We were invited to participate in Percy Priest Yacht Club’sTouch of Class” regatta by our friend David Weil this weekend, and it sounded like a fantastic opportunity to spend time with friends and get out on the water.

The Touch of Class is an event that used to be held yearly, and the key to the race is that a female has to man (woman?) the helm for the entire race, save for bio-breaks (on the honor system).  The reason it’s called Touch of Class is that the women add a touch of class to a sport that’s historically very male-centric.

The event had fallen by the wayside, with the great idea to bring it back this year sponsored by Paul & Dana Latour and their Franklin Dermatology Group.


Mother Nature wasn’t terribly cooperative the wind being light to non-existent, but nary a cloud in the sky and warm temperatures were delightful to the large numbers of people out enjoying the dwindling days of summer.  The intermittent pockets of wind made our prime task simply reading the water for breezes that we could then navigate into to gain an advantage with the sails full of air.  Coming from my background racing motorcycles, this form of “racing” is not exactly the adrenaline high one might conjure up in their head at the mention of the word, but it’s enjoyable nevertheless.  Relaxation, camaraderie, and a gorgeous day turn what otherwise might be a rather boring affair into a great way to spend the Saturday afternoon.  It’s also great to spend the day on the boat with two seasoned old salts (highly skilled sailors to you landlubbers) and have the ability to suck as much knowledge out of them as possible.

We handily took first in our class.  Oh, wait – we were the only boat in our class.  Still, if other boats were in our class, we would’ve whooped up on them mighty fierce with the skill of the others onboard and me as ballast!

The club put on a dinner event after the regatta, and doled out prizes to the skippers of all winning vessels consisting of a gorgeous blue blown-glass sculpture.  In addition, each boat received a celebratory glass of champagne (which we quickly made disappear), along with an etched commemorative champagne flute, a wine tote kit, and a backpack with the event’s logo. Touché!  A touch of class indeed.

It was great to sit, chat, and just relax.  It was good for Colette to meet other members of the club since she’s been gone this summer and unable to attend the club functions.  If we’re extended the same invitation in the upcoming years, we’re already set to block off the time in our calendars.

Many thanks again to the Latours for donating the funds to sponsor the event this year.  It’s the generosity of folks such as these that will continue to draw new people into the sport.