Patricia Stadel sailed her fifth and self-proclaimed last Etchells World Championship in June where she had the distinction of being the most senior skipper competing in the 95-boat fleet. At 75, Stadel has by default become a goodwill ambassador for the International Etchells Class. She had plenty of wisdom to impart when asked why she and so many other competitive sailors, including legends like John Bertrand, 68, who won the America’s Cup for Australia in 1983, gravitate to this particular sloop.
French Polynesia was heaven on Earth, with its warm crystal-clear waters, sheltered anchorages, turquoise, reef-protected lagoons, palm-fringed beaches with cloud-tufted mountain vistas, reliable tradewind breeze.
Not much distracts a 4-year-old from chasing hermit crabs and building
sand castles on a warm-water, soft sand beach, but Charlotte kept
looking into the mooring field last August asking, "When are Tim and