The Memorial Race is the first race of the Boating Season and honors the Sailors, Racers or Boaters who are no longer with us. The naming of the “Russ Thomas Memorial Race” was the idea of Yacht Club members Dan McCormick and Frank Garrod in February 2008 because Russ Thomas was the first active Yacht Club sailor to pass away.
Over the years this race has become known as the “Memorial Race” in honor of all the Sailors who have sailed on their final journey. A plaque in the Marina states “Russ Thomas Memorial Race – Dedicated to Cypress Landing Skippers who have “Crossed the Bar”.
“Crossing the Bar” is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The narrator compares death to crossing the “sandbar” between the tide or river of life, with its outgoing “flood” and the ocean that lies beyond death, the “boundless deep,” to which we return. The metaphor of “crossing the bar” represents traveling serenely and securely from life through death.
The Pilot is a metaphor for God, whom the speaker hopes to meet face to face. Tennyson explained, “The Pilot has been on board all the while, but in the dark I have not seen him….[He is] that Divine and Unseen Who is always guiding us.