleet members who we don’t see very much. I know – demanding jobs, young kids, spousal hall pass, blah blah blah. Sure it’s not always easy, but we’re only talking about 16 days of the year. I can only imagine how incredible our racing would be if Matt Hooks & Rob Pascal were out there every weekend. Same for Jeff Shoreman & Dave Reynolds – wouldn’t it be great if we saw them more? Or how about our new friends Adam Roberts & Parker Dwyer, who you might recall came out and kicked butt in Race Week. Oh, and let’s not forget Jeremy & Katie Bloxhom, whose boat has to be ready by now. If not, please spare them an elf or two to make sure 2022 is the year they finally get back out there. Please let all of them know we expect to see more of them this year.

Thanks Santa, I know it’s a long list, but so many people do so very much around here, and it’s important to me that each of them knows how much I appreciate them. Fly safe, and talk to you again next year.

* * *

Donations for Lindsay – Fleet 5 has made a donation on Fleet members’ behalf to help support Lindsay Smith during her convalescence. They are setting up a way to help if you’d like to do more, and we’ll provide the details as soon as they are available. In the meantime, Kenny Harvey and Jay Watt have been tag-teaming on an informal fundraising effort, selling Fast Mermaid stickers (the Etchells Lindsay raced on last summer) to help out until a more formal fundraising effort is organized. To purchase stickers, please reach out to Kenny via Facebook or email (, or stop by and purchase one from Jay & Casey Watt at Mud Puddle Toys.

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Congratulations to Matt & Brooke Hooks who welcomed their second son Wyatt Lockett Hooks on November 18th, weighing in at 7lbs, 6 oz. Might be time to start buying Optis.

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Winter Party – Fleet 5 will host its winter party in late January or February. Details are forthcoming. Keep an eye out for the invite.

Happy holidays. -k

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