July WindCheck DoradeIn choosing this month’s cover photograph, as usual, the WindCheck team had a lot of very good options. When presented with Kerstin’s (Kerstin Fairbend, WindCheck’s Graphic Designer) first choice, part of me groaned. Again?! “Seriously, how many times has that boat been on the cover of WindCheck?”(WindCheck hat for the first one who provides the correct answer). “It seems like every month there is a fantastic photo of her submitted for a cover or a story!” Zep (Chris Szepessy, Editor of WindCheck) said in an almost begrudging way, “But she is beautiful…and what a shot!”

Kerstin and Zep are right. Photographer Rick Bannerot nailed it. The image is perfect, from the light to the horizon to the angle that captures her lovely sheer. And, of course, her owners, Pam Rorke Levy & Matt Brooks, and crew are sailing her beautifully, everyone going about their business, sails trimmed perfectly including the matching curls in the spinnakers. And she herself is throwing off a perfect hull speed wave, her spars and rigging looking like new, her topsides gleaming.

But still, I was not convinced. I was excited about the beauty and  Kerstin’s patriotic “July” treatment of the WindCheck banner looked great, but I really had reservations. “Shouldn’t we be running the foiling G32 or that Volvo In-Port Race that Charlie Enright and Co. just won? And for the first time, after fifty runnings, the Newport Bermuda Race had a multihull start! Don’t we have a shot of Elvis or Arethusa or Tribe (all local boats!… As we went to press, Elvis had just won the inaugural)? Or maybe the really great shot of the two happy junior girls deep in fun conversation in an Optimist on a no wind day, made even better by the lack of digital devices… one cover blurb could say, “Pure Fun, Without Distractions”!

With no absolute decision made, I showed my wife the cover of Proof 1 and asked what she thought. Now, she is not what you would call a yachting enthusiast. She does have an InterClub Dinghy National title to her credit but if I asked her to name which was a J/70 and which was a J/24 in a two-picture line up, odds are 50/50 that she could do it. She can easily recall all of the University of Michigan football coaches since Bo, but after remeeting some famous sailor on the docks, she’ll invariably ask, “Now, who was that again?” “Um…you remember Russell Coutts honey, you’ve met him before, he’s won the…(sigh)…let’s just say he’s won a lot…”

So, back to her reaction when she saw the cover…  “Wow! That’s beautiful! Is that Dorade?”

Strangely, we both burst out laughing and I, truly stupefied, asked her how she knew. “It’s the only boat I know” came the response that sealed the deal on our overexposed cover subject.

See you (and no doubt Dorade) on the water!