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Sun Sail
Sea Talk - All At sea
What should sink in Room 101?
Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00

WATCHING Room 101 on TV I found myself wallowing in mixed emotions.

I could gladly pull the lever to send golf down the shute to the mythical room for outcast people or things – unless a Brit or an Irishman (or woman) is winning one of the majors. Camping, and especially those new fangled tents that go up in a trice but are impossible to put back in the bag, should have started in 101.  

I could even accept host Frank Skinner’s idiosyncracies in his choice of elements destined for the not-wanted-on-voyage department. After all, as chairman of the show he is entitled, as is a skipper, to unlimited respect for ultimate wisdom.

It was that thought that got me musing about all those boating gremlins that deserve to be sunk without trace. And thinking brings back the anger...

As a yotty I am bound to have high on my list those motor-boaters who, without thinking, pass by too close at full chat. It might be different if for once they could glance back behind them to see the mayhem their wakes can cause. I might be more inclined to forgive if they did it on purpose!

Read more...
 
Great expectations in Olympic year
Monday, 16 January 2012 00:00
IT IS HERE 2012 and the scene is set for the biggest sporting extravaganza the nation has seen.

What’s more, the sport or pastime that excites us most will be centre stage in terms of expectation of London 2012, despite the fact that Weymouth and Portland is 150 miles away from the main Olympic Village. Nothing unusual in that, sailing, and indeed other boating bits of the Olympics are frequently a tad off piste, especially for those for whom the games are a four year excuse to get knowledgeable about sports that only rarely attract crowds vocal enough to raise the roof.

Despite the fuss, most of the sports are of minority interest in themselves. Sailing certainly is. Tennis and soccer in the Olympic format are hardly mainstream. Even athletics causes little more than a murmur unless household names are chasing historic records.

Yet here we are winding up to a huge and expensive party and looking for a legacy on top.

Forgive me if I am shattering dreams for those who have sweated on tickets in the hugely complicated and equally disappointing booking system. Long ago, I proudly had a gold medal won my by girlfriend’s father around my neck for a few minutes. I remained a passionate supporter of the Olympic dream and worked hard to raise cash to help fi nance the British team until Prime Minister John Major gave us the Lottery and in effect made all elite sports people professional.

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Keep sailing!
Thursday, 08 December 2011 09:57

December has brought a proper touch of seasonal chill, and so it should.

We are in the deep end of winter but, although we hardly notice, the nights start drawing, or is it creeping, out again before Christmas. While we might be in a deep freeze by then, some of us begin to throw off the overcoat of seasonally adjusted gloom and begin to look forward to another thrilling boating season ahead.

It might seem over-optimistic but those of us who are depressed by the dark and dank have to have something to put a smile on our faces.

Boating folk are naturally obsessed with the weather and yet we can be as daft as the rest of the population when we express surprise or even comment on the unexpected.

Remember the spring when there was talk of a barbecue summer? That turned out to be a distinctly damp squib. In the summer, the talk was full of dire predictions of an early winter when we would all be locked in by ice and snow.

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A Humble Confession
Monday, 11 July 2011 13:55

Shocking. There is no other word for it. Simply shocking. If 1,302 other boats could do it, why did we not join them crossing the finishing line?

The Island Sailing Club supported by J.P.Morgan Asset Management and a raft of partners did a brilliant job in planning, promoting and organising every last detail of the Round the Island Race.

All we had to do was turn up in Cowes to enjoy the pre-event entertainment, try not to over indulge and crawl into our bunks at a sensible hour.

We achieved all of that, even the serial offenders – old and young - who had form for seeking late night revelry.

“There’s a bit of a blow forecast,” said one, “I don’t want to feel rough before we start,” he enthused. Such common sense – based on thoroughly deserved, self-infl icted previous experiences – was itself a revelation.

Read more...
 
Powering On
Monday, 13 June 2011 12:32

One person who is certainly not at an awkward age deserves a cheer and our admiration this month.

All at Sea columnist Shelley Jory thought it might be the end of her powerboat racing career when she crashed and sank in Sardinia last year.

But she shrugged off what she thought were mere bumps and bruises and she has overcome any psychological fears, to which she was more than entitled, to get back behind the racing wheel. What a gal!

You can read her latest column here.

 
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