Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | April 8, 2009

This is Going for it… Win or Swim

Somewhat off topic, but I can’t help keep watching this video. Broadcast reminds me of the old ABC’s Wide World of Sports. And to be young, and skilled enough to manage to get on one of these Aussie 18’s… would be the thrill of a lifetime. Especially as seen here sailing at 30 knots. Long ago, the class became so expensive they had to get corporate sponsors. Recall a 1990’s add with the Citibank sponsored boat’s crew shown in suits, ties and briefcases all out on the traps. So if you’ve ever enjoyed a Hobie… think Hobie only two to three times the speed. Yeah… you kind of have to be something of an acrobat and literally dance through the tacks… and most folks don’t manage it as well as these guys. But sure beats sitting out waiting for the wind in a tub.

Skiff sailing is an art of its own, though, and the Brits like to watch as much for the capsize dramatics as for the race. But it sure turns the old adage about a sail boat race having the excitement of watching the paint peel or the grass grow on its head. Enjoy the “cheeky” narrators almost as much as the footage!

Most of the skiff sailing… or any sailing video seems to select some pretty doggone… “I want to be edgy but I’m a yachtie” rock soundtracks to accompany the views… but this leaves off that banality (my son’s sent me links to a series of youtube cut-ups mocking Loggins & Messina’s “yacht rock”… yes, Dad’s are never edgy or with it).. and… well… that’s enough. Enjoy my fantasy… but like the Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe fantasy… one unlikely to get too close to reality. And if you’ve ever watched or been the little sailor in the soap bar of a sailboat boat moving along at a honking 1 knot in 3 knots of wind… or if you’ve ever gone out on someone’s boat for a sail only to wonder why…  or if you’ve even ridden a jonboat with one of those early 1-1/2 HP Seagull engines struggling to move forward against a 3 knot wind or 2 knot tide…. at least you can appreciate the contrast.

And as you get ready for that last push to Pascha (had to get a tie-in somewhere)… think of these guys. Will you capsize or jibe safely at the mark? Will you raise that spinnaker heedlessly on the last downhill run, or will you play it conservatively? Will you go for it… or will you swim? Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking it would sure help to have one of these Aussie announcers riding shot gun with us, huh? “Look… they’re going into the burger joint… and out the other side…these guys are really going for it… this is how it’s done… and on to the next mark at the Brie bar… they make the turn… and look at them go…” Okay… it’s an idea… and at this point in Lent…another fantasy.


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