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2010 Whidbey Island Race Week

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The Mark Whitman Band play TruPlugThe sun peeked out and brought wind to the 2010 Whidbey Island Race Week just as the Mark Whitman Band blew into town to entertain the 500+ sailors. After a day of drifters and a shortened race program on Monday, Tuesday provided much close racing and enough breeze to put the event back on schedule….a happy day! Mount Gay Rum and others sponsored the evening’s party featuring the Mark Whitman Band and free drinks…..now that’s a combination for tired sailors to sit back and enjoy!!

As Forespar NW representative–and a member of the band– it was just a huge pleasure to be able to entertain everyone and the band was very well-received. Mark Whitman is the gentleman sitting at the keyboards, and a true NW legend in blues and rock & roll. This year’s Washington Blues Society’s Best Male Blues Vocalist, Mark is also a winner of a lifetime achievement award and Best NW Blues Guitarist before a devastating stroke changed his life two years ago. That band has stuck with him through extensive therapy and helped him to begin mastery of another instrument at age 60, the keyboard. Playing with one hand, he’s just amazing and that fine blues voice has never changed. The band is experiencing a strong surge of popularity that was not even a glimmer on the horizon two years a go…..that goes to show you how tough some folks can be and Mark is our hero. If sailboat racing had been his life’s pursuit he’d have been one tenacious competitor!

The band was approached for more marine industry-related jobs, and hit a nice note with the attending sailors. Halfway through the night, on behalf of Forespar and the band, I talked about the new TruPlugs and gave several out to the sailors as gifts. The next two hours proved how inventive sailboat racers can be as we watched the TruPlugs used in many “non-standard” applications!!! The night ended with our best wishes to crowd for fair winds, tight racing, and room at the mark! An EXCELLENT time!!

Jeff Mason

Forespar NW Representative