Friday, November 04, 2005


A few days ago I wrote a piece looking back at the highs and lows of my sailing season this year. I said I've been thinking about what I should do differently next year in order to make some progress. The old definition of insanity (sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein) is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So I am determined to do some new things in 2006. What will they be?

1. Sell the Sunfish. Even back in June I was writing about how much I was enjoying sailing the Laser that I was hearing voices in my head telling me to get rid of the Sunfish. It's a tough decision because there is a lot of Sunfish racing in the area I live now, I have a lot of friends in the Sunfish world and I've had a lot of fun over the years racing the Sunfish -- including being on the US team at the Worlds a few times. But it feels like it's time to move on. If I'm going to get better in the Laser I need to focus on it.

2. Sail Laser regattas all summer. This summer I did most of my sailing racing in the Laser fleet we are building on one of our local lakes. Building a fleet was rewarding. But it did no good for my own sailing ability. The competition there didn't stretch me. And the regattas that really count (at least for me) are the major regional and national regattas that are almost invariably sailed on ocean, sea, bay or sound. I need tougher competition on a regular basis and I need to spend more time sailing on the sea. Going to a regatta almost every weekend will be the way to achieve that.

3. Don't take on a summer job. Hey, I know that most Laser sailors have full time jobs. But at my age, after working all week teaching sailing, sometimes I didn't have the energy, mental or physical, to hook up the trailer and drive a few hundred miles on the weekend to a regatta. So July and August were pretty much a competition famine for me. In 2006 I will not fall into that trap.

So that's the first part of the plan for next year. Clear the decks, eliminate distractions so I can focus on sailing Laser regattas on the ocean.

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