Long time no see

It’s been a while!
Life has been keeping me well occupied lately, so I’ve only had a brief spin in Shredder at Queen Mary since the Port Talbot regatta. This has mostly been down to a lack of water in the reservoir, which is now sorted so sailing can resume.
In the meantime I’ve been keeping busy with a bit of mountain biking with a few trips over to the Forest of Dean and some local action in the Mendips.  I think cycling is probably the perfect companion for sailing; it’s something you can actually do when there is no wind, unlike my other random hobbies like windsurfing and radio yachting! I did however make the mistake of going riding with Doug Pybus. It seems Doug is a bit of a demon on a bike. I couldn’t keep up and ended up hitting a tree with very little damage to myself, thankfully! Mr Payne took some of Doug’s advice on cycling last year and ended up with a fixie and hilarity ensued. So perhaps the message should be “don’t listen to him”!
My early midlife crisis has taken me down to Gosport for a radio multihull open meeting. Everyone takes the piss out of me for this, as it’s supposed to be a bit of an old man’s sport, but I find it quite intriguing. Trying to get a boat to behave at its best upwind and down with no outside input other than helm and sail control is quite an interesting design challenge. This combined with my limited multihull experience (that’s my old mans department!) means I’ve got my work cut out.
The other aspect I love is being able to watch a race unfold in front of you. When you are actually sailing in a boat it can be quite hard to place yourself on the track against others with regards to shifts and track position. This all plays out for you with models and you can instantly see the effect of line bias, shifts, puffs. I’ll be back down there with my tri this Saturday for part two of the club championship. Day one was a tight fought affair and I narrowly missed out on the top spot after turning up late and missing a race – hopefully I can sneak ahead this time around!
So, winter is fast approaching and usually some of the best sailing is to be had. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the water to test a few things and get back into the swing of things for my Garda campaign!