Thursday, August 02, 2012
I only met Heidi a few days ago but there was an immediate attraction. On Tuesday I decided that I just had to start a relationship with her and I asked her out. She didn't mind my suggestion at all.
Dressed in red and black she looked ready for action. I was excited to be giving her a whirl. After all she's never been rigged before. At least that's what she said.
There are some rules for the first date. I'm not quite sure where they come from but current etiquette has it that you don't want to get your vang too tight and it's not a good idea to yank too hard on the downhaul in the first couple of hours. Something about letting her relax on your first encounter so that she will be in better shape on future outings. Apparently it does wonders for her performance over the long term.
So that's what we did. On Tuesday afternoon I took her over to the iconic waterfront of Bristol, Rhode Island where I've had some success before. She looked crisp and white and so young, with not a wrinkle in sight. Made her predecessor look old and tired by comparison.
We took it gently to start with but, at least on my part, it was love at first sight. She seemed more smooth in the luff than her immediate predecessor; I'm a sucker for smooth luffs. Her bottom had a perfect curve, not too full, just a perfect shape. Her leech was nice and tight as it should be. But I think it fluttered a bit once I started working her a bit harder.
I tried some gentle beating and I was surprised by how well she responded. But mostly I reached around a bit and that was the most exciting part of the date for me. Man, she seems fast.
I haven't been block-to-block with her yet but I suspect that is a definite possibility the next time we go out. I wonder when our next date will be....
OK. OK. OK. I know this is only a rework of my 2008 post First Date. But, hey, recycling is good isn't it? And some of you may not have read that earlier post.
Hmmm. So the sail I bought in 2008 lasted four years before I felt the need to buy a new one last week. There's a lot of whining in the Laser class about how expensive legal sails are and how they don't last very long. There's some truth in that, especially for the guys at the front of the fleet where the wear in even a couple of regattas may make a significant difference to their performance. But for a guy like me thrashing around in the bottom half of the fleet... nah, not so much. I'm only doing this for fun anyway.
I used the sail that was new in 2008 at the 2010 Master Worlds (not the sail's fault that I did so badly there) and at numerous other regattas, and for trips to Cabarete and Clearwater for clinics, and for practice and frostbiting for the last year or so. Four years of fun for around six hundred bucks. A few dollars each time it got used. When you add up all that I have spent on my sailing addiction in those four years, regatta fees, charter fees, airfares, car rentals, hotels, meals out, rum, beer, Advil... etc. etc. etc. the cost of a sail is really not a major part of my sailing expenses.
So let's have less whining and more sailing.