Monday, June 11, 2012
What a very English scene! A steam engine hauling some coaches in Great Western Railway livery along a line running past a small lake.
Wait. There are some Lasers on that lake. There must be a sailing club there.
Indeed there is. Trimpley Sailing Club. According to their website, the main boats they sail are GP14s, Lasers, Toppers and Optimists. As far as I can see from Google Maps, the lake on which they sail, Trimpley Reservoir, is barely half a mile long.
How totally English! England is dotted all over with dinghy clubs like that. Six years ago, I wrote about a very similar club, my own first sailing club, Taplow Lake Sailing Club.
A few years ago, a young girl called Alison learned to sail with her Dad in a GP14 at Trimpley. She then started sailing an Optimist and after a short stint in the Topper she switched to the Laser Radial when she was 15. Alison has been training hard and competing locally, nationally and internationally in the Radial for the last 10 years. All her hard work paid off a few weeks ago when Alison Young was selected to be the British sailor in the Laser Radial class at the Olympics this year. Then, last week, she went out and won the gold medal at Skandia Sail for Gold, sailed at Weymouth, where the Olympics will be held in a few weeks, and in the process beating all the top Olympic contenders from other nations. Now folks in the know are talking about Alison as having a real prospect at winning an Olympic medal, maybe even the gold.
Bravo to Trimpley Sailing Club!
Forget the family Windsor. Forget "Sir" Elton John. Forget the English football team. They all leave me cold.
It's places like Trimpley Sailing Club and people like Alison Young that make me proud to be English.