Friday, May 09, 2008
"If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly." So says the quote on the demotivational Ineptitude poster from www.despair.com.
Well, I guess that's the story of this blog. Anyone who has been following along here for the last few years knows that I have a hell of a lot of fun sailing a Laser poorly (even if some folk become confused occasionally about whether I'm really having fun by the odd ironic post such as Poppasquash Poppycock.)
Anyway, I never give up believing that I might actually find some way to improve my sailing skills. If that blind guy can bowl a perfect game, twelve straight strikes, there's hope for me yet.
On Wednesday the sea breeze kicked in with a vengeance and it was blowing a good 18-20 knots by the time I launched off Colt State Park in Bristol. I did a bit of straight line sailing on each point of sail to warm up and then decided to work on my boat-handling for the rest of the session.
Did a few practice starts. Hard to assess how well you're doing when on your own, but at least the mechanics of accelerating, sheeting-in, hiking out, and going flat out for a couple of minutes seemed to be working smoothly.
Then a few tacks. Tried to work on eliminating all the faults with my tacks I'd found in the last few months... hiking out before the hand-swap, not getting the feet in a tangle, not easing the sheet too much or too early. I still have to think about these things; they're not automatic yet. But it's coming along.
Then some simulated mark roundings. Windward marks and leeward marks. Yikes. These are bad. However did I get round a racecourse sailing like this? My bearing away around a windward mark is slow and shaky. If I have to gybe before a leeward mark there's no predicting what might not go wrong. I'm beginning to understand why I had all those incidents with the Aussies at marks in Terrigal. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the racing rules, it's clear that my ineptitude and unpredictability at mark roundings in heavier air makes me a hazard to shipping.
So I have a choice. "Learn to enjoy doing it poorly." Or put in some more solo practice sessions until my mark roundings are tactical weapons that I can use to gain places, instead of opportunities to drop places at best or wipe out at worst.
Hmmm. Can we do it? If a blind guy can bowl 300, yes we can.