Sunday, May 21, 2006

Eight Days a Week

For 25 years I have been wondering why I have never progressed above being a middle-of-the-fleet Laser sailor, but I think that the latest issue of the North American Laser Class newsletter may have the secret. In a cute little section entitled Laser Profiles, the magazine has a series of answers to various questions by a range of Laser sailors.

No - it's not that they all look disgustingly young with lots of hair. (Except for Jim Christopher who gives his age as "pretty old".) It's not even the revelations that Anna Tunnicliffe likes to eat "pasta with tuna" or that Rogan Kriedt's friend Ben "sits on him constantly". No - the shocker for me was the answers that these folk gave to the question of how many days a year they sail their Laser.

Bernard Luttmer - 110 days
Emily Billing - 170 days
Mike Leigh - about 200 days.

Yikes - that's a lot of sailing. No wonder they're all faster than me.

Somewhere I have some records of how many days I sailed back in 2002. Let's see.

Laser club races - 17 days
Laser regattas - 20 days
Laser practice - 18 days
Sunfish club races - 18 days
Sunfish regattas - 4 days
Sunfish practice - 15 days
Total - 92 days

Hmmm - I guess that's not a huge amount less than Bernard Luttmer. Must be some other reason why I'm such a crap sailor. What could it be, I wonder?

How many days a year do you sail?


Anonymous said...

Right now you've got me beat hands down... but I hope to change that this year... was sailing six days last week. :D

Ant said...

It varies with me, in my earlier days I'd be doing racing on a Wednesday evening, at least once a week "training" during the working week and then all weekend...

This year for a variety of reasons I have only 12 events on the calendar.. that may change a little but not a lot.. all (I think) 2-day events, area championships etc... who knows what next year will bring.
Not sure whether sailing lots makes you better.. in a 2-man boat you build up the chemistry and synergies certainly.. but you can still get to a point where you can sail once a month together and still work well.. in a single-hander I think its easier to sail; less, but the reality (no crew) is that you sail more...

Fuff said...

About 1500 miles through a season. I couldn't tell you days, but most summer afternoons and weekends. So lots, I think. Don't be hard on yerself about racing, I bet I'm more rubbish than you at it.

Litoralis said...

Since college I have probably sailed about 10 times per year and most of those were crewing on a Star. In college it was more like 100 days.

I bet the difference between you and the top Laser sailors (other than their natural ability and youth) is that a higher percentage of their days on the water is spent practicing with a coach or some other organized drills.

Shopping City Chaplaincy said...

I suspect that there are a number of factors including attitude and preparation.
I could be that when it comes down to it, you're not that fussed about winning but just enjoy the racing and the sailing.

Fitness and ability are probably not the biggest factors. Sailing is not like some atheletic sports nor are the skills beyond the ability of most people.

Quite often it is simply that those that win are making better use of the prevailing conditions because they have planned for them and have worked out what course and stratagy even before they got into the boat and then, crucially, they connect what they see hapening with the plan thier head and make good choices.

Anonymous said...

From about 1992 to 1998 I was easily sailing 200 days a year. Travelling back and forth from Sydney, to Melbourne and basically ever where in between. One year I went from Brisbane to Sydney, Sydney to Melbourne, Melbourne to Hobart, Hobart back to Melbourne, Melbourne to Perth, Perth to Brisbane. There was sailing at each location. For about 6 years in a row I never saw my parents at Christmas or New Years because I was off sailing somewhere but they where with my younger brother sailing somwhere else.

Now... I'm lucky to even get on the water...

But now that I manage a sailing school I get to see the next generation of sailors coming through the ranks, and I think back to how lucky I was to be able to even have sailing in my life.

My Dad??? Well retirement agrees with him and he sails about 5 days a week!!!

Zen said...

Well, all those numbers blow the doors, er sails off me :-)... for now. There is this thing that is called... hummmm, oh yeah work, that gets in the way.

But it is quality, not quantity,
not about winning or losing, but sailing...
woops, oh, sorry it's that "zen" thing that keep jumping up :-)

Pat said...

Maybe 40? It's a mixed bag of lazy day sails, cruising, crewing, plus a lot of other time messing around fixing boats and marinas and doing race committee and stuff. Probably will get more water time in the coming year with the need to crew on my wife's boat.

Fred said...

Interesting post again: Have sailed 14 days on Ice this year and 7 days on water. Looking forward to most weekends until Oct. Including my cruising holiday and weekend racing there could be 30-35 more days in it. Much less than, when I did not have a company.

More interesting is your other question. The "stuck to mid fleet" one. Have thought about it a lot whilst travelling the last days. Wish I had an easy answer. I would suggest that you try to free your mind of being a mid fleet sailor. Purchase a new sail and go: "hard disk" cleaned, fresh about it. You seem to know so much about the rules, the weather and the start options, better placings will happen soon.
smooth sailing.

hold fast said...

i somehow refuse to count my delivery days; that's work, isn't it? Hahaha! Um, i'm logging about 60 recreational/racing days a year... until this post got me to count, i had really given it so little thought; for a self-professed sailor, i don't sail much do i?

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