Monday, January 04, 2016

A Sailor Looks Back on 2015

2015 was another funny old year.

Inevitably I will remember it as the year of the RS Aero.

Let's see what I blogged about...

In January, as usual, I was pondering my New Year's Resolutions. To resolve or not to resolve; that is the question. Eventually I decided to ignore what Eric Twiname and Dennis Conner said, and instead to follow the advice of Samuel Beckett and Damian from The Final Beat blog, not to mention inspiration from Jayne Mansfield and The Two Ronnies.

The Two Ronnies 
with someone who is not Jayne Mansfield.
Sorry about that.

The plan was to
1. Envy more.
2. Do more than those guys do.
3. Fail again.
4. Fail better.

It didn't exactly work out because "those guys" did even more.

But I did achieve #1 and #3.

Oh well!

February's blogging was a little sparse, touching on such topics as Janet Jackson's breast, how to get from Rhodes to Rhodes, and why America still seems strange to me even after living here for over XXV years. Nothing to see here. Let's move along.

March 2015 is a month that will go down in sailing history for being the first time that an RS Aero was sailed in Newport, Rhode Island. Or anywhere in Rhode Island, I guess. Probably the first time in the whole of New England.

It all happened because of the ingenuity, persuasiveness and persistence of my friend, the sailor formerly know as the Email Dude. The Email Dude had had an RS Aero on order for a year. But he still hadn't had a chance to try one. So he persuaded our friendly local RS Aero dealer, Scott Hardy of the Boat Locker, to lend us his demo RS Aero. Not deterred that we were in the middle of the worst winter in living memory, and that all the lakes and most of the bays were frozen over, the Email Dude took the demo RS Aero to Newport... and the rest is history.

The Email Dude launching his RS Aero in Newport

I was still waiting for delivery of my RS Aero in April.

But it was on its way!

I was so excited I even blogged about the container ship it was on.

And obsessively followed the ship's track.

What can I say? It was a long winter. I even lost Tillerwoman in the snow one day.

Sorry about that dear.

May was a great month. A HUGE month.

On May 14, Scott delivered three RS Aeros to my house. The Aeros Have Landed!

Three shiny new RS Aeros

My two friends and I had a few chances to practice with our RS Aeros, including one memorable day when it was gusting 30 knots, and then at the end of May we raced in the First RS Aero Regatta in the USA East of the Continental Divide.

These two quotes from that post say it all.
"Saturday was a perfect day for racing on Lake Massapoag, sunny, 80 degrees, wind from the SW in the mid-teens gusting into the 20s. Champagne sailing conditions."

"I can't remember the last time I had so much fun at a regatta."

 Me in an RS Aero

June was a great sailing month too.

I mixed it up with some Laser sailing in Rhode Island and RS Aero sailing at the lake club in Massachusetts. This caused me to write a post pondering the benefits of sailing in two different classes A Tale of Two Boats.

Me in a Laser

I was also competing in the Wednesday night pursuit races in the club and wrote a post trying to explain why I was enjoying this experience so much - with the cheesy title The Pursuit of Happiness.

What can I say about July?

I sailed in one of the most amazing sailing venues on earth, a place long on my bucket list, in the first North American Championship for the coolest new singlehander on the planet.

What could be better than that?

August was a quiet month for blogging in Lake Wobegon, apart from some more babbling about how awesome the RS Aero North Americans had been. I think I was still high. Sorry about that.

September was memorable for the 66th Annual Massapoag YC Regatta which is famous for having the largest ever fleet of RS Aeros to sail in a regatta east of the continental divide. One of my blogging friends described this post as, "Best race report which barely discussed sailing I've ever read."

Skippers' meeting at 66th annual MYC regatta

I've noticed I have developed a tendency to write very long posts about the first day of a regatta and then forget to write anything about the second day. Sorry about that.

October was memorable for the day when I (almost) won the 43 boat Archipelago Rally. Thankfully it was only a one day regatta so my readers weren't deprived of half the story.

For some reason this photo is in my post about the Archipelago Rally 
but now I don't recall actually seeing this boat in the race.

November was memorable for my return to Laser frostbite racing in Newport.

I wrote about it at the pithily titled Hubcap Diamond Star Halo 56th Sail.

Me sailing my Laser in Newport 
and actually doing well in one race
Bang a gong!

December was memorable for another awesome sailing vacation at Bitter End Yacht Club and actually doing well in another race with the Newport Laser Frostbite Fleet. I haven't written about either of them (much) yet. Sorry about that.

2015 was another funny old year.

I sailed small boats  - RS Aero, Laser or some variety of Hobie cat - on 66 days in the year, which is about average for recent years.

But I only wrote 128 blog posts which is way down from my usual output.

Sorry about that.

Maybe I should scrap this blog altogether and start writing a new one called Sorry About That?


Unknown said...

66 days on the water. Damn - good for you! I'm shooting for 30 this year. It will be my first year of actually tracking the number.

Tillerman said...

I could have done more.

Should have gone sailing in January and February. (In an icebreaker?)

Should have gone to Minorca Sailing in October. Could have added at least 10 days there.

Still think I could make it to 100 in a year. Maybe 2016?

Unknown said...

Tillerman, how many days per year did you sail before retiring?

Tillerman said...

Good question Dion. I wasn't keeping track back then. But let's see...

15 days of Laser frostbiting.
10 days of Sunfish racing at my local club.
5 days at a major regatta - CORK, Sunfish Worlds etc.
4 days at other Sunfish regattas.
5 days at other Laser regattas.
5 days practice in spring and fall on the lake near my house

Around 45 days perhaps. I am sure it varied a lot from year to year.

Baydog said...

All this talk about sailing has made me dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. I think I'll take a nap now

Tillerman said...

Me too. For various reasons I haven't sailed since Dec 20. That's 16 days!!!

I guess I wrote this post partly to remind myself of the good times I had on the water last year.

April come she will...

Baydog said...

FebUary will make you shiver

Tillerman said...

Winter has me in its grip
I think I'll take a summer trip
on a sunny sailing ship
where the shells lie in the sand.

Baydog said...

As I reach for a peach
Slide a rind down behind
The sofa in San Tropez.
Breakin' a stick
With a brick on the sand.
Ridin' a wave
In the wake of an old sedan.

Tillerman said...

There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

Baydog said...

Is that container ship made out of Legos?

Tillerman said...

LOL. I see what you mean. Making a container ship model out of Legos would be relatively easy, now that you mention it.

Alden Smith said...

A great set of 2015 posts - all in Kodachrome of course.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Alden.

Baydog said...

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

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