Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why is Sailing so Frustrating?

Why is sailboat racing such a frustrating sport?

Why is that on some days you can see the wind perfectly, just know without thinking exactly which side of the course to be, can time all the shifts right and are always sailing on the lifted tack; and other days you have no idea what to do strategically and are always going a different way from the fleet leaders?

Why is it that on some days your timing of starts is perfect, you are always in the right place on the start line, sailing fast and crossing the line just as the gun fires; and on other days you are either way back behind the line in the third row or over early?

Why is that on some days your boat speed is excellent and you can sail higher and faster than the opposition; and on other days you are slow and sluggish and unable to point and are wallowing in bad air the whole race?

Why is it that on some days your boathandling is smooth and flawless and on other days you sail like a clumsy elephant with ten thumbs?

Why is it that you can never figure out what it is you are doing mentally or physically to trigger those days when everything goes right on the racecourse?

Why is sailboat racing such a frustrating, rewarding, annoying, satisfying, addictive sport?

Some Days
Laser Sailing at Lake WhippersnapperLearning to Love Light Air
Broken Neck

Other Days
Wheeze Uck
Dead Squirrel
More Dumb Mistakes
SlowSailer Racing Association


Stephen Macklin said...

It's a bit like golf. You can play like absolute crap for 17 holes and swear you will never touch another club. Then your six iron approach shot to the 18th green will float in and stop eight inched from the hole. And you'll be back.

OG said...

It's because of all these things that we love it.

If it was the same each week we would get bored.

Getting buried at a start line gives you a goal - fight back hard or look like a fool.

Having a cracker of a start means holding that place - otherwise you'll look like a fool.

If you had a glamour race each week then you wouldn't come back for more the next day or a week later.

Instead you would stay home knitting.

Adrift At Sea said...

And now you know why I don't race... :D Low frustration tolerance levels...

Zen said...

The Universe is about balance.
Yin - Dark - moon - female
Yang - Light - Sun - male

What if there were only men :-(

The bow that is always tight, grows usless with time.

Rambukk said...

Sailing is an extremely complex activity. So many unpredictable and predictable factors.

rev tc said...

hi tillerman,
thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
i know just what you mean about those feelings of frustration and exhilaration. i was a surfer for 25 years in australia and new zealand before moving to london, and i have distinct memories of days surfing where i was in complete harmony with the ocean and could surf effortlessly and really well, and other times when i felt completely out of rhythm with the ocean, and try as i may, could do nothing about it on that day - very frustrating.
but life's great isn't it? and what a joy it is to even be able to get out on the water at all, rhythm or no rhythm.
bless you mate.

Tim said...

Racing a small dinghy is a most amazing sport. It requires a level of physical fitness, stamina, agility. It requires sailing skills, the ability to understand the technical aspects of trimming the rigging and the sails, the knowledge of the racing rules and how to use them tactically, the ability to 'read' the wind and water and how to develop a stratgy to make the best use of them. It is also a mind game, how to psych yourself into the right frame of mind to focus on the right things, how to refocus after it has gone wrong. So if sometimes it doesn't go so well, don't be suprised. I try to learn what I can from my mistakes and then move on. Some days you find yourself 'in the zone' and it all falls into place nicely.

Pat said...

Sorry, but I don't think I can relate a whole lot to the parts about flawless boathandling and perfect execution. Much more practice, learning, and coaching are clearly called for in my case.