Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In A Rut?

When you live in one of the best places on earth for sailing (Rhode Island) it is all too easy to get into a rut when choosing where to sail. Why would I travel more than 20-30 minutes from home when there are so many delightful locations to sail right on my doorstep?

The issue exists at several levels -- local, regional, national and global...

There are several excellent places to launch my Laser for a solo practice session within a 20 minute drive that I sometimes overlook the fact that there are other superb spots that are perhaps an hour's drive away.

There are plenty of regattas that I can sail every year and sleep in my own bed every night, that sometimes I don't feel like booking a stay in a motel or hotel and driving to sail a regatta in Vermont or Maine or even on Cape Cod.

There are so many Laser regattas in New England that I sometimes ask myself why I should bother to drive to South Carolina or fly to California to race in a major regatta. My blogging friend O Docker tried to put me straight on this point today with his post Ten Reasons in which he tried to tempt me to sail in San Francisco Bay next year.

And with so, so many wonderful opportunities to sail in North America, why would anyone even consider flying to Europe or Australia to go Laser racing? I have done. I will again. Am I crazy?

I am basically a lazy person. I could easily get into a rut in my choice of sailing locales. The beauty of sailing a Laser is that I don't need to stay in my rut. I can haul my Laser anywhere that I can drive that has a beach or a ramp and launch my boat. I can race Lasers all over this continent if I so choose. And I can travel to international regattas even further afield when the mood takes me.

I must make sure I don't get into a rut. Please help me. Please emulate esteemed blogger O Docker and write a post listing some reasons as to why I should consider coming and sailing in your favorite sailing location. If you don't have your own blog then feel free to email me your list and I will post it here. Don't let me stay in the rut.


JP said...

Fab - a group writing project!

Will add to the list of things to.

SFBayLaser said...

With respect to the 2011 Master Worlds... San Francisco has a well deserved reputation for being cold, windy and foggy. On the other hand, San Francisco can also be bathed in brilliant sunshine, parts of the Bay Area can be downright hot, the fog can range from a deep layer that refuses to burn off at all to completely non-existent, etc. In the end the local climate, and micro-climates, are what make the Bay Area so unique, ultimately making it the prime tourist destination that it is. And, of course, one of the world's greatest sailing venues.

The 2011 Master Worlds will be hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club as it is the only club with the resources to manage an event of this magnitude in the Bay Area (and, at last count, I think St Francis is running 5 world championships this year and is currently scheduled for 4 next year). However, the racing will be held somewhere in the general Berkeley Circle to Southampton area of the Bay with launching from "Steve's Marina" in the Richmond Riviera. The Richmond Riviera is aptly named, even the most tenacious fog cycles (like what has gripped the Bay Area this entire summer it seems) will burn back from the eastern section of the Bay Area and its a rare afternoon that is not warm and sunny there.

I should also add that while I would train for a regatta with wind strength in the upper teens, what we actually get will depend on what the North Pacific High decides to do. So, I'd expect the breeze to range from 12-15 to 20-25. Of course, the weather is the weather and its even possible to get rain (August does average 0.05 inches of rain in San Francisco!). Still, I'd assume I would be hiking for this regatta.

The Finn Gold Cup begins this weekend and is the "test event" (as far as I am concerned) for the 2011 Laser 4.7 and Master Worlds, with the prime difference that they will aim to sail in the "teeth of the gale", ie right in the heart of the Berkeley Circle. Still, if you want to get an idea of what the Master Worlds could be like at its windiest, then watch the Finn Gold Cup next week ( SailGroove will be doing live video, good way to see what happens!

In the meantime, you and Tillerwomen should start planning now on whether you want to spend any spare time touring the Napa Valley (45 minutes north), Lake Tahoe (2.5 hours east), Yosemite (2 hours southeast), Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur (2+ hours south), Santa Cruz (1+ hour south) or just spend time in San Francisco.

Of course, what one should really do is drive out with their boat and stop in the Columbia River Gorge for some training there before coming down to SF... That is a good place to train for Hayling Island it turns out (see for an example!).

Tillerman said...

Thanks Tracy. I should think that after England in September this year, San Francisco in August next year will be positively balmy. And thanks for the tips on other places to visit.

A cross-country road trip with a Laser in tow would be quite an adventure. Perhaps our district secretaries could be persuaded to schedule some regattas at suitable stops along the way?

O Docker said...

The 'microclimates' are for real.

The fog has been burning off in Berkeley by noon most days this summer, even if it doesn't in the city.

But the phrase 'Richmond Riviera' still makes me giggle. Weatherwise, it may hold, but you can leave your Gucci and Versace at home.

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