Dave Diola Memorial Trophy
Dave Diola was well known in the Santa Cruz 27 fleet and was a regular on Hanalei Express before his sudden death in June, 1996 at the age of 46.
Dave is survived by his wife, Cindy, and three young sons, Jeremy, Patrick and Evan. Although I did not know Dave for as long as some other members of the fleet, I did get to know him pretty well over the last three or four years as a fierce competitor on the race course.
On one Wednesday night beer can race we fought an intense downwind duel in 25 knots. Dave had Hanalei (Rob and Roger were not on the boat) and broached hard after setting his kite at the windward mark, allowing us to pass and make a more conservative set. We on Marley were elated at being ahead of Hanalei for the first time ever. But could we hold it together? The boat was rocking and rolling and we finally crashed about 100 yards from the leeward mark. I will always remember the huge grin on Dave's face as Hanalei went by us! At the '95 Nationals in Monterey the SC27 fleet frequently drew crowds of tourists as we prepared our boats every morning. One morning I went up the mast to fix the masthead fly and some photographers began to snap pictures. I found out later that Dave was up the mast of Hanalei behind me and that one of the photographers was from the Monterey Herald. The picture made the paper the following day. You can't see our faces, but I am the guy with the white thighs. Dave is the tanned one.