Yeehaaa!!--AARP sailors in a 420 = fun.. - SailNet Community

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Old 02-07-2011
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Yeehaaa!!--AARP sailors in a 420 = fun..

I have a friend who's taken up sailing over the past 2 years since moving to "the coast", meaning Bay St. Louis/Waveland, Mississippi, aka "well, the eye of Katrina passed down my driveway, but it's much better now".

Bay Waveland YC (nice new club building, on stilts) had a regatta Saturday, she'd invited me to sail with her in Scots. But all the other Scot types thought it was too cold to go out that morning. So I talked her into borrowing a 420, that timeless dinghy I raced some way back (40 years? could it really be that long?) in college up east.

New experience for her, especially how much quicker the boat (and you) react to anything, compared to the Scots. But she caught on quickly, and gained confidence. We intentionally started a minute or so late behind the fleet of high schoolers just to tag along and watch, while she got some feel for what racing these little hot rods (okay, now just warm-rods I guess) was like. I talked her through the beat, she only dropped the tiller a couple of times, and we rounded the top mark next to last--not bad at all for a new sailor new to the boat.

And kinda cool, since our combined age was 'about' 110, and this is a young person's boat, at least by reputation. We got planing a few times, and had fun watching the Finns race too.

Lots of fun on a sunny cool winter day, kinda like frostbiting. And rewarding to see her gain confidence in a twitchier and less forgiving boat. You're only as young as you feel? Okay, I felt a little sore and creaky afterwards but it was a fun afternoon in a place I hadn't sailed before, and nice to see a friend flourish in this great sport.
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Old 02-07-2011
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Keep at it, old man. Elmer Richards was successfully racing a Thistle in his mid-eighties when he told me, "I'm too old to learn a new sport."
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