Last week was a great end of our summer Holidays. I sailed with my son the Districts Championships of the Star Class. Participants came from Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands to Loosdrecht to sail 6 races in little wind. Jim and I decided to join two weeks ago. Since he hardly has any experience in sailing, let alone regatta sailing we practiced 4 times (2 times no wind, 2 times almost too much) and we both became enthusiastic. He enjoys the physical part and for me it was great to sail again in my own boat. It was already more than a year ago and then only for a day. Last year the cleat of the mainsail broke in a lot of wind and that was the end of the race.
We ended up as 10th in a field of 30 with a best mark rounding: third. We said to each other that it would be nice if grandfather would see this. And you guess right: there he was, in the smallest motor boat ever. Even more proud than me. Three generations on the waters of Loosdrecht where my father used to live in a house boat until his 18th.
The nicest dialogue of the day: ‘Hey dad it must be great to sail with someone as supportive as me,’ Jim said with a smile halfway the beat. Seeing the question mark in my eyes, he added: ‘I don’t know how to sail and just follow your orders the whole day, without questioning them. That must be awesome.’ I had to laugh and told him to pull the jib 2 centimeters. He was completely right and his unconditional support helped me to raise my own game.
He is now enthusiastic to sail the Bacardi Cup in Miami. What’s in a name?
Some key learnings:
- I can still loose weight, 3 kilo’s in 2 weeks. Several years back I had to loose 12 in 6 weeks time and never got more respect from my secretary than during those days, although I looked a bit weak: The Star boat has a maximum weight limit and if you are too heavy you’re not allowed to sail the race.
- For the first time in 40 years I brought all the sailing gear and clothes in one bag. It felt intimate. I packed it every morning so that my dear son could sleep a few minutes more (7.30 in Holiday time is very early). The last day I brought everything except for my own sailing clothes…
- You need to adjust the jib in light air every few seconds. We learned it the hard way sailing behind the later winner who did a horizon job on us.
- No conscious spiritual connection to the wind and the environment this time. Just sailing and coaching on experience and only one real clever decision in 6 races. But sailing on intuition and experience can bring nice results.
- Unconditional trust brings the best conditions for results.