I was in a very gay mood on Sunday.
OK. OK. I realize that it's pretty much impossible to use the word "gay" in a sentence like that these days without being totally misunderstood. But once upon a time "gay" was a very useful word in the English language with the meaning of "happily excited, merry, keenly alive and exuberant."
So let's start again.
I was feeling happily excited, merry, keenly alive and exuberant on Sunday.
I went racing with the Duxbury Laser fleet. There were eight Lasers racing. The fleet was close. The race courses were perfect. The weather was perfect. Everyone was having a good time.
Between races one sailor sailed across to me and said something along the lines of, "What a great day to be alive. I don't mind looking at all these transoms on the race course. It's just good to be out here." I totally agreed.
I haven't raced much this summer on account of some lower back pain after the Newport Regatta but it was fun to be at it again. Several of my friends have been training hard this summer for the Laser Masters Worlds at Hyères in France in October and two of them were there on Sunday. They were both sailing really well. Smooth. Fast. Smart. Their hard work is really paying off.
On the other hand, my results weren't anything to write home about. In my best races I was third or fourth, I think. I'm not going to write home about the other races.
As I said, I was in a gay mood. (See above for translation.)
I was feeling a bit French too. (No translation needed.)
French Laser sailor from Hyères...
So while we were racing, I was shouting random phrases in my bad schoolboy French at my two friends who are going to the Worlds to acclimate them to what it will be like sailing in France.
"Cette fille est très rapide!"
"Maintenez votre cours!"
"Chambre à la marque!"
"Trichez la maison de soins infirmiers. Mourrez sur votre Laser!"
And from time to time I would break into a rousing verse or two of La Marseillaise, for the same reason.
Oh, I was in a very gay mood. (See above for translation.)
After sailing, one of the other mid-fleet sailors came up to me and starting launching in to some explanation as to why he had been sailing so badly. I was tempted to join in with a litany of my own excuses, as I usually would have done. But I was in too good a mood for that so I replied…
"I'm just happy to see my friends sailing so well."
And I was.
Bonus points for anyone who can complete a limerick that starts with the line…
There was a French sailor from Hyères..
Helpful hint: Hyères rhymes with "sea air."