Friday, May 11, 2012

There's playing with, and then there's toying with .....

Gringos vs Amigos  44th year of Sol del Sol Regatta
The basketball spun through the air, swishing perfectly into the net.  Two points!

Before the ball had even completed its arc the Amigos team members were racing back down the court, confident in the outcome of the toss. 

The Gringos, the American sailors participating in the traditional Sol del Sol Sailing Regatta, and the Amigos, the local guys, have had this matchup many times before.

The Gringos have won this event only twice ....
At the beginning of the game when the organizers were being introduced, the announcer said in perfect English: "The Gringos have won this event twice.  Once in the last century.  And once in this century."  

A slight exaggeration, but basically true.  They have won only twice in forty-four years.

The Amigos, good-naturedly toyed with the opposing team like Harlem Globe Trotters teasing a high school team. 

Amigos toying with the Gringos

They passed to their teammates without even glancing at the intended recipient, secure in the knowledge the player would be in position. 

They sunk baskets without looking, occasionally flipping them backhand into the net.  Granted, they have a slight advantage in that most of the Amigos team members have played together several times for this annual Encuentro Amiso de Basquetbol.

At half-time the Gringos plotted to even up their chances by plying their opponents with free beer.  It didn't help. 

The local guys laughingly took the beers, and then drank water, lots of water to re-hydrate.     

One of the regular Amigo team members

Even with the energetic cheering of the assorted yacht owners and the stylish cheerleaders - in the end the outcome was the same;  Gringos 28 and Amigos 42.
Gringo cheering section

The lively game, and good-natured ribbing between the players was most enjoyable.  Sitting in amongst the various yacht owners, Lawrie and I, plus Brent Krausar were cheering for the home team. 

The Sol del Sol Regatta features sail boats that chart a course from Florida, then sail close to the western tip of Cuba, finally docking at Isla Mujeres.

Approximate course for Sol del Sol Regatta

This year there were a few changes to the Mexican Customs registration and check-in, causing major frustration amongst the yachters. 

Hopefully by race time in 2013 that will be sorted out. 

This event brings to the island a great group of people who are a financial boon to the local economy.  
Traditional sweaty t-shirt exchange!

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