I accept that I am not a normal human being. Exhibit 1 is that I have never had a real job, but have made a living designing sailboats instead. Exhibit 2 may be the fact that I enjoy rotten weather. I’m good with a nice summer sea breeze, of course, but I also like blizzards, thunder squalls, and a good ripping northeaster. After my 18 month sabbatical in San Diego for the 1992 America’s Cup, one of the many reasons that I couldn’t wait to get back home was the weather: it was always perfect there, bright sun and 68-69 degrees (OK, maybe into the 70’s in summer), and it would only drop into the 50’s at night. It got a little hazy in the spring and the locals complained bitterly about ‘June Gloom’. Please. Here our TV weather forecasters are live on camera twice in a half hour newscast and they get about 10 minutes of air time. In San Diego they got about 20 seconds on tape, because it doesn’t take long to say ‘sunny with temps in the high 60’s’. I declined a free trip to Hawaii for a team victory celebration/bacchanal, partly because I needed to see clouds, a chilly easterly, drizzle, anything!
Everything that matters in life always loops back to sailing, and a related memory from San Diego was its astonishingly large fleet of sailboats. Row after row after row of them were tied up in slips, but few of them ever seemed to actually go sailing. My guess is that this is because the SoCal sailing season is twelve months long, with +/-345 days perfect for sailing. Each day is just like the one before and the one after, it’s too much of a good thing, and the sailing is always the same. It’s ‘been there and done that’, and they leave early on Friday to do something else.
Here in New England, it’s obviously a very different deal. Winter is out for sailing, except for a few hardy frostbiters and those few that go to ‘away’ events in warm places. We don’t really do ‘Spring’, so our regrettable ‘sleet, drizzle and mud season’ is our bridge between winter and sailing. The water is still pretty cold in May, and life seems to get too busy for us now in September/October, (despite a lot of picture perfect sailing days), and before we know it, it’s winter again. The result of all this is that most of us cram our whole year of sailing fun into just three short summer months. Since we don’t have the luxury of a lot of good sailing days, we understand that we need to make the best of those that we do get.
We all know that it takes careful pre-season preparation to take full advantage of our short sailing season. This Newsletter is here to help prioritize this preparation process:
- The newly released MRA schedule is summarized on page 2.
- Kim Pandapas has written a great piece on boat preparation (see p 3).
- We offer some suggestions for dealing with other preseason prep issues (page 2)
- We note some of the ways in which various Fleet 5’ers have gotten away to recharge/reenergize themselves in preparation for the 2018 season.