I was sitting in the stands for the boat races in the Minoan Empire in Exile, awaiting the excitement of the very first such races... when Esteban said "You'll have to race, Melissa."
I did a double take, and allowed as how I had never done such a thing before. He pointed out that he didn't say I'd have to win. I chuckled, agreed, and bought one of the lovely and elegantly simple racing boats available.
The gods smiled on me; another race came before mine, so I was able to see the path to take. (Whew!) They smiled wryly, though; my lack of experience stood out. I overcorrected a lot, and ran aground on the first lap, losing what was fortunately not too much time.
I lost, of course--and ended up being teleported back to shore after derezzing the boat out from under myself. (I did see the spot to disembark. Later.) I lost...
...but it was FUN!
Thanks to my fellow Minoans for their support, and special thanks to Esteban for nudging me into giving it a try, and to Westley, always noble and kind and a worthy opponent. Now, to schedule a little time to practice...
(They really are sweet boats. Minimal, but well-wrought economy is also known as elegance, and I believe they are the work of The Architect himself. They're designed for racing, not passengers, and they are simple to operate.)