John Balzar ("Grasping for Air," Jan. 6) expresses some wonderment at sailboat racing's appeal. As a teenager in the 1930s, racing Snowbirds and Flatties, I was attracted to H.A. Calahan's book "Learning to Race." For him, the appeal of racing is a striving for perfection, the search to duplicate the perfection experienced by each of us in that early flight of the stork, beneath those great wings. Nicely put. I have to take Balzar to task for using "knots per hour." "Knots," by itself, is nautical miles per hour.