Skandia Team GBR

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who Inspired Us?

So Tillerman has asked the question and the wet and windy bits of the blogosphere are answering.. the question? Who or What was your inspiration to start sailing?

So what the hell happened to me at an early age to turn me into a sailor?

Bloody caravans....

Yep when I was about 6 my dad (Mick) leant some guy who lived on our street his caravan, the guy re-payed my dad by taking him out for a sail one sunny afternoon... he enjoyed it, he had another go, he did some crewing (Ents, Flying Fifteens etc) he joined Draycote Water SCC and did more crewing, then he tried helming, he liked that, bought a Solo and well that was that for him, completely hooked and still sailing now...

For me, I went and watched, got dragged along to open meetings and nationals and regattas, watched the cool sailors the competitive sailors and the bloody fanatastic sailors and learnt stuff, read books about transatlantic crossing, single-handed voyages etc and got took out in boats, tried Optimists and did the usual Royal Yachting Association way... up through the junior levels in Optimists and bang I was addicted too... As for inspiration, that I think was "just sailing", just being out there with the elements was what I enjoyed, oh yeh and the competition and the adrenalin fueled reaches in a force 5 when your doing well and you can't afford to capsize on the gybe and you nail the gybe...ahhhhhh...

As for people that inspired me, well it was the people I grew up sailing against really Ian Walters (Europe and Lark National Champion), the Irish's (Greg and Steve) National and International rockstars in various classes (and still are)... then there were some inspirational Optimist sailors who were around and have now dissapeared from the scene Jeremy Davey, Tony Gunstone oh and of course the Lovering brothers, they're still around...Debbie Jarvis (Womens 470's @ the Olympics) was someone I knew well, who helped me and I followed her campaign closely (Thnxs for the Chrimbo card!) and of course John Merricks was a big inspiration as I came out of Oppies and into sailing 420's. During my student years I just got exposed to more and more random good sailors (and drinkers) in random classes I tried and the Enterprise class and my old mate James Date from the Laser class was always telling me to hike harder and get fitter...! (one day I will listen to him)

So thats a very quick view of how I got here, now I need to go and wrap up some Christmas presents....!

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