Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland
Ted Wiedeke (pictured above)
Retired attorney, Bayville, New Jersey
Are you a member here?
No. This gentleman I sail with, Bud Brown, asked me to crew on his boat — they’re having a regional regatta here today. I’m a member at the Toms River Yacht Club in New Jersey; my parents joined that club in the ’50s, and I joined in the ’80s. My law firm was willing to pay for it because of the social advantages.
How long have you sailed?
Since I was 7. I’m 64 years old now. I’m still going up against the pros, but I’m not as strong as I used to be. You know, it’s funny — I had to write a paper in college about competition, about whether or not I was a competitive person. Initially, I was going to say, “No, I’m not.” But then
I started thinking, and I realized, Well, I race boats all the time. And I get pretty worked up if I’m not No. 1 in class. And when I drive, if someone passes me, I don’t really like that very much. And basically, I want to win at everything. I realized, Oh, I’m an incredibly competitive guy. And that hasn’t really changed. If I can’t make the boat go as fast as it can, I don’t want to be sailing it.
Attorney, Brighton Beach
Insurance manager, Toms River, New Jersey
Do you do any other sports?
My family actually races lawn mowers. We have nine of them, and we take them across the country to competitions. My wife and my kids and I all race. So do my in-laws. At our fastest, we can go 45 miles an hour. We’re going to a race in Maryland next weekend where over 100 lawn mowers will be competing.
UX designer, Prospect Heights
Computer programmer, Brighton Beach
Retired high-school librarian, Chelsea
Data engineer, Cypress Hills
How did you get into sailing?
I never liked anything about sailing or boats until I moved to Baltimore in 2007. There’s a boat in the Inner Harbor there called the USS Constellation. I was only in the area to meet a friend for dinner, but I started looking at it and realized it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I was hooked. After that, it was all boats and all sailing all the time.
College student, Norfolk, Virginia
Advertising sales coordinator, Fort Greene
Graduate student, Atlanta, Georgia
Retired bus dispatcher, Howard Beach
Retired data analyst, Dover, New Jersey
What are you here for?
The race. I actually belong to another club, the Nyack Boat Club, which is up by the Tappan Zee Bridge. I like this club a lot — it’s a cooperative, which means all the members have to work as well as pay dues. But the reality is there are some clubs that are filled with total assholes. The New York Yacht Club is like that, in my opinion — where it’s like you’d better be a trust-fund kid or you’re not getting in.
Mary Kae Higgins
Realtor, Bay Ridge
IT director, Bay Ridge
Retired Postal Service technician, Bay Ridge
Retired inventor, Fulton, Maryland
Nurse, Toms River, New Jersey
Retired assistant principal, Flatbush
How long have you been a member?
For 60 years. I’ll be 90 next Saturday, and I’m still going. I teach, too. I taught a psychiatrist how to sail once. We went out for a half-hour, and he didn’t say a word. Finally, he says to me, “Whatever you do, don’t tell my patients about this. You’ll put me out of business.”
Tony Gershon Booso
Retired general contractor, Mill Basin
Photographs by DeSean McClinton-Holland