Sun, sailing and swims….its Barbados mon
What an event Barbados was.
On the road again
They say the travel is part of the fun of overseas adventures- well whoever said that hasn’t flown American and transited through the States. Mind you Karl and I had some fun along the way…starting in Auckland when AirNZ lost his bag so he couldn’t get on his American flight and had to fly on my later flight …only to find out his bag had gone on the AA flight (without him – isn’t that illegal). 5 hours in Houston and then 2 hours of being stuffed into a United 737 that was so overloaded it barely left the ground…then hit the tarmac so hard I thought the wheels were going to be punched through the wings. Anyway we had a day in Miami…no coke or hookers to be found sadly. Miami beach was stunning but at 9.30am 30 deg ain’t much fun and quickly we were sweating like rapists so off to an air-conditioned mall for us and to watch the AC at a Caviar bar drinking beer and eating oysters…ahh that’s the lifestyle.
Next up the flight to Barbados…American 757 that was older than me….40,000ft and half way into the flight the airbrakes go on and the plane is shuddering …wtf Karl and I say….a few prayers later we landed safely.
The road home again was nothing short of torturous ….American all the way…. Zero service , no leg room- Karl, me and a couple of miscreant OK dinghy boys we collected stood around and talked shit and gave advice….
We were housed in the “bunker” for the first few nights , Jesus I thought …couldnt stand up straight, the toilet barely worked for Karl’s efforts… it was like Colditz. Then we were upgraded to the palace upstairs..the luxury !!! …in typical Ice and mav fashion we turned it into a festering pit within 2 days…much debate was held as to why we didn’t learnt from last time and bring a woman to clean up after us !!!
Fark it was hot- Ice and I would walk up to the café each day (300 m) for breakfast and would be sweating bullets but the time we got there. So hot that despite drinking water constantly all day I was still dehydrating and holding energy to sail was a constant challenge. So no big nights drinking for us, asleep most nights by 9!!
Ahh- seriously the best part of the trip …24 deg crystal clear water. A swim after breakfast ….and a compulsory swim after sailing. One thing we found very quickly is that you overheat sailing there and this was the perfect muscle cool down …20 mins well spent to repay the body. We even refined our technique and took beers into the post sailing swim. We debated the need for a chillibin to float with us but sadly no action was seen there.
Hmmmm- pretty fking average on the whole. Mamma mia (yes Italian ) became our staple dinner as it was a good feed. Friday night before the regatta saw the team as the fish market where the locals eat and what great food and great atmosphere, Karl had Flipper for dinner….. The locals came to dance the Samba and the rum flowed.
Fair to say neither Karl, Dave or I achieved the results we wanted. The conditions were full on, big wind and seas each day, Thursday was brutal and Ice and I agreed that on Tuesday that we got 1 race in in 25kts that the race committee did well not to lose someone. We lost the practice race because it was nuking and there were big seas.
We lacked a tune up regatta like we had before La Rochelle. The first day racing I started like a spanner and was having to fight back in the fleet of death – this day cost me the medal race with 10th and 13th. Sorted my starting woes out (set up ½ way up the line at 2 mins and let the current take me to the pin and punched out the pesky americans who would try to barge) on Tuesday and had a 4th, still wasn’t at my fastest upwind. Wednesday back in the fleet of Death , great start , sailed a good beat , 4th at the top – missed a shift and the dodgy russki got through me, went centre right on the 2nd beat as this paid on the first beat….eehhh wrong – lost 2 places…not happy, my mood was further darkened when sailing upwind on starboard 2 clowns coming down on port didn’t change course and one muppet’s boom collected me on the head. Thursday was hard work in an easier fleet where I needed top 5’s only to get 7th & 8th . going plenty fast just not my finest day tactically, clipped my head again on the same spot …I despair.
Final fleet race, great start etc – won the race but after searching far and wide for the bottom trapezoid mark and not finding it I proceeded to the bottom final mark only to be DSQ because I didn’t see a tiny boat in the distance that was motoring around (not stationary ) that was the missing mark. Never had a chance with the jury that was made up of old white guys, because apparently you must be physic whilst sailing a Finn in 20 knots in a big sea and sense where a 12 ft tinny is.
Other than that I have no complaints – it was a great place to sail , the rides down to the start area each day were something else, the 1.5 mile beats back to the shore after were not !
Sailing a Fantastica is such a different beast and a must for these overseas regatta’s, Pania is fast but the fantastica is just so much faster in a breeze.
I agree fully with Karl’s comments on the format – it must change. There are 20-30 really good sailors who do the event now and to further encourage the best they must change and evolve. This is no longer an event that is for old coots to sail in 5 knots and talk over rums of their manly prowess 40 years ago, the top guys want to sail in 25 knots and give it plenty. Change or die off boys.
Sadly my MBA will take up my time for the rest of the year so unlikely to do Spain next year, its likely to be a clusterfk so probably best to stay away. So club racing and local regattas with the Nationals in Chch in March- good fun !
selected pics – from Miami- to karl eating flipper- to our breakfast spot- to spotting talent- to taxi van rides – tohead cuts