Sitting on the sidelines yet again watching another worlds go by is leaving me frustrated. I’m not much of a hindsight person tending to just get on with things and take it on board but this past week has been one of regret! Having spent the winter sailing in light airs alone Dubai looks like it would have been a great Ninja venue. I kinda knew this already but couldn’t get excited enough by the venue to get my act together.
The pumping thing has come to the fore again, mostly thanks to Cleans commentary. I feel that if we de-restrict pumping in order to get foiling we are going to have another windsurfing style problem where suddenly you have a fleet of gulls flapping their wings to get started rather than using the finesse that rules currently. The raceboards had a situation when pumping was allowed and suddenly the fitness levels had to increase massively to cope with the increased workload and I feel that will be bad for the class – putting top level competition out of the reach of a 9-5er and favouring those who can go to the gym/sailing all the time.
Being allowed to pump won’t mean the heavier guys get more of a level playing field, as the lighter guys will just foil earlier anwyay.
I may be biased as I’m currently not too bad at it, but I find marginal conditions incredibly testing and rewarding – sure you get the frustration as guys foil past you but the challenge of getting going, looking well up the course keeping in the breeze and picking your spot to gybe involves just as much finesse and technique as sheeting on and pelting downhill at 25 knots. As always, sailing is a sport of averages, every dog has his day and those that deal best with whats thrown at them tend to come out on top and if you spend your whole time practicing in 10+ knots you should wholely expect to get your ass handed to you in 5.
Anyway, well done to Amac, a triumph (so far) of brains over brawn. Also well done to Mike Lennon who regularly gets overlooked and is right up there, thanks to a winter of hard work (Aardvark spars help obviously!).
Rant over. Normal service to be resumed…