Everyone knows New York is one tough city. Even if you have never visited what is often
deemed as the concrete jungle, you know that there is something different about
this city. New York is tough. No, not tough in the negative sense of the word.
Rather, this city is determined, amazingly resilient.
So, as Hurricane Irene inched her way toward the northeast edges of the country just a
few weeks ago, the threat of her winds and rainfall were not quite enough to
halt the World Police & Fire Games or even Johns Creek Firefighter and
WFG-sponsored sailor Bob Scott, who was competing in the 2011 event. “I felt
like all of the hours I spent sailing and in the gym were finally coming to
fruition,” he says. “In a few days, I would be on the water competing.”
The World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) — a biennial event that honors the athleticism
of more than 18,000 heroes of public safety from around the world — closely
rivals the magnitude of the Summer Olympic Games. Several events at this year’s
games, held on Aug. 26-Sept. 5, had to be undergo some creative shuffling and
rescheduling in the wake of Hurricane Irene. In fact, the sailing event, which
was to take place over a three-day period, would now be held in a single day. But
Bob, albeit a little nervous, was ready.
Sailing out into the Long Island Sound for his first race he finished in 5th
place. By the second race, he had passed a few of the sailors who had placed
before him in the previous race, and he eventually finished 4th. Following
the third race if the session, Bob was in 5th place overall but only
three points away from gaining the gold medal.
After lunch, the fourth race began. But, as he headed toward the end of the starting
line, his boat was hit by another sailor, knocking out the drain plug and
forcing Bob to put the plug back in and take the water out all while steering
his boat. “By the time I arrived at the top mark, I was in 14th or
15th position, and I knew I had a lot of work to do or my regatta
was over,” he says. “I slowly picked off one boat at a time and passed four boats
on the next leg and another four or five on the next leg to finish 6th.
I am very proud to say that was some of the best sailing I have done in my
In the fifth race of the day, Bob finished in 6th place, and he eventually
placed 7th in the final race. “I felt like I had sailed well against
really good sailors from the four corners of the world,” Bob says. “I knew the
guys from Australia, Finland, Norway, China and Canada would be tough. You
don’t come that far without bringing your ‘A’game.” Bob ended the sailing event
with a 5th place overall finish.
“I want to thank World Financial Group for supporting me through this whole process,” Bob
says. “I don’t believe there is anyway that I could have performed at the level
I had without the support of WFG. All along, my short term goal was to compete
and get the experience I needed to win the gold medal.”
Bob’s next goal is to take home the gold medal at an event in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
UK in 2013. Good luck, Bob!