Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Sailing by Numbers

OK. All you "live in the moment" and "it's all about the fun" sailors can ignore this post.

You will hate it.

It's all about numbers and keeping count of days sailed and year-on-year comparisons.

Hey, shoot me. I like numbers.

I've been keeping track (on posts or pages on this blog) of how many days I have sailed each year since 2008.

This year I sailed 28 days by the end of June.

28 days in half a year! That doesn't sound like very many. Especially as I was aiming to sail 100 days a year in 2008. But let's look back and see how it really compares…

In 2008, I had sailed on 43 days by the end of June, and achieved 94 by the end of the year - and blogged about every single one of those days. See the optimistically titled 100 Days at Sea. But the number of days sailed in the first six months was boosted by trips to Cabarete in January, to the Laser Masters Worlds in Australia in February, and to SailFit in Florida in March. Considering what an awful winter we had in Rhode Island this year I really should have done some similar trips this year. Oh well!

2009 was the other extreme. It was the year I almost gave up sailing. The only redeeming feature was that it did give me a topic for a blog post - 10 Reasons Why I Almost Gave Up Sailing This Year. And I am doing better this year than I did in 2009.

I'm also doing better so far this year than I did in 2010 when I had only sailed on 16 days by the end of June and ended up clocking a total of 46 days of Laser sailing.

I'm also doing way better than I did in 2011 when I had a very slow start to the year, only achieving 10 days of sailing by the end of June. I caught up a bit thanks to a trip to Minorca Sailing in September. but still only made it to 43 days by the end of the year. Hmmm - maybe 40 or so days a year is the new normal?

But wait. In 2012 I got the year off to a cracking start with trips to Cabarete in January and SailFit in March. But then I injured my back in May which slowed me down a bit and I only achieved 18 days by the end of June. After my back recovered I got back in my stride, sailing a lot with friends, taking my granddaughter Emily sailing, doing a few regattas, and finishing off the years with trips to Minorca Sailing and Bitter End Yacht Club. Made it to 64 days by the end of the year. Maybe that is the new normal?

2013 was another good year. Some frostbiting in January and February, back to SailFit in March, lots of solo practice and a couple of regattas and I made it to 32 days by the end of June. August was a bit slow but trips to Minorca Sailing and Bitter End YC again pushed the total number of Laser sailing days to 72 by the end of the year.

Hmmm 40s to 64 to 72!!!! You've got to admit it's getting better…

Last year, 2014, was a very odd year. I went out sailing on my own on a couple of days in January. What was I thinking? But then I didn't sail at all in February, March or April. I picked up the pace in May or June, aided by a coupled of friends who were in training for the Laser Masters Worlds in France and were always happy to have me as a training partner. That got me to 22 days by the end of June. July and August were a bit slower, but once again trips to Minorca Sailing in October and Bitter End YC boosted my days on the water to a respectable 71 days by the end of the year. 70+ days a year is the new normal.

In the interests of full disclosure I have to admit I did start counting days on the water other then Laser sailing in 2014. Maybe it was a recognition after ordering an RS Aero that I was no longer a one trick pony.

Same in 2015. Every day on the water in any kind of craft without an engine counts. Laser. RS Aero. Hobie Wave. SUP. Kayak. Whatever.

So what does it all mean? Well, for one thing, my 28 days by the end of June is my third largest total in the last eight years. Not too shabby.

And for another thing, to amass a largish total of days in the year I need to travel to warmer places to sail in the colder months - Dominican Republic, Florida, Virgin Islands, Australia etc. Not a surprise really.

What remains to be seen is whether owning two boats - a Laser and an RS Aero - motivates me to sail more days in the year, or whether my inherent laziness sets a natural upper limit which I will never exceed.

Onwards and upwards to #43 - which at the current rate I expect to attain in early August.

It looks hot and windy outside. I think I'll take a nap now.


Sam Chapin said...

For some reason I have been counting this year --- 85 so far but I live in Florida and some of the sails were not very long and most of them not very fast, so don't feel bad about your number.

Tillerman said...

Hi Sam. Good to hear from you again.

Now I feel bad about my number.

SoxSail said...

Well, I sailed a few days in January, and I think just once each in February and March (if I recall correctly.) I got out 3 or 4 times in April and another 5 in May for less than 15 days total through June 1. But I made it out 15 times in June to just catch up with you Tillerman. I really thought I'd have more than that.

I've also done some coaching (both on water and chalkboard), some digital racing (Virtual Volvo Ocean Race), been PRO thrice, and a lot of hours of boatwork. So that's how I'll justify it. I've already sailed 5 days in July, so I'm trying to make up for lost time. Hoping this winter is warmer!

Tillerman said...

Well done SoxSail. I've done RC duties three times too but I didn't count those.

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