Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Goal

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a commitment to achieve a certain goal in the 2007 Laser Masters World Championship in Portugal. One of my readers Dan from Adrift at Sea has taken to leaving comments here joshing me about my plans for "world domination" and "Laser mastery". Sorry to disappoint you Dan but my goal is "only" to finish in the top half of my age group fleet at that regatta.

First, a word of explanation for those of you not familiar with Laser Masters racing. To qualify as a Master in the Laser class you have to be over 35 and at Masters regattas these days we are scored against other sailors in our own age range. Those aged 35-44 are known as Apprentice Masters, 45-54 are Masters, 55-64 are Grand Masters, and sailors aged 65 or over are Great Grand Masters. Usually at the Masters Worlds the number of entrants is so large that we have separate starts for each age group.

Secondly, before Dan and others berate me for setting too easy a goal, let me explain. I have sailed three Laser Masters Worlds before -- Cancun in 2000, Hyannis in 2002, and Cadiz in 2003. Every time I finished almost exactly at the 75th percentile in my age group, i.e. three quarters of the way down the fleet.

It's a tough group. They may all be old guys but all of them are as crazy about Laser sailing as myself -- or even crazier in many cases. There are no marshmallows in these fleets. Hmmm -- didn't I write a post a few months back about how if you don't know who the marshmallow is, it's probably you? It could be, it very well could be me.

So, sure I would like to think that I could be among those taking home a trophy from the worlds one day, but I have to be realistic. The first aim is to raise my game so that I am consistently in the top half of the fleet. Once I'm there it will be time to think about moving up even higher.

A fellow Laser Master blogger, the writer of Split Tacks has set himself a goal to win a trophy at the Masters Worlds in Australia in 2008. Good luck to him. It may well be realistic for him. But for me it's "top half of the fleet in 2007".


Anonymous said...

Tillerman... I'd say that shooting for being faster than a third of the sailors currently ranking above you, and a 25% improvement in finishing position is definitely a worthy goal... I guess we'll have to wait for 2008 for world Laser Domination under the Tillerman.

Tony said...

Contrary to popular belief, Laser Masters events aren't just a bunch of old blokes messing around. They are tough. Very tough.

These are often the guys who were winning open world championships 10, 20 or 30 years ago. The bodies might have slowed down a little, but the brains haven't. And they train with the zeal of an Olympic gold medallist.

To finish in the top half at a Masters Worlds is a very challenging and worthy goal. Good luck!

Carol Anne said...

The guys and gals you're saling against aren't geezers and grannies. And if you can finish right in the middle of them, that proves you aren't a geezer either. Go for it.

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