Tuesday, August 22, 2006


In yesterday's post Time for a Change I wrote about a change in my level of commitment to the sport of sailing. Let me explain...

I have decided to sail in the Laser Masters Worlds in July 2007 in Portugal and in 2008 in Australia. I have committed to prepare myself for these events much more seriously than I ever have before for a Laser regatta. I have set myself some goals for my results in these events and have been planning my training program leading up to the 2007 Worlds.

I find myself feeling energized and excited about this ambition. I am in a totally different place from when I wrote Schemes and Dreams back in January. Then I was feeling laid back about sailing and my only aims were to sail a lot, to have fun, and not to stress about the results.

It's still going to be fun but in a different way. Now I have a definite goal, a determination to succeed, and a commitment to do the hard work to make it possible.

For reasons I don't fully understand, my attitude to sailing has changed. Maybe it was because after a relaxed year sailing locally I am ready to take on more challenges. Maybe it's an awareness that the Big-Six-Oh is rapidly approaching and I start to wonder how many more years of active Laser sailing are left in this aging body. Perhaps it is because running two marathons has made me realize that seemingly distant goals can be reached with persistence and training. Or perhaps it's because I read this in Scuttlebutt the other day...

From Vann Wilson (With regard to the ... Laser Masters Nationals held last weekend at Richmond Yacht Club):

It bothers me to no end to be the first to publicly cast a shroud of suspicion on the Great Grand Master Division. However, I believe that all the athletes in this division should be spot drug tested for the whole works at the next big regatta; synthetic testosterone, blood doping, steroids and or see if they have been swimming in that pool from the movie cocoon.

Something is fishy with those guys. To qualify to be in that division you have to be 65+ years of age. Give me a break: tell me that the six Great Grand Masters in this division racing Lasers on the famed Berkeley Circle are not "on something."
I want to stay fit and healthy enough to be one of those Great Grand Masters sailing Lasers at 65+. But more than that I want to be racing in Masters regattas at the regional and national level with a chance of being among the winners, not struggling to keep up with the tailenders.

Thank you to everyone who left messages of support in the comments on yesterday's post. It means a lot to me that so many folk have enjoyed my scribblings over the last few months. But I have changed. And I'll explain more in a post tomorrow about why that has caused me to start thinking about the future, if any, for Proper Course.

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

Cue Drumroll!

Sounds like a very worthy and exciting goal tillerman!

bonnie said...


You go, Tillerdude!

EVK4 said...

I don't buy it. OK, I buy that you're going to take racing more seriously. But you're a born journalist (hell, you edited a newsletter for years) you're not giving up the blog just because you need more hours on the hiking bench.

You're trying to drum up more hits on the blog before you go commercial to pay for this intensive training and EPO.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Johnsee and Bonnie.

Edward - just curious as to how anyone could come up with that theory - are you in marketing?

Thanks Skip - no, I have no plans to tour in an RV with Tillerwoman, though we did watch the Robin Williams movie RV the other evening.

Tim Coleman said...

Oh man! For a moment there I thought you had come to your senses and were getting a real boat!


Only Kidding (a bit)

Go for it!

EVK4 said...

I thought the "publicity stunt" yesterday but posted it on today's comments. Nobody reads old posts and I demand to be heard.

At least two of us sailing bloggers have mentioned this abandonment and I know that at least one of my tens of readers wandered over here on the news. Did you notice the spike in readership?

Tillerman said...

Yes Edward. Google called me this afternoon to complain about the overload on their servers caused by all the visitors coming here from your blog.

So you think that I am like one of those aging rock stars doing a farewell tour only to come out of retirement a few months later?

Pat said...

The Tillermeister will need a support team. He should have a publicist or team manager to help out with blog and publicity management and coordinating information among his support team members. And he'll need folks to line up sponsors (businesses or maybe sail training foundations) so he can travel around the country to a variety of good regattas and become more familiar with the competition.

And he'll need some good local Laser wizards with whom to tune.

And sails and stuff. (Does the Laser class put any limits on how many sails and how much gear you can bankrupt yourself by buying?) And maybe that motorhome (motor caravan) is a good idea.

Plus, is one of his blog fans acredited as a physical trainer or nutritionist? And, what sort of home gym does he have and who will he train with? ;-)

Tillerman said...

I like the way you're thinking Pat.

So far the only "sponsors" that have come forward are OG from LiveSailDie who sent me some bumper stickers (and turned down my offer to carry her logo on my sail if she bought the sail) and some guy who wanted me to review his "practice" Laser sails. And wasn't there an invitation from you and CA for me to stay at Five O' Clock Somewhere while campaigning on the Laser circuit in New Mexico? Oh - and Ward from about.sailing.com did say I should never have to buy my own beer again but it wasn't clear that he was offering to actually buy it himself. Hmmm. Still, it's a start.

I know that one professional sailing coach reads this blog occasionally - not sure about a physical trainer or nutritionist though.

And no, the Laser class has no rules that prevent you from going bankrupt. You can have a new sail every week if you want.

Anonymous said...

I hope you bring back some trophies... but this does mean you're going to have to step up the Tillerman training regimen. :D

EVK4 said...

I'll throw a "Polka Dot Racing" tee-shirt into the sponsorship mix. I think I have a gray one left that nobody wanted.

Tony said...

Portugal and Terrigal? I'm officially jealous...

Anonymous said...

I don't read my RSS for two days, and now you're thinking about quitting the blog?! Kudos to you for going big on the race circuit. As you know, I aspire to do the same, but c'mon man! If Tom Ehman can run his personal blog, the AC Challenger blog, and the BMW Oracle blog, all while running the campaign, I'm sure you can find the time to keep us updated on your progress.

If it truly is your desire, however, to deny us all our daily dose of "Tillerspeak", then I understand, and wish you the best of luck on your journey. I also invite you to write some articles for Seadated if your desire to write hits you again. And no matter what you do, you've got my email address, and you had better keep in touch!

Carol Anne said...

I'm much relieved that you aren't giving up sailing, and I would say that even if you're stepping up your training and commitment to sailing, you should still be able to give us updates on your progress -- your blog means too much to too many people for you to give it up, and we'll understand if you can't post so often as you used to.

Yeah, Pat and I definitely still have a standing invitation out to you to come to Five O'Clock Somewhere if you want to sail here, and we have a line on a really awesome condo for next year at Dillon -- three bedrooms, friends of my parents own it outright, not a timeshare -- if you choose to do the Laser Worlds there rather than the Laser Masters in Portugal.

Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll do well, and I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

see my new movie:
1977 Laser World's


Zk pinho

Pat said...

Actually it's the Snipe Worlds that'll be at Dillon next year ... but they will be having their Laser No-Coast Championships, and yes, we likely will have a big condo there for a week or more.

Of course, we have fun imaging a lone Laser sailor getting into the whole team thing ... since we keelboat folks do a lot of this group-team stuff.

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