Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cancun Knee

Oh no. Not another post about injured body parts (I hear you say). Is this guy obsessed with his aches and pains?

All right. Settle down. What if I am? It's my blog. And my body parts. So here goes.

Back in March of 2000 I sailed the Laser Masters Worlds in Cancun. As sailing regattas go it was about as good as it gets. The regatta site was on the beach in front of the hotel in which we were staying. The temperatures were in the 80s. The wind was 15-20 knots every day except when it was stronger. 145 of the best old geezer Laser sailors in the world (plus me). Man it was awesome.

So this was the routine every day. 2 or 3 miles sailing to the racing area beyond the reef. 2 long races on trapezoid courses. 2 or 3 miles sailing (upwind) back to the beach after sailing. Except for the runs your feet never left the hiking straps. Magic.

Of course being a fair-skinned Caucasian with Viking ancestry I lathered up every square inch of exposed skin with SPF 999 sunscreen. But after a day or two I noticed that my knees were getting sunburned. I was wearing normal hiking pants with my knees bare. And I guess the sunscreen was rubbing off my knees as I scrambled around the boat in tacks and gybes. Then for most of the time (with my iron-muscled straight leg hiking style of course) my kneecaps were facing the relentless gaze of the Caribbean sun.

It just got worse every day. However much sunscreen I put on my knees they just got burned every day and ended up red and raw. Much worse than my little problem after running this week.

So when I got back I bought a pair of three-quarter length hiking pants and never showed my knees to the world again. These Queensport pants from Australia have doubled up neoprene in all the right places and super strong non-flex battens in the backs of the thighs. They are one of my most heavily used items of sailing clothing and have stood up to the abuse extraordinarily well considering I have had them 5 years now.

Hey that wasn't so bad was it? At least I didn't show you a photo of my knees!

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