Last weekend was our Laser District Championship. A two day event in Wickford, Rhode Island. Part of the multi-class Wickford Regatta.
Here are what the winds were on Saturday and Sunday. (On Saturday we raced from noon to 4pm and on Sunday from 11am to 3pm.)
I basically had one main objective for the regatta. Finish every race.
That may not sound very ambitious but, as regular readers of this blog will know, last year I had a very pathetic racing season. I hurt my back badly in early May, and had to take about six weeks off from any exercise including sailing. Then when I did start sailing I was very tentative, easing myself into it very gently so as not to hurt my back again. The result was that by the time I started sailing major regattas again in August I didn't have the stamina and fitness to complete all the races on a heavy air day. It wasn't until the Fat Boys Regatta in late October that I actually finished every race in a regatta. And that was only a one day event.
So I hoped to do better at Wickford.
And I did. I finished all seven races.
Not only that, I felt strong and relatively fresh right up to the end of the last race. I wasn't just going through the motions, somehow struggling around the course, as has been true by the end of some regattas in previous years. I was sailing as hard as I could in every race.
So that was all good.
I think all the practice I have been doing since coming back from Florida in early March has paid off. Not only was my stamina better than at any time last season, my boat-handling was also pretty smooth (by my standards.) No bungled tacks. No catastrophic gybes. No death roll capsizes. No getting the sheet tied in a Gordian knot.
So that was all good too.
I am still not as fast as the good sailors upwind in 15 knots and waves. That too should improve as I get fitter and practice more. I can hope, can't I?
But downwind I was passing boats on almost every run and every reach. And we had a lot of those as we were sailing trapezoid courses. I must admit I do get a lot of pleasure of blasting past other sailors on a reach. Children can be so cruel at my age. I credit one simple tip that I learned at SailFit in March. Never knew before that I had been doing reaching wrong all these years.
All in all a good weekend. Gave me a lot of confidence and enthusiasm for the coming Laser regatta season.
Maybe there's (some) life left in the old dog yet.