Monday, 21 December 2009

21 Dec 2009

I didn't sail or even hang about until the end of the 1st race, so the report will be a bit brief. A potential 6 boat turnout was reduced incrementally thus:

1) I thought it was too cold and no crews turned up to convince me otherwise. 5 boats.
2) Peter Wood couldn't get the cleats to unfreeze, even after spraying them with antifreeze. 4 boats.
3) Pete Badham and JR launched but then found the centreboard was frozen in the case. They sailed sideways for a while and then came back in. 3 boats.

So 3 boats raced, which made us the largest fleet out (at least in the morning). Martyn and Richard must presumably have won, being way out in front when I left. Gordon and Richard must presumably have needed medical attention after capsizing. I take my hat off to the lot of you.

Merry Christmas and see you on Boxing day (weather permitting), when I will again be needing a crew.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

1 Dec 2009

The point that I keep trying to get across is that it's better to have a really good race than it is to win, unless you're at the Nationals or similar (which we aren't). That last race of the fleet championships wasn't a really good race, although admittedly it wasn't ever dull. It was one where you just tried to go as fast as possible, fast as possible, fast as possible all the way round. The boat directly behind us never tried anything too tricksy, presumably because they had half an eye on Martyn just behind them. Martyn did nothing more radical than bang the right hand side of the beat every time and fly the kite on a leg which was too close for it. So we just all sailed round as fast as possible and I tried not to get overly stressed when the boats behind went different ways up the beat. Sure, if you're going to have that sort of race, then it is good to win it, particularly when it's only by about 2 seconds as this was.

But there can only be one winner in any race, whereas there can be a whole fleet full of boats who had a really good race. So it pays to be in the camp that can have fun while not winning if possible. And I think that the really good racing was going on further back for at least some of the fleet - Eugene and Helen were battling it out so intensely up the last beat that they nearly collided and Helen capsized. OK, that may have put a dampener on it for them, but you get the picture.

If you want an account of a genuinely really good race (from my point of view), you'll have to wait for my write-up on race 4 in the fleet championships. We didn't win that one, but we did have a hell of a good time coming second. Ask me in a years time which one I remember best, I reckon it'll be the latter.