Among the Tescarana, boating and sailing skills are highly valued, particularly in the Eastern Archipelago. Islander clans that subsist primarily off the ocean's bounty possess many boats, and sailors are eager to show their skills with their craft. Being a good helmsman, a strong rower, or an eagle-eyed navigator are points of pride for Tescarana, and have naturally spawned a variety of competitions. From simple rowing races to navigating rocky reefs with sailed boats, these contests sometimes have a religious dimension, but are often simply friendly races between clans. Simple rowing competitions are often impromptu spars, often between members of different clans. More complex navigation contests are associated with major festivals, and clans will often band together to organize them. These sailing contests offer an opportunity for sailors to show their skills and for the clan leaders to meet with their peers from their neighbors. These races rarely have direct rewards for their contestants, except for the adoration of their own clan and the respect of other clans. However, betting on results is commonplace, and in inter-clan contests people will naturally root for their kin. In addition, those who built the winning boat will also share in the glory. The most famous of these contests is the annual Aranthur's Run, an event that draws boaters from many clans in the Eastern Archipelago. A series of narrow straits between reefs and rocky islets, successfully navigating Aranthur's Run, even on a small boat requires a diligent and observant navigator. Doing it at speed in contest with other sailors requires a true master. Hosted by the Creicia clan, Aranthur's Run takes sailors on swift 2-man sailboats from the home island of the Creicia to the Tower of the Blue about 2.7 kilometers due northeast. Though most often won by Creicia sailors, other clans have brought forth championship material before. Traditionally, Aranthur's run is prepared by placing three colored flags atop the Tower of the Blue, with whoever first gets there to take the blue flag being crowned the winner, with the green and red flags denoting second and third place respectively.
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Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
I love the image of boats racing through narrow straits between reefs and islands. Must be fun to watch and heart-racing to take part. :D