29 September 2008

sailing plans

From fall 2006 to summer 2007 I obtained a German motor boat license and a cruising certificate for yachts on sea shore. I had no idea that I would not use this certificate at all this year and go into an entirely different direction. Yacht-sailing was made easy for me, because I had previous experience on dinghies. But when I joining the St. James Town Sailing Club, my first deed was to capsize the dinghy that I planned to be tested on and then volunteering to take a beginner's class all over.
This season I spent many, many days at the sailing club. In the beginning of the year I was often not even sailing, because I was not certified yet or the wind was too strong for me to try it. With Albacores, Lasers, Catamarans and many different kinds of races and other activities, the club really never gets boring and there's lots of things that I didn't try yet at all or want to do lots more next year. In order to do as many things as possible, being reasonably prepared for each one and still leaving some time for my work and studies, I want to make a coarse plan of all the things to do.

  • First of all, I want to get certification as a sailing instructor. As far as I heard, the chances of getting a job the same season of getting the certification are pretty slim, but I still want to do it for the future. I think it's a more interesting job than TA'ing Computer Science and I also want to do some of the prerequisites anyway.
  • Second, I will get the motor boat license (PCOC) and the Toronto Port license, which I need for being an instructor and also for helping out running races.
  • Third, I will of course do the bronze IV course that our club will offer in May. I think that people who did this course have definitely become better sailors! (Also, it's a prereq. for being an instructor.)
  • Forth, I want to crew as many races of the Friday Night series as possible and be an awesome crew for our awesome helms (and have it reflected in my final standings). I might skip one race to volunteer for the race committee on a Friday Night.
  • Fifth, I want to learn my about boat repair and repair more of the damages that I make (haha! of course my goal for next season is not to make any damage) and also work more on general boat maintenance and evolution of rigging. In this spirit I will probably be Boat Captain of one of J-Town's Lasers.
    One thing I already planned for this season (and might still be doing, since Lasers race longer in Fall) is to check out how our friends the Waterrats rig their lasers and write a small J-Town Laser Rigging Manual, based on the photos that I already made, the new information gained from the rats and some modifications that I am currently trying out.
  • Sixth, I want to become better in the Laser, so that I have more control when sailing the boat (and maybe not be last in some of the races), although I don't plan to race the Laser lots. It's more of a boat for going out and exploring sailing by myself. Excellent, for example for studying wind conditions and doing drills by myself.
  • Seventh, I want to work out to get a little more strength in my back and shoulders. This is not just for sailing, since I should generally improve my posture to walk around more healthily and not hurt my back sitting in front of a computer all day.
  • Eighth, I want to crew some races with my friend Tim Smith and especially sail the New Helms Regatta with him, where we will probably be quite competitive (even though I insist on helming some of those races).
  • Ninth, I want to do some of the local regattas, crewing for one of the Old Salt helms or switch-up pairing with another new helm sailor. Especially the RCYC or OHCC regattas would be interesting since they are out on the lake!
  • Tenth, I want to help out with at least one of races/regattas run by J-Town either as race committee or for the food part.
  • Eleventh, I want to help organize the Amazing Race for Albacore White Sailors. Since it was so much fun and I can't participate as a competitor, I will be there as a "player of the house". Harr!
  • Twelfth, I want to do a little bit of catamaran sailing, just enough to get certified as a skipper and go out from time to time to try out this kind of boat. The cat is wonderful for sailing a bit farther away from our small harbour, since it is fast enough to go there and back in almost no time.
  • Thirteenth, and so far last, I want to take part in one out-of-town event such as the Ontario Champs, Canadians or East-Coast Championships. I wouldn't even mind leasing one of the funny east-coast Albacores for sailing it! I would like to crew this event for somebody more experienced and want to train my crewing and strategic skills next season, so I am no embarrassment for whoever takes me out. :-)
Wow, this list is longer than I thought it would be. But I think, it's easy to do by using time more efficiently. This year I spent quite a bit of time, reading and thinking about sailing and I hope I get more sailing next year, by being at the club at the right time for events or for good wind and being less hesitating!
I am looking forward to sail with friends I made this season, by myself, with other experienced sailors and also with new white sailors who will join the club next year.


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