For many months I had been using this picture as the header on my blog.
Pretty boring, eh? But at least it had the merits that it didn't take up much too vertical space and it didn't distract too much from the latest post on the blog. Actually that's a question that I'm still in two minds about: Should the header picture be eye-catching or should it should blend into the background so the latest post attracts the eye more? What do you think?
I did think the picture of the tops of Laser masts might make people wonder, "What the hell is going on here?" So just in case you were asking that (which you probably weren't) here's how that photo started out before I cropped it down and made it black and white.
A typical windward mark rounding on a winter afternoon at my old club, Cedar Point YC in Connecticut. I may well be in that mayhem somewhere but you can't see me.
Lately I've been getting bored with that black and white picture of tops of masts, and was also feeling that the blog was looking claustrophobic. I wanted to widen the blog slightly and put up a wider header photo with a bit more oomph.
So for a few days this week I was using this photo.
The photo was stolen by me from the Greenwich Bay Sailing Association website and, although not identified as such there, I believe it's of a start at the 2008 Laser World Championships in Terrigal, Australia.
The picture appealed to me as it captured so well the intensity of the sailing in a top Laser fleet a few seconds after the start. Look at those expressions! And, the way I cropped, it there was even a nice white space in the top left-hand corner for the actual title of the blog.
But, after a few days, I became dissatisfied with this picture. All those hotshot Laser sailors staring so purposefully at me began to unnerve me. "Why don't you get great starts like this all the time?" they seemed to be saying. Besides, this photo used up too much blog real estate in the vertical dimension. So I started hunting around the web for a better header photo.
The new photo is stolen from John Bertrand's blog Bertrand Racing. That's American John Bertrand, Laser world champion in 1976 and 1977 and silver medal winner in the Finn class in the 1984 Olympics; not Australian John Bertrand who skippered Australia II to victory in the 1983 America's Cup and who won the bronze medal in the Finn class in the 1976 Olympics. I know. It's confusing. It would be like having two guys called Mitt Romney running for president. Why doesn't one of them change their name, for Pete's sake?
The photo is in John's post about 2010 Laser Masters Worlds - Day 4 and is captioned "A quick fast start led to a second place finish in the first race today" although it apparently shows John leading the fleet into the windward mark.
John finished third in the Masters fleet in that Masters World. I was sailing in the Grandmasters fleet and didn't finish third. For me the picture captures the essence of the Hayling Island Worlds. Those dark foreboding clouds remind me of the chilly, damp, often very breezy, weather in England that week. I start shivering again every time I look at it.
So I hope you like the new header picture. But you probably don't care. Why should you?