When I proposed the subject of Sailing Goals for our current group writing project I had an inkling that some of my regular readers would react by submitting articles that questioned the whole concept of having "goals" for their sailing activities. I know that some of you are ambitious racing sailors, but many of you view the sport as a relaxation, an escape from the stress of the daily grind, a chance to enjoy time on the water with friends and family. Who has goals for that stuff?
Captain JP perhaps summed up this reaction best in his post Sailing Goals - What Goals? by arguing that the concept of a goal "seems a bit too organised for a hobby which is by nature more ad-hoc, and having one is slightly against the whole spirit of just doing it for the fun of it."
Carol Anne's My Goal Post (ouch - that's worse than some of my post title puns) is all about her "goal not to have a goal". Or is it? She says that she has "a seriously jaundiced attitude toward all that optimistic goal-setting stuff" but does share with us some of her aspirations for youth sailing in her area and her hopes for her friend's success in the Mallory Cup. That's OK. I spent six sailing seasons a few years back focused on developing junior sailors in various ways and that's a pretty damn fine goal too.
Now Soulsailor was once a national champion in the Optimist Class and has recently been one of the UK hotshots in the Enterprise class. But he's now a family man and starting to do more sailing with his kids. So even he is wondering how to set his priorities for sailing this year, particularly the balance between Open Meetings vs Club Racing, but one thing he is sure of... he wants to spend more time with SoulCrew.
And then we have that poor old confused soul, Tillerman, who wrote some Muddled Musings on Sailing Goals. Sounds to me as if he too is finally starting to realize that sailing is all about enjoying as much time on the water as possible, and that racing successes don't amount to much except a few dusty trophies on a shelf.
I have promises of some more posts for the project in the next few days. A couple of people have already sent me hints of what articles they are going to write. One promises to be an extremely original and graphic way to present a goal; the other will be some thoughts about goals from a sailor with a deep appreciation and understanding of our sport.
So please have a shot at the group writing project yourself. Full instructions are at Sailing Goals. You have until next Saturday, June 14, to send in your entry.