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Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Messing about in boats - Sail-World.com USA Newsletter

08/06/2020


Messing about in boats

RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD

Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

American Brad Funk making the most of the Australian sunshine at the 2019 Chandler Macleod Moth Worlds - photo © Martina Orsini


Dear Recipient Name

"Believe me my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats," says Ratty to Mole in the classic novel 'The Wind in the Willows'.

All sailors have discovered this to be true, but then many of us got wrapped up in windward / leeward racing, trying to gain the miniscule speed advantage over our peers, concentrating on a tell-tale rather than soaking in our surroundings.

 
Marskeel 2019 600x500   North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500
 

Don't get me wrong, I'm missing the racing hugely, but I'm loving just messing about in boats, be that my Laser, crewing for my kids in the RS Feva, pottering in a Scow or, as I did this Saturday, windsurfing from Mudeford in Christchurch harbour. My kit is 20 years old at least, and my forearms burned from lactic acid build up far too quickly, but blasting up and down at 25+ knots really was a lot of fun.

Old school windsurfing kit, but still a lot of fun! - photo © Mark Jardine
Old school windsurfing kit, but still a lot of fun! - photo © Mark Jardine

What I was struck by was the sheer number of windsurfers out and the camaraderie of all those on the water. Until late in 2019 I hadn't windsurfed for at least 12 years, and there seem to be many other people who have dusted off their boards to reconnect with the sport. Many of my generation were introducing windsurfing to their kids and a surprising number were sailors that I knew, so we all had a great socially-distanced catch-up. When I parked my car, I found myself next to the van of Simon Maguire, builder of the legendary Exocet Moths, who was out with a wingfoil on a foiling board (naturally). Encouragingly, he said business had been picking up rapidly recently with more people than ever wanting to buy boats.

Christchurch harbour packed with windsurfers on Saturday - photo © Mark Jardine
Christchurch harbour packed with windsurfers on Saturday - photo © Mark Jardine

 
Melges IC37 2019 MPU   Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU
 

Chatting with Sail-World.com Australian editor John Curnow today, he reminded me of Mitch Pearson's article about windfoiling on Moreton Bay at the end of March. Around the globe people are rediscovering the joys of windsurfing, be that on old kit or newer versions of the sport.

Windfoil training on Moreton Bay in light winds - photo © Ash Brunning
Windfoil training on Moreton Bay in light winds - photo © Ash Brunning

 
Henri-Lloyd 2020 MPU   Cyclops Marine 2020 - MPU
 

Should sailboat racing be concerned by the sudden uptake in windsurfing? No, not at all! Saturday had winds regularly gusting 30 knots, so it really wasn't a day to be responsibly sailing. Christchurch harbour is enclosed, shallow enough to touch the bottom in most places and so the ideal spot to be enjoying the water during lockdown. Plus, when I went down to my local sailing club on a far less breezy Sunday, the number of boats going out for a sail was simply staggering. It seems the great grass-roots revival is happening.

Out for a blast in my Frankenlaser - photo © Mark Jardine
Out for a blast in my Frankenlaser - photo © Mark Jardine

Inherently during lockdown I'm only seeing with my own eyes what's happening on my doorstep. It's hugely encouraging, but I'd love to know what's happening at your local sailing club. Are you seeing more people going out for a casual sail? Is windsurfing making a comeback in your area? Send me your stories, photos, videos and experiences so that we can share our love for sailing and inspire more people to get out on the water. Email me via mark@yachtsandyachting.com and please mention who took any photos you send, together with a caption.

Back on the water at Prestwick Sailing Club - photo © PSC
Back on the water at Prestwick Sailing Club - photo © PSC

Monday 8th June is World Oceans Day. The environment has been brought up repeatedly during lockdown and it's more important than ever that we respect the seas in which we sail. In the UK it has been shocking to see the rubbish that is left by beachgoers. While educating everyone to take their trash home with them is key, we as sailors can make a difference by spending an hour or so collecting rubbish on our beaches to keep them clean. My great friend and past editor of Yachts & Yachting magazine, Gael Pawson, wrote a superb article for us last year which you can read here.

Beach clean during the 420 UK Nationals at Hayling Island - photo © Kelly McPherson
Beach clean during the 420 UK Nationals at Hayling Island - photo © Kelly McPherson

Stay safe on the water, respect our oceans, fellow sailors and water users, help keep our beaches clean and go enjoy messing about in boats!

Mark Jardine
Sail-World.com & YachtsandYachting.com Managing Editor

 
Barton Marine 2019 600x500   Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU
 


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Rooster GETSEASMART 300x250   RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - MPU
 
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Vaikobi 2019AUG - MPU 1   Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500
 
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Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom MPU
 
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Official-Collection-Red 300x250   C-Tech 250
 
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KZRaceFurlers   Mackay 250
 
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SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-AQUIJO   ETNZShop-TEAMSHOP-300x250 HR
 
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