Salve Regina and Brown University are hosting the intercollegiate sailing championships over almost three weeks. The women’s championships just finished. the Team racing has just started. I have always had a soft spot for team racing. College sailing remains one of my fondest memories.
I am struck by the contrast in outfits worn by the teams; demonstrated by the photos. I was surprised by the amount of gear for sail at the event. We had neither the money nor the inclination to dress alike.
You would have to be my age to remember the Contender class It is almost nonexistent in the United States; the stronghold of the class is Europe. I regard the class as the first performance singlehanded boat, well before the 49er, the moth as we know it today.
The other part of me is always amused by the possibilities offered by “modern” cameras. I am assuming this was shot with a go pro.
This is a fascinating article that is really applicable to any dinghy. Most dingy sailors do things because they somehow know it’s right. Because it is faster than the boat next to them; avoiding anything that makes them slower. It is observed and learned. I don’t think anyone sailing asks themselves the technical questions while they are out on the water; many people never trouble their minds with these questions, especially if they are fast, it’s all that matters.
During my college years we would go out and sail against each other for hours at a time, refining each movement in the boat. In today’s world they are doing it better and much sooner. The young kids are so much more sophisticated than we were; in every sport.
On big keel boats one really does have to know that what you are doing is fast, because the results do not manifest themselves quickly. Particularly in a distance race where you might not see another boat. It is the learned behaviors we come to rely on.
I am not a big person. I have had to deal with my size all my life. I am not whining, I is a simple statement of fact.
In my early years of sailing there was no limit on the amount of weight one could carry. I carried as much as I could bear, more than most other people. I would wear knee pads the wrong way around. I exercised, I built a hiking bench. I would sit, hiking out stacking books or weights on my chest. It should come as no surprise that I had lower back problems.
I had made hiking jackets, by sewing groups of eight sweat shirts together. Then either bailing water onto myself or dunking myself in the water, to gain weight. Once I wore so many, when I turned my head I could not see over the collar of the weight jackets.