In "Lord of the Rings," Shadowfax carried Gandalf into the battle for Helm's Deep.
The sight of the wizard riding Middle Earth's fastest animal with the speed of the wind struck fear in Saruman's army and turned the tide of the battle.
The image also inspired Steamboat Springs sailor Mike Shuttleworth to name the 37-foot sloop he owns with his wife, Vicki Jackson, after J.R.R. Tolkien's gallant Shadowfax.
Earlier this month, Shut--tleworth used the winds just off the southern coast of Mass--achusetts to carry Sha--dowfax and the boat's crew to a third-place finish at the prestigious Buzzards Bay Regatta.
"It's like a game of chess, only you are facing 11 other players, all at the same time, on a board that is constantly changing," Shuttleworth said about sailing in the regatta.
The Buzzards Bay Regatta included eight races. Each boat's lowest result was tossed out, and the other seven finishes counted toward the total score.
Shadowfax finished with 29 points. Gambler, skippered by John Downey, won the competition with 11 points, and Mischief, skippered by David Scwartz, was second with 22 points.
For Shuttleworth and Jack--son, who started racing almost 20 years ago, the Buzzards Bay Regatta has been an annual stop. Shuttleworth guided Shadowfax to the top of its class in 2004, and the boat made its seventh appearance earlier this month, when it finished third.
"Finishing in the top three in one of those East Coast regattas is a major accomplishment," Shuttleworth said.
"Finishing on the podium at Buzzards Bay two years in a row is also a pretty big deal."
The Buzzards Bay Regatta, along with the Key West and Block Island race weeks, are some of the biggest sailing events of the season.
However, since Shuttleworth and Jackson moved to Steam--boat last year, making it back for all those races became a challenge.
Now, the couple selects the races they will enter months in advance and look at the adventures as a vacation.
"We used to have to commute to do our skiing," Shuttleworth said. "Moving (to Steamboat) means we now have to commute to do our sailing."
Jackson said Shadowfax's finish at Buzzards Bay was more impressive because the couple has not been sailing every day and spent a great deal of time away from the other crewmembers last year.
It's just the latest chapter.
Jackson said the couple has learned a lot since purchasing their first boat in August 1988 and entering their first race a short time later.
"We almost missed the start (of our first race). You really need to show up at the race site early in order to test the wind and currents. You can't just show up and race," Jackson said. "We didn't know that when we showed up for our very first race. ... We've made a lot of mistakes along the way."
But the couple also has learned.
Since that first competition, they have refined their approach, sharpened their skills and built a competent crew that is dedicated to winning.
Today, Shadowfax is one of the top boats on the East Coast, and despite living thou--sands of miles away in landlocked Steamboat, the owners plan to keep racing.
"After college, I was looking for a competitive outlet," Shuttleworth said. "Sailing is just what I was looking for. It's a lifelong sport that I will be able to pursue for the rest of my life."
Shuttleworth and Jackson worked in the high-tech industry. They came to Steamboat because of the lifestyle and took positions as broker associates with Coldwell Banker.
"We have enough experience and a good enough crew that we can just drop in and do well in any race," Jackson said.
In the future, the couple hopes to return to the sea at least three times a year. Right now, their schedules are a little too busy for that, but neither one can resist the call of the ocean.