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Team Lime Wins (and Looks Cool)

Days after his big win at the BVI Spring Regatta, Colin Rathbun of Team Lime, dressed in a Tortola Express work shirt, khakis, Crocs, shades and ever-present Bluetooth earpiece, occupies the chair across from me.

“Congratulations on your recent win at BVI Spring Regatta. What does it mean to you?”

“We’ve been trying to win Spring Regatta with this team for three or four years. We’ve mostly come in the top five in the past. It was really fun to finish first.”

“What was it like crossing that finish line ahead of every other boat?”

“We got first place in the first two races, and we were actually worried.” He looks around him and over his shoulder, practically pinching himself in disbelief, imitating his team’s confusion at being the leaders. “It just didn’t feel right. But it showed that we had more practice on the boat than other teams. By the end of the week, the other teams were starting to do better. You could tell they were coming back. We did really well the first day, on the second day held our own, and on the third day just extended it.”

“I bet your sponsors are ecstatic with the result.”

“This is the race we wanted to win for them because they’ve made it possible. And we were definitely noticed a lot.”

“What’s next?”

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“There’s a regatta in Puerto Rico that’s coming up in May that we’d like to do. There’s also an IC24 fleet in Texas. A guy who was here for BVI Spring Regatta is trying to get a Puerto Rican team, a BVI team and a St. Thomas team to come up to Dallas the first week of June. He said, ‘Fly up, bring your sails, and we’ll take care of everything else.’ Then we have our ‘worlds’ in the second week of June. They’re not really worlds…”

“Sort of how baseball’s ‘World Series’ only includes the US and Canada?”

“Yeah, exactly like that. But more. It’ll be us, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. After that, the Pete Sheals Match Racing Championship is in the third week of June. We’re having it out in West End for the first time this year, which should be nice. Everyone can be out there at the Jolly Roger. It’s the same thing, people can fly over from Puerto Rico or boat over for the day from St. Thomas, and we’ll provide the boats.”

“Why do you think you won Best BVI Boat?”

“You’ll have to ask the judges that.”

“Well, why do you think you deserve the title Best BVI Boat?” I ask.

Nick Cunha, Colin’s teammate and my officemate, chimes in, a disembodied voice behind his high-backed conference chair. “The way I see that award is that it usually goes to boats who didn’t win but who had the most fun or the best spirit, even if they broke something.”

Colin modestly adds, “We do have the most fun on the water.”

 “And we looked cool,” Nick says, swiveling to face us. “Our boat stood out from the rest of our fleet. Our boat was hot, and we were sailing hot.”

Françoise Frank, from her corner of the office, pipes in as well. “Colin does not go into something unless he’s going to win. He has to go all the way.”

“We’ve been very fortunate with Lime sponsoring the boat,” Colin says. “And Fred Rubeck owning the boat. He lets us use it as if it’s our own. And we take care of it for him.”

“And you win,” I say.

“And we win.”

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