Happy New Year! It has been a while since my last post. I finally got around to getting my big toe operated on and am gradually getting a little more range of motion. I never fully appreciated how important our toes are in having proper walking mechanics and how problems in our toes and feet can affect our whole body. Needless to say, I have a lot of kinks to work out!
My plan for 2011 is to work towards the J-22 World Championship which will be held in New Orleans in October. I will have the pleasure of sailing with my good friends John Morran and Mark Salih in this event and we will try and sail 3-5 regattas together prior to the Worlds. Along the way, I am going to try and hit a few Laser Master's events, perhaps do another Mallory Cup in the fall and see what else comes my way.
The first events will be the Laser Master's Mid-Winters closely followed by the J-22 Mid-Winters which are both conveniently located at the same Yacht Club, on back-to-back weekends at Davis Island in Tampa, FL in late February.
In the meantime, I have posted an article that Jonathan McKee recently wrote for Sailing World Magazine that I think perfectly describes establishing worthy and attainable goals for anyone who loves sailboat racing.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Jonathan and Carl Buchan as we sailed together as members of the US Flying Dutchman team that trained together prior to the 1984 Olympics.
Jonathan and Carl are not only amazing sailors but their approach to the sport was so enjoyable to watch. They genuinely loved being out on a sailboat together and they just made it look effortless.
Over the past several years, subconsciously, I have tried to adhere to the ideas that Johnathan so eloquently communicates in his article.
I am truly convinced that in sailboat racing, there are so many variables and so many things that can go wrong during the course of a major regatta, that if one focuses only on the outcome and not the overall process of getting ready to compete, too often disappointment will be the outcome.
I find the joy in sailboat racing comes from the planning and preparation, the time spent with great friends, the butterflies you feel in your stomach on race day and the sensation of the breeze on my face as the boat smoothly slices through the water.
If all of your preparation is approached with the feeling of excitement and anticipation and not viewed as a necessary evil, my guess is that the chance of a great result will be more likely.
McKee's Minute: Crew Choices Keep Things Positive
How do you go about building a happy crew? I don’t pretend to be uniquely qualified in this area, but I have learned a few guidelines over the years:
Choose personality over skills. You can always teach a person to be a better sailor, but it is very hard to change personality.
Sail with family. I grew up sailing with my parents; I’ve raced with my brother for 40 years, and with my wife for 25. The bonds you create by sailing with family member are strong and overwhelmingly positive (at least for me). As my kids are getting older, they’re starting to race with us, too, which is very cool for a parent.
Rekindle old friendships. Inviting someone to sail with you for a day is a great way to reconnect or broaden a relationship, since racing allows an ideal level of meaningful interaction.
Make new friends. If someone expresses interest in your boat, invite them aboard. If one of your regular crew has a friend, have them along. If you have a co-worker that you enjoy, get them on your boat. What a great gift you are offering, and some of these people will end up as regular crew or lifelong friends.
Keep perspective. Measure success by how many laughs and great conversations you had!