Skandia Team GBR

Monday, April 28, 2008

Times They Are A Changin' ?

It used to be that I had to win, or at least come in the chocolates.. the last year and I guess some of the proceeding year things weren't gelling right and the results weren't happening like I know they should have... so results became more and more frustratingly hard to come by...

It was always a worry, sailing with my eldest son, that I would be soooo competitive that I would put him off sailing for life! So far that hasn't happened, although we've only sailed at Draycote and done no "proper events"...

That may changes or at least get proved/disproved in the next month or so as I plan to do an event or two if:

  • The bloke i've asked to shove a tow-bar on the car turns up
  • Steve (P&B) does the magic and gets me an undercover, new boom and a load of other "bits" for the boat
  • Or
  • The guys from Evolution sailing (makers of the shiny-plastic-Mk4-Miracle) do me any favours and can get me the bits I need quickly...?
  • ..oh yeh and of course if my eldest wants to do an event or 3 and the rest of the family don't mind..

Actually Sailing
I had a great sail at Draycote yesterday afternoon...decent breeze light F2 when we launched upto a decent top-end F3 maybe just F4 by the peak of the race... Son crewed well, wasn't freaked by going fast with the kite-up so I was really please, nay proud of his crewing-ability... Spinnaker launching is still our problem area, takes far too long, but he's trying his best..and the way the spinny is set-up makes dropping a pain, the halyard keeps re-cleating, need to sort that out soon.

It was Race 3 we did, a mass-start handicap race.. the wind shifted just before the start making the pin-end very favoured, with a very busy line we were just pin-side of mid-way, good boat speed at go and with the rest of the fleet at the committe-boat end tacking off we had clear space to do a good tack and head off on port... boat speed seemed fine (against the other two Miracles), although I noticed after racing that I'd got one notch too much rig-tension on doh!

So we had a good beat, stayed with the rest of the fleet, in amongst the solo's some tail-end Fireballs/FF15's etc etc, both of us enjoying the sail.. the reach was little tight and under the lee of the club-house, breeze twisting and turning all over the place so we didint bother with the kite, gybed round and "popped" it up and had a fairly good reach in decent breeze boat tripping across the chop nicely in the slightly increased breeze... my son holding up well, staying calm  in the gusts and I think, starting to trust me in the boat! Did a crap gybe... I kept the kite flying ok but then didn't force the boom over, so it was a little rough round the edges and son twonked his head on the boom, probably because of the delayed gybe.. still he coped, just, got the kite sorted on the new side and down the run we went... uneventful... next beat was "ok" we did a great mark rounding and took about 10 boat lengths at least on the leading Miracle... had a good beat, some close racing got into 1st Miracle slot and lots of enjoyment (including son's shout of "now this is what i call sailing!")

Rounded with a big fat Flying-Fifteen behind us who drifted very slowly past us, giving us crap wind and no-where to run...back to my first paragraph, in the olden days I would have defended that clear air like it was the last breath of wind, but I just sat there, chatting to my son, the other Miracle closed right up behind us... gybed clear ahead of them, but their spinnaker raise was a lot cleaner than ours; still it went up and we hammered off on a decent gust (but also a heading breeze), planing nicely, son/crew seemingly happy... then I realised we were way off the mark, dropped the kite a little late and ended up having to hitch back up to the mark ;-( other Miracle had dropped the kite a lot earlier and passed us again... bugger...

So the rest of the race was enjoyable, if not a little "slow", the breeze dropped and we sailed along happily, son doing some great spinny flying down the run enabling us to catch-up some of the lost ground...

Anyway we ended up about 14th out of 18/19 or so which my son wasn't disappointed neither was I..

So boat packed away, just as the monsoon hit, showered, bar for a quick beer and a bag of dry-roasted, chat to my lad about life etc etc and then home.... all good...


Old Stomping Ground....
I kinda miss the Enterprises... they had their Midland Areas this weekend @ Barnt Green, an hour north of here, and a club that me and Claire were members of in our Uni days; I was planning to go up and say hi but never managed to free up enough time... Looks like (unconfirmed) Richie Adams and James (Holmes of course) may well have won the event

..which is wicked, Richie is really sailing well at the moment and I'm pleased for him..

So how do I feel about it all...crap...a little, kinda funny in the stomach feeling! Sort of I should have been there, well maybe, but I guess between all the family-stuff on both our parts, me and 'J' we drifted apart, and I made the decision to go yachting with the boys more, bought the Miracle, happy with that (especially  once i've updated a few things on her), but still kinda miss the Ents, and get the "I should've been there" feelings from time to time....

I guess I thought Family & Work & Enterprises & Miracles would all co-exist nicely, do a bit of each, stayb in the Ent fleet, do some events, do lots of sailing with the kids and some events and keep the rest of the family happy and keep down my job....doesn't look like it's all possible though..shame...<sigh>

So...Who is Soulsailor now? What have I become? Where am I going? What's important?


[Note to self, not sure if these long rambling posts are actually of any bloody interest to anyone...?]



Tillerman said...

Well, I find this post interesting... even if nobody else does.

It's kind of cool to watch how people's attitudes to sailing change over the years via their blogs. Your feelings about Ents mirror my own feelings about Sunfish. I don't regret giving it up... but on the other hand when I look at their regatta schedule and read about their doings I do feel the odd twinge of nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the read! It made me think back to my sailing adventures with my Dad as a kid, it would be fun to read his side of the story now!

Ant said...

Absolutely, thats exactly it, part of the problem is its a totally different scene, but more of that in another post..soon!

Glad you enjoyed it... Yeh I think we all have some bloody great memories of past sailings...
Getting my lad to blog about his thoughts on it all... very interesting, just asked him as he was falling asleep and he's up for coming soon SoulCrew's views on it all ;-)

Tim Coleman said...

Hey Ant the Ent has been about for 50 years will be about for good few to come. So in the not so distant future you might just be racing Ents with your son. Your son will never forget the time you spend sailing together especially if you teach him all you know and give him the opportunity to take the helm from time to time.
I speak from experiance but the funny thing is its not been my boys that are keen on sailing but my girls! The lads like it but its not a real passion.