Unshakeable Moments in Sailing: Augie Diaz
Luissa Smith, PR Director for the 2022 Bacardi Cup invitational Regatta, quizzed well-known sailing personalities about unshakeable moments that propelled them forward and incidents that still keep them up at night (source Sailing Scuttlebutt):
2-time Snipe and 4-time Snipe Masters World Champion, 2016 Star World Champion, 3-times at Pan-Am Games (Silver – 2011) … and more
Not sure I can remember that far back, but it must’ve been when I started sailing Snipes in 1966. I was going up against very good competition and was having relative success, particularly in the lighter wind conditions. At that time I decided to get better in breeze and my crew back then, Mark Albury, and I put together a program to improve in windier conditions and it worked. Then, in 1969 my father crewed for me in a very well attended Snipe Midwinters Championships which we won. I think this was key.
Hold onto your hat:
This has to be when we were hit by lightning at the Snipe North Americans in 1974. After winning the race, we were headed back to the dock in an ensuing storm. It got very dark and very windy and there was lightning! When the lightning hit us there was the blue light and a small explosion at the bottom of the mast where some of the fittings and rigging were literally melted.
Neither my crew nor I were affected (even though some people may argue that I was definitely affected) and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have survived that episode. But, now when there’s lightning I get very uncomfortable and do not want to be out there!