Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Seafarers set sail for swell ride

"It's an escape from gray cubicle walls for Megan Buechler, a reprieve from pancreatic cancer chemotherapy treatments for Thomas Christensen, a medical school graduation present to themselves for Seth Strattan and Sophie Candille.

To others, it's a retirement party, a family trip, a line on a bucket list.

It is the Baja Ha-Ha, the mostly relaxed but potentially hazardous two-week sailing rally with the ridiculously perfect – or is perfectly ridiculous? – name. On Monday, smiles washed over sailors' faces in waves.

Nearly 200 boats, hundreds of sailors and a few dogs in life preservers paraded along the glassy water off Shelter Island on Monday morning at the start of the 16th running of one of the world's most popular sailing events."

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