Monday, April 01, 2013

8 Reasons Why Running is Better than Laser Sailing and Other Random Thoughts on the Same Theme

The other day I was looking at the Facebook page of world famous Laser Master sailor John Dawson-Edwards.

Apparently in October last year he celebrated his 66th birthday and after thanking all his friends for their birthday greetings he commented, "My first year as a Great Grandmaster is over and I never went sailing!"


Another Laser sailor bites the dust?

Apparently cycling is John's passion these days.

Actually I seem to remember he was always a keen cyclist.

Except now he races his bike but not his Laser.


I'm not a bike racer but I am a runner.

And I've been thinking lately about why running is so much better than Laser sailing...

  1. Running is a lot simpler and cheaper than Laser sailing. To run all you need is a pair of sneakers and some season-appropriate clothing. To go Laser racing you need a boat and a new sail and lots of fancy rigging and a drysuit or a wetsuit and hiking pants and hiking boots and a compass and a starting watch and a wind indicators.... there's no end to the stuff you need. 

  2. You can run anywhere any time. No wind - you can run. Blowing 30 knots - you can run. Stuck in some motel in some godforsaken state in the middle of the continent with no water in sight - you can run. 

  3. In running races you can measure your performance against the clock, against your own previous times. In sailing it's all relative. You might be going fast for you, but if there are 20 other guys going faster, all you know is that you didn't even make the top 20. 

  4. It's a lot easier to fit running into a busy schedule. I can step outside my front door, go for a 45 minute run, come home and shower, and be sitting in front of the TV drinking a glass of whiskey 60 minutes after I started. Laser sailing at best consumes a half day, and sometimes a whole week. Who has that sort of free time these days? 

  5. Girls. A lot of girls run. I think I read somewhere that these days 60% of the participants in half-marathons are girls (of all ages.) That's a lot more girls than you meet at Laser regattas. Of course I'm happily married, but if I weren't then running would be the ideal sport to meet lots of girls. 

  6. You don't get wet when running (unless it's raining.) 

  7. You don't capsize when running. 

  8. Runner's high. 

I woke up in the middle of last night.

I started thinking about my plans for the month.

There are four weeks left in the frostbiting season.

One Sunday I'm down to do RC.

One Sunday is our wedding anniversary. Actually not just any anniversary. One that ends in a Nought. The family are all coming to help us celebrate. No sailing that Sunday.

Another Sunday there is a 5k running race I would really like to do.

Another Sunday there is a 10 mile running race I would really like to do.

Oh shit.

I think I might be going the way of John Dawson-Edwards.

Anybody want to follow a running blog called Proper Course?


Keep Reaching said...

Reason #1 why Laser Sailing is better than running - it is more fun.

Tillerman said...

Oh yeah. There is that.

Tim said...

I've been drifting away from the sport for a while. The excess of faffing is one aspect, the overcomplicated rules and aggro they induce on the water are another. Perhaps why sailing is declining so rapidly?

I still need to engage with the water but surfing, fishing and kayaking are all simpler and more relaxed while still providing the excitement and sense of achievement.

Tillerman said...

"Excess of faffing." I like that.

Actually I was going to include a "reason" about the Rules too but I forgot. I don't even really know if running has a rule book as such. I guess it must but nobody at my level ever worries about it. But in sailboat racing everyone needs at least some basic Rules knowledge or it would be chaos. (Actually it often is chaos!)

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Skipper, face it: Laser racing and cross country racing is age inappropriate. For you it's either golf or mommy-boating for your grandchildren. I think golf is a non-starter. I recommend you keep sailing like Keep Reaching recommends, only change hulls and rigs. I recommend one-design racing in Couch-20's. Choose a boat you can race in as opposed to on. Age appropriate.

Tillerman said...

Age appropriate? Who wants to do something that is "age appropriate"? Not me.

The whole point about getting older is that you can get away with doing things that are totally inappropriate. If you keep doing them long enough you can even be admired for the crazy stuff you do.

I think I'll go for a run now.

Keep Reaching said...

I don't understand age appropriate either - I am still waiting to grow up and, frankly, don't see any need to rush it.

Tillerman said...

"Grow up!" It's one of the biggest lies that your parents tell you. There really is no need to grow up....ever. That's why we enjoy so much messing about in little boats. It stops us from having to grow up and drive a yacht.

Dallas Dude said...

Does thinking I'll take a nap now count as not growing up? (-;

Tillerman said...

Oh yes. It's very important that people who have not grown up take their afternoon naps. Otherwise they will be very cranky at bedtime.

max mulhern said...

I missed a 3 day regatta so I could play a short piece on my violin in a saturday morning concert! You have to mix it up!

Unknown said...

Running hurts your knees.
Running makes you sweaty.
Sailing splashes cool water on you.
You can't capsize while running.
You can't get hit by a car while sailing.
You can't plane while running downwind
You can plane while running downwind

I've never seen a smiling runner. I've seen lots of smiling sailors.

Unknown said...

I agree with MYCSunfish, I never smile when running and almost always smile/whoop when sailing fast!

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