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Home / Club Sailing / Our Fleets / Ladies who Launch / Ladies who Launch Blog

Ladies who Launch Blog

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LWL Friday 15 October: XI (11) Ladies Leap into Action

No, not Extra Large ladies... in fact most of us are on the small side regarding optimal weight needed in our dinghies... but we now LOOK larger with our extra autumn layers AND we ARE larger than life when it comes to getting the most out of our sailing (and annoying Ben in the process)

Today, to 11 ladies, Ben expounded his 3 point philosophy for success in sailing:

  • Full concentration and confidence that we can
  • Full understanding of wind
  • Full understanding of our boats

Then practice, practice, practice.....

So, out on the water and with the sun in our eyes, we sailed up and down the sausage with those points in mind, trying not to think about shopping for dinner on the way home or......., trying to find the best wind and trying to remember those 5 Essentials (Sails, Balance,Trim, Daggerboard and Course made good).

Then, with Race Starts the focus, we experienced different orientations of the start line and various close shaves as we fought for space before the whistle each time. Lots of quietly competitive races and lots of winners.....we never have losers!

And how time flies when you are fully focused....thanks Ben for your wise words.

Lunch on the sunny balcony is a treat to savour while the weather holds, so, whatever else you do in the week, and whatever size you are! try to keep Friday mornings free for the fun we share. Remember, if you don't use it, you lose it......never more true than at RSC.

J

Women Wage War against Weed, Weather and Wind (or lack of it).... !

Well, there was the weed to wade through to get out onto the water properly. Then there was the weather as it "wained and wained" as Jonathan Ross would say, and soaked us all. And thirdly there was the wind which weak and, and dare I say, weedy most of the time.

Yet, 14 wonderful women, with hearts and minds full of hope, battled on and eventually won races (or crept across the finish line), while chatting between boats, having some "Playtime" and even a capsize to remember.

Ben's briefing focused upon finding the best course to sail between the marks. This, he said, could be achieved by making changes to sail setting, controls, balance, trim etc but just one change at a time. Hurrah.....only one thing to remember at a time perhaps....?

The trouble is recalling the changes that didn't work the next time round the same course.... personally I need a spreadsheet for this sort of modelling and this "aint goin to 'appen" Ben.

So the best focus seems to be improving tacks and gybes in an effort to keep up, singing a song when the wind picks up and humming tunelessly when it drops.

Actually, just remembered BEN'S BIG TIP:

If you can see the mark you want to get to, point your bow towards it.

If the boom swings to starboard (right) travel in that direction; if the boom swings to port (left) then travel in that direction....I think I've got that right.....

If you can't see the mark then you've got to find it first!

Lunch is always worth staying behind for, whether or not you have remembered to bring something to share. Today, on the balcony (see photo), there was plenty of food and conversation to go round.

Yes, the water is still warm, the LWL mornings are good fun (little experience needed!) and everyone is friendly (unless you cross the start line on port!) so do join us.

J

JASON AND THE ARGO...NAUTS

Today Jason set sail with his company of heroines: 2 in the dinghy ARGO, named after the largest boat ever built in Greek mythology, 6 in a grand procession of white LASERS and 1 in a beautiful blue Fusion.

Their quest was not The Golden Fleece, (the fleece of the ram that became the constellation Aries (that's my sign!) in order to win back a kingdom, but to find expression and freedom afloat.

Their journey proved challenging. They met the Horrible Harpies who lured the boats into patches of total calm, then the Wind Wizards who whipped the breeze into the waves and sent them flying round and round in triangles.

Most of the time Jason led his fleet heroically, until the enchantress Medea/Michelle took control and determined that the Church was a desirable target in a wind shadow! (No, Jason did not marry Medea there).

Was the mission successful? I'll say.

Everyone returned safely with smiles of satisfaction. We don't need fleeces just yet anyway, just very tasty shared lunches that have now resumed.

Well done Jason, who lives to experience more tales on the water.

J

Friday 16th July

Midsummer Madness? Sun Stroke? Day Dream?

Fourteen fairies in the care of King UberBen? What could possibly happen next?

Surely we were mad: 25 degrees and no wind to go sailing at RSC*?

Well, we did as Ben instructed and launched with our arms/wings wide open then crept very slowly towards the meeting mark. Don't stop! Ben shouted, afraid that we might all go to sleep in our dinghies and turn into elephants! These fairies were roasting alive.

Eventually, as if by magic, a breath of wind rippled in and we started to move.

Another wave of a wand and a good breeze kicked in to assist us round the divine triangle.

These fourteen fairies were transformed into COOL QUEENS, able to out sail their KING who was just making waves in his rib. One such fairy queen, with Titanium (sic) in her leg and hip was certainly able to hike out, stretch and fly.

Two races, each with two laps, were won by the most deserving / the bigger sails/wings!

Then, as unexpectedly as it arrived, the wind dropped, the dream sail came to an end (like all good stories) and we rubbed our eyes free of sleepy dust / tiny black flies, as we said goodbye to our earthly vessels and flew away home.

* Not The Royal Shakespeare Company, in case you are not sure.

PS There may not have been applause but we patted ourselves on our pretty backs that we performed.

See you next time for another adventure.

J

Friday 11th June

Today saw our session about as varied as the wind today!

It blew anywhere from 12 to 24 from various different directions!!!

Some of our Ladies are bravely taking part in the Team Racing tomorrow and so today's session reflected some training for the 2 hander teams of 2 boats heading out in 2 Fireflies, then there was the usual laser ladies and Berni and myself in the Argo which ticked two firsts for us. First sail together and first time in the Argo.

Jason (and I need to add a huge apology for calling him Alistair in my blog last week) supervised/tested our sailing skills today with a sausage course from IDM to CS. The fireflies practiced for their race tomorrow and the rest of us tried to keep up!

The wind was a challenge for me to read because when it was gusty you knew exactly where it was but when it dropped it left me floundering until it picked up seemingly from a completely different direction.

After an hour and a half we were joined by the youth who were learning their RIB skills and we their guinea pigs. They did a terrific job of boosting our morale and helping us to sail better with tips and advice. They set up a mini race course as they practiced their teaching skills on us.

Both Berni and I had set off for today's session with an underlying feeling of not sure we were up for today's sail but in teaming up impulsively we supported each other and ended the session upright and with a sence of achievement! Only thrills and no spills! At the brief we were told by the young aspiring Instructors that 'we were amazing for a first time in an Argo' but I think we can all walk away with that comment, succinctly put:'We were all amazing!'

Join us soon. Water and weather are warm!

Tina xx

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Last updated 17:43 on 23 November 2021

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