Sunday, May 31, 2020

Eight Bells for Dana Bolton

(Burlington, VT)- J/88 boat co-owner of ALCHEMY- Dana Bolton- passed away last weekend due to complications from brain cancer.  Dana was an avid sailor and racer and a huge supporter of junior sailing at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. He was awarded the US Sailing Volunteer of the Year a few years ago. Prior to the J/88, he owned the J/95 SWISH. His co-owner, Mark Damico, had this to say about the passing of his close friend:

"When Dana Bolton and I agreed to partner on the purchase of our new J/88, our first task was to decide on a name.  We emailed each other long lists of possible names and followed up with discussions about the various possibilities. When Dana came up with the idea to name her Alchemy, we knew we had found the right name.  It was perfect. 

"Alchemy" is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.  That was our hope, to make our partnership and every shared experience on the boat something memorable for us and for our crew. 

Thanks to Dana, every time we sailed Alchemy, the experiences were always special and always memorable. He had a knack for making every crew member feel important regardless of their sailing experience. Dana made every day on the water fun. 

Although Dana loved the competitive aspects of racing our J/88, sailing Alchemy was more about having fun, sailing her well, staying safe, and creating lasting memories and valued friendships.  Dana always created a welcoming environment on the boat for our regular crew as well as new sailors we had invited on the boat. On-board post-race reflections always included cold Vermont beers, snacks for the crew, and a lot of laughs. He helped everyone to get a little bit better every time we sailed through his understated leadership skills and extensive sailing knowledge. 

Some of the best days on Alchemy were taking junior sailors out for the week during the Community Sailing Center’s Junior Big Boat program; he was a highly skilled instructor and his students learned a lot about sailing and a lot about life. Other memorable days were long sails out in the open waters of Lake Champlain.  Dana cherished beautiful, sunny, windy Vermont days.  He loved the long spinnaker runs and surfing down waves to grab an extra knot or two of boat speed. He brought smiles and joy to all his many sailing friends every day we hoisted Alchemy’s sails.

Alchemy was the perfect name for our boat because Dana was a sailing alchemist; everyone whose life he touched has been made better and richer in extraordinary ways. He will never be forgotten." Add to Flipboard Magazine.