The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Valis two that day:
The ebb was running heavy as they got under way.
And then the wind went three knots, then two knots, then to one,
The Valis crew would be adrift, before their day was done.
Some lesser boats headed home in the troughs. but Valis on a crest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only the number one would fly upon its stay,
They'd put up even money, that Valis could win the day.
But the sportboats nipped at Valis , as did the Moore 24's,
And the former were a terror and the latter would suck their doors;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy stayed,
For there seemed but little chance of Valis ever winning the day.
But as they drifted to the line, to the wonderment of all,
A zephyr floated under the gate, and shatttered the deathly pall;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
Valis had safely started and the Moores were flipping the bird.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the ridge,
For Valis, mighty Valis, was advancing to the bridge.
There was ease in Valis' manner as she slipped by Marina Green;
There was pride in Valis' bearing and smiles could be seen.
And when, responding to the cheers, she deftly popped the chute,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Edward yelling, "Woot!".
Ten thousand eyes were on them as run turned into reach;
Five thousand tongues had warned them to keep it off the beach.
Then while the writhing after guy snarled with every jibe,
They snuck behind Treasure Island on the changing tide.
And now what passed for reaching wind came hurtling through the air,
And Valis did the best she could in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy helmsman, the trimmer eased it out.
"That ain't my style," said Valis, and eyebrows rose in doubt.
From the crowds at Berkeley marina, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Trim it! Trim the main in!" shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely that's what saved them as they took the sheet to hand.
With a smile of Christian piety great Valis' visage shone;
They slowly closed on Red Rock; they just might make it home;
Once more the great wheel spun, once more the luff did shake;
Upon a wing, upon a prayer, Red Rock was in their wake.
"Hope!" cried the frantic thousands, and echo answered hope;
But scornful looks from the helmsman turned the audience to dopes.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
For the sun was dropping mighty fast as they crossed the bay again.
The sneer is gone from Edward's lip, his teeth are set and foaming;
He pounds with cruel violence winch handle on the coaming.
And now into the purple dusk Valis reaches slow,
And now the air is dwindling and now has ceased to blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men hoist tankards, and swing them right and left;
But there is no joy in Berkeley - mighty Valis has DNF'd.