Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mannequin Challenge

Thanks to Live Sail Die and Vela Mure a Dritta for posting this amazing sailing take on the mannequin challenge.

What is your favorite mannequin challenge video?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Trump Trump Trump and the America's Cup

This children's song (first recorded in 1956) was often played on the radio in England when I was a boy.

It has absolutely nothing to do with sailing, except that a sailor friend drew my attention to it. Nellie the Elephant is suddenly topical again because of its chorus line, "Trump, Trump, Trump."

That's all that seems to be on the news these days.

Trump, Trump, Trump.

"Klu Klux Klan plans parade for Trump."

"Trump may force all Muslims in the USA to be registered."

"Trump settles fraud case for $25 million."

Trump, Trump, Trump.

Can't we get back to the important stuff we used to talk about before the election like whether Caitlyn Jenner regrets not being Bruce Jenner any more, and why Tom Brady likes his balls soft?

On second thoughts... maybe not. I am really not all that interested in Tom Brady's balls.

The only bright spot in the news is that British sailor Ben Ainslie has led his team to victory over the Australian sailor Jimmy Spithill in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Superbowl Cup Final (or whatever it is called) which has been held in various locations around the world over the last decade or so. (Well at least it seems like it.)

Some sailors, a couple of cars and a pontoon boat.

Sadly this does NOT mean that the America's Cup will be returning to its rightful home in England. But apparently it does mean that Sir Ben and his team will have a two point advantage in the double secret round robin Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs Elimination Round (or whatever it is called) which will be sailed over about 40 weeks next summer.

After Sir Ben has won the LVACQACPER (or whatever it is called) he will finally be allowed to give Jimmy Spithill and his Australian team another good drubbing in the actual America's Cup. And THEN the America's Cup will go back to England.

I think I got that right.

Too bad there isn't an American team in the America's Cup any more.

A waste of some perfectly good champagne

So before you go back to the real news and the steady diet of Trump, Trump, Trump here is a quiz for you.

Without googling it, what does Nellie the Elephant have to do with this song?


This news just in. Rumor has it that President Trump is considering adopting Nellie the Elephant as the theme song of his Inauguration.

Trump, Trump, Trump.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Wordle from December 2013

Wordle from 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Same Girl

45 years ago today, November 6 1971, I met a girl.

44 years ago this weekend I asked her to sign on with me for life. Amazingly she said yes.

All these years later, the same girl is still with me.

Best crew ever!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Broken Wing

Don't you just hate it when this happens?

Still, it could have been worse.

Nobody was injured and the sponsor's brand name wasn't affected at all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tacking Like a Boss

Thought you would enjoy this video of Chris Arnell in an RS 300, as he puts it, making an "almost perfect escape onto port tack last weekend ;)"

I think that semicolon and parenthesis are meant to indicate he is joking.

I assume this is the same gentleman who writes the hilarious RS300 393 - adventures of a boat and her incompetent skipper blog.

I think I have written about his blog before. It's a bit like Proper Course but a lot better because Chris is much more skilled at the self-deprecating British humour thing than I am.

I don't know much about the RS 300 except that it's another RS Sailing singlehander like the RS Aero, but it's been around a few more years and it looks a lot more difficult to sail.

Somebody even wrote a blog post suggesting that the RS 300 is a cult.

Is the RS Aero a cult too?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Shelter From The Storm

Shelter From The Storm from Vimeo.

A classic from the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.

May all my sailing friends find shelter from the storm when they need it.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Should I Sell My Laser?

Should I sell my old Laser?

There it is. Stuck in the corner of the garage with a couple of bikes. Behind the lawnmower. A convenient shelf on which to store my RS Aero foils.

It's now October and I just realized I haven't sailed my Laser since April. All summer, I have been ignoring the Laser and sailing my RS Aero instead.

How did that happen?

It wasn't the original plan.

When I bought my RS Aero I intended to split my time between the RS Aero and the Laser. Actually the plan that my two fellow RS Aero buyers and I had agreed was that we would sail the RS Aeros on Saturdays at the club and the Lasers on Sundays. But that went out the window on the first Sunday after we had taken delivery of our Aeros in May last year, when I showed up at the club with my Laser only to find that my friends had already reneged on our agreement and they were sailing their Aeros. Whatever.  Six of us in Lasers raced the two show-offs in RS Aeros and in the last race I crushed them all.


I actually wrote in the blog post about that day Laser Sailing at the Lake - Crushed! ...

I love lake sailing.
I love Laser sailing.

And so I became a two boat sailor. I would sail the RS Aero at the club and at regattas and then when I went back to sailing my Laser I would strangely find that I enjoyed the Laser even more then I used to, and that my time in the RS Aero had actually improved some aspects of my Laser technique.  A Laser sailing friend from the west coast who had also bought an RS Aero told me that when I went back to the Laser it would feel like a truck...

A truck - not a Laser

But later in the summer of 2015 after I went Back to the Laser for a couple of days, I didn't think it felt at all like a truck and I was writing of the experience...

I love my Laser.
I am a two boat sailor.

I sailed the RS Aero a lot in the summer and fall of 2015, including two regattas at our home club, the RS Aeros North Americans at the Gorge and the Archipelago Rally (which I almost won!)


But then at the start of the frostbiting season in November I was feeling all nostalgic about Laser sailing again so I took my Laser down to Newport and had a terrific time including leading the 44 boat fleet at the windward mark in one race.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

I sailed a few more days with the Newport Laser frostbite fleet over the winter and did a bit of solo practice in March and April, but then I put the Laser away in the garage - and it hasn't moved from there for six months.

This summer I have sailed my RS Aero in club races and also with the Bristol Laser fleet on a couple of Tuesday evenings. I have done several RS Aero regattas including three in New England, the US Nationals at the Gorge, and the RS Aerocup on Lake Garda.

Fuzzy screen capture from a video of me sailing at Lake Garda

I have met RS Aero sailors from all over the world who share my passion for the RS Aero. And my enthusiasm for racing and regattas and traveling to regattas has never been higher. But somehow along the way I forgot my Laser.

How did that happen?

Do I need to keep the Laser any more?

Should I sell it?

Monday, October 03, 2016

RS Aerocup Malcesine - Photos from Day 3

Sunday, the third and final day of racing in the RS Aerocup at Malcesine on Lake Garda was another beautiful day of sailing in paradise. The southerly breeze kicked in dead on time for our first start at 1pm and we were off.

A start. But where is Tillerman? Buried again it seems!

Mike Saqui - my nemesis on the race course - with boat flat and game face on.
He did beat me by a few points in the regatta but I crushed him in both races on Sunday.

Nick Craven - another sailor I was crossing tacks with all though the regatta.
I guess that's his game face?
Anyway he beat me in the regatta but I crushed him on Sunday too!

My favorite photo from the whole regatta!
But where is Tillerman?

Kristo Ounap from Estonia - 3rd in the 7 rig fleet.
Amazing speed downwind. I rounded the windward mark with him in one race and he was gone, gone, gone before I could figure out what he was doing to be so fast.

Peter Barton from Great Britain - 2nd in the 7 rigs.

Per Christian Bordal from Norway - winner in the 7 rig fleet.
Another one who has figured out how to make big gains downwind.
More on that in another blog post.

The RS Aero 7 medal winners with their podium pants on.
Do they look happy, or what?

Thanks to SBG Films for all the amazing photos.