How did I come to this conclusion?
Well, I took a look back at my somewhat embarrassingly titled post 100 Days at Sea which actually chronicled my 94 days of Laser sailing last year. I wanted to do an analysis of those 94 days, where I sailed, what kind of sailing I did, etc. etc. to see if I felt like making any adjustments in my priorities for sailing this year.
What I discovered was that of those 94 days...
- 50 were days spent sailing by myself
- 44 were days sailing with other people.
For what it's worth the 44 days of sailing with other people broke down into...
- 27 days of racing
- 7 days of formal sailing clinics
- 6 days of practice with one other boat
- 4 days of practice with a group of other sailors.
Is it true?
Well, not exactly. Even though I sail a single-handed boat I do enjoy the camaraderie and banter with other sailors before, after and even during the racing or practice. It's just that I wasn't all that good last year in seeking out opportunities to sail with other like-minded folk and so, in the quest to achieve 100 days of Lasering in the year, often the easiest thing to do was to hitch up the trailer and go off somewhere for a blast on my own.
In the process, as I've mentioned before, I did develop an appreciation for the peace and solitude of being the only sail on a bay on a weekday afternoon. I was able to focus on some of the minutiae of my technique and work on them at my own pace. And I was able to choose when, where and how I sailed with no need to take anyone else's views into account.
Yeah. Pretty anti-social I guess.
So one of my aims this year is to change the balance of my sailing to do more group sails and informal practice with other like-minded souls. The signs are good...
- I made contact last year with two groups of Laser sailors who get together to practice at the same time every week, one on Tuesday evenings and the other on Saturday afternoons. On the assumption that those groups are still active this year I aim to join in with them as soon as they start their sessions, and sail with them as often as I can.
- My son shouldn't be quite as busy this summer as he was last year. As far as I know he is not planning to chalk up any more degrees, sit for any more major exams, sell or buy any more houses, or give birth to any more babies in the next six months. So I'm hoping he will want to come out for some more two-boat practice sessions with me like our awesome outing from Third Beach Newport last fall Fat Boy and Little Man.
- Even better, I finally found an actual practical use for Facebook. Some bright spark has started a Facebook group for Laser sailors in our district. And another bright spark has started a discussion thread in that group about creating a Laser practice group to meet up at various sites around the area for informal practice and point-to-point sailing. Terrific!
So that's four ways I can avoid being so much of an anti-social bastard this year.
But today I think I'm going to head out for some solo practice. See ya.