Friday, October 15, 2010
Some of the comments to my recent posts about how I had only managed to sail half the races in the recent Laser Masters World Championships on account of my general unfitness and overall wimpiness, not to mention also being a crap sailor, were of the general sentiment, "it's not about winning... sailing is meant to be about having fun."
I don't know whether these people have read my blog for very long because, if they had, they would have noticed that I rarely ever win. I wasn't ticked off that I didn't win my division at the Masters Worlds. I never had any prospect of winning. I was ticked off that I didn't have as much fun as I usually do. On the first day I capsized a lot in the first race and was too exhausted to do the second race. In the middle of the week I got sick and missed three races. And on the final day, in spite of a good first race, I was just mentally too tired to do the final race. I was not having fun because I was missing too many races, not because I wasn't winning.
For me, racing is fun. (Usually.) I ought to write a post called Ten Reasons Why Sailboat Racing is Fun. I don't need to win to have fun. I think my feeling on the rare occasion when I win a regatta must be a bit like the one a golfer has when he scores a hole in one. He might have given himself a chance to do it. But he didn't expect to do it. He wouldn't have been disappointed if he didn't do it. He's mightily surprised that he did do it. And he's so happy that he did do it that he buys everyone a drink in the bar afterwards.
If the only way to have fun when racing were to win, then most of us would be miserable most of the time we are racing. Statistically most of us are not going to win most of the time. If we didn't have fun not winning, then we would soon give up.
A very wise man called Stuart Walker once wrote, "Winning is the object of the game, but it is not the object of playing the game."
Think about it.
Play the game.
Posted by Tillerman at 4:08 PM