THE NEW NORMAL
First Sail Of The 2020 Season
Getting out on the water earlier this week felt like a dream. During a normal season, we’d be well into the thick of sailing by now with lots of regattas under our belts and cruising trips taken. We’d be sunburnt with racoon eyes, beat up by the boat and cycling through sailing gear faster than we could wash it.
With the threat of not being able to even launch boats at the end of March and mid April, the majority of sailors were questioning what the 2020 season would look like. Fast forward a couple weeks and most of us are in the water, following government regulations and yacht club rules. A lot of back and forth about what would happen for racing is still being discussed, it begs the question - why are we so focused on racing? Our boats are in the water (for those of us that can be) so why not go sailing? For the most part, any organized racing is not allowed, as per Sail Canada’s outline. While disappointing, it's OK. Racing is an aspect of our sport, yes, but it is not the only thing. Sailing is so much more than racing.
The simple fact is yes we can go sailing. The love for the sport has not been cancelled, sailing has not been cancelled. It’s gone back to the most basic form that is sailing with family, cruising, double handed or even solo sailing. I can honestly say that yes it’s refreshing to not have the weekend grind of regatta after regatta after regatta. Do my family and I miss racing? Yes, more my husband than me but yes racing is missed. Does it mean that sailing, as a sport, is cancelled? No.
Try taking this time to fix things on the boat that you’ve been putting off, trying some solo sailing or just enjoy being on your boat. More importantly though, go enjoy sailing for the sake of sailing. Talking with a friend recently about the sailing situation in particular the number of people upset about no racing, they commented saying they are disappointed but it doesn’t mean sailing is cancelled. The more interesting comment, which has stuck with me since our conversation, was “maybe it’s just me but I just enjoy sailing for the sake of sailing. A lot of people seem to be missing that with the uproar of no racing.”
What this afternoon on the water really did was reaffirm my love for the sport, the activity and being out on the water. I can’t remember the last time I was this giddy when it came to going sailing. A somewhat laughable thought given I work in the industry yet maybe something that was needed to revive the love for sailing. Being able to go sailing with no pressure about getting photos, delivery sails, getting repairs done or trying to get a certain spot in a regatta was refreshing. Coming back to the docks post afternoon sail, we ran into a fellow member, us in the boat and them on the dock. They also commented how this year was different and they are adapting but it felt good to get back out on the water. He mentioned he "took the racing jib sheets off and put a furler on" to go cruising. An attitude that is going in the right direction for enjoying the 2020 season.
It means we have to adjust our own perspective and how we approach this summer on the water. In layman's terms: be appreciative if you can get your boat in the water and go sailing, according to your local government and sailing authority guidelines. Go cruising with your family, go for an afternoon solo sail or better yet, enjoy being on your boat. Sailing is not cancelled.
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