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Original Issue

THE QUESTION: Do you take your wife racing? (Asked of leading sailboat racers)

Greens Farms, Conn.
Skipper of Columbia 1959 America's Cup winner
Like all women, she does what she likes. So whether I take her along depends on what the race is and whether or not she is interested in going. She's a top racer, and I'm frank in admitting that she and her sister taught me to sail. We've raced together on Six-meter boats and occasionally won.

1957 North American champion
No. I used to take her along until we got married. Then one day I ruined her permanent wave during a race. That was it. Racing is too intense for her, the way I do it. She thinks I would just as soon heave her overboard in a racing emergency. I always had a girl crew because the girls will put up with anything before marriage.

1957 Swiftsure Ocean Race winner
Yes, once in a while, but not in the important races for K-38s, because the crews are all men, with five to a crew. Although my wife is a good enough sailor, one of the best, these rugged, overnight ocean races are really stag parties and no place for women. However, my wife and I have sailed other races together.

Rye, N.Y.
1958 Long Island 210 class champion
Always. She's tops. When we race the 210, she's at the helm off the wind. I start and sail to windward. Actually, she thinks she's better than I, and she doesn't hesitate to tell me off by exclaiming "Nertz, Mertz." There are many who agree with her. She won the Women's National in 1950, 1954 and 1959.

Lake Geneva, Wis.
1959 North American champion
The scows have a crew of four, including the skipper. I take my wife most of the time because she's a real asset. She can do anything as fast as or faster than any member of the crew. Actually, my wife is the brains of the outfit, and she calls the shots, knowing the exact moment when to tack or to come about.

Marblehead, Mass.
1956 North American champion
Yes. Let me say right off that she never sailed before we met, so she isn't too good. But she has a lot of grit, and sticks to it. I race a 40-footer with a crew of six. My wife was a member of the crew in every race I entered last year, and we didn't do badly. I've also raced a Star with her as the crew, and we've won.

San Diego
1959 Star class world champion
Yes, because she enjoys racing and it keeps it in the family. Anyhow, we like to do things together. During competition in the Star class, it's necessary to get a top crew. Naturally, my wife isn't strong enough to qualify. However, in local racing, where a championship isn't at stake, she does very well.

Darien, Conn.
1957 Lightning class world champion
In the old days in keel boats, such as the International One-Designs, I always took her along because she was such a good crew. In recent years in centerboard boats, where hiking out is so tiring, she sort of became more interested in tennis. This coming summer we'll be together again racing a catamaran.

Wilmington, Del.
1959 Off-Soundings series winner
Yes, because I always like to have her on board. When I don't take her along, it's usually because an ocean race is involved. Although my wife is a good sailor, she much prefers cruising. She does like to race with me though in day events in Long Island Sound and nearby waters.

San Diego
1959 Ensenada ocean race winner
I sure do. My wife takes care of the food situation, handles the ice cubes and checks the bilges. She also does for me what Mrs. Vanderbilt used to do for Harold—time my starts. I'm sure she was our good luck charm in the 1959 Ensenada, the race from Newport, Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico.