We lost a family member today… Shaun Compton was finishing up the course for the weekend, just like any other race weekend.
Riders were pulling in, unpacking their equipment and the event staff was doing the 1001 things that have to be done before the flag drops for the first race. Little things, some things that are second nature. That was what Shaun was doing today. I’m sure we have all dropped buoys in the water to practice at one time or another and you know how the water glitters and shimmers beneath you? It beckons you to come and play. Shaun. I hope in the last moments you got to see that. I hope that you know that you will be missed and that your life mattered in so many ways to so many people. I hope that you know that we all cared about you. You made races happen because you loved racing. You weren’t there for any other reason. There is an unspoken group of people called race dads, they are those guys that you see helping their son put their gloves on before a race. The guys that drive hundreds of miles to get their daughter to a race, then stay up at til 1 am tuning their boat. Fall in bed half-dressed only to get back up at 5 am to get the boats and equipment to the water. The same men that spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy, just to see that look on his kid’s faces as they come across the finish line... Its joy, nerves, fear and pride and love mixed into 72 hours called the race weekend. Then this family of people experience the real magic. It’s those moments in between races when you catch your breath and after the last flag has been waved each day and the water quiets down and the crew all gather and share the days stories. Moments. Connections. Family. Love. Shaun said just last night at dinner, “this is why I love doing this, my family, my friends” as he smiled from ear to ear, he was truly happy in that moment.
In the end there is never enough time for it all, but that is true of your life as well Shaun. We didn’t get enough of you. It is selfish of us to say it. But in this moment. We wanted more of you, you will be missed. The buoys stay out and the race goes on this weekend. Because that is what you would have wished. You will be in our hearts always. Because that is how racers are. You may leave but you are always a part of us, as we are a part of you.
God Speed… Shaun.
Our deepest sympathies are with you, Stephanie, Kenny and Haley.