Friday, 3 October 2008

Class War.

I am as middle class as they get, because I always finish in the middle of the fleet although each time I have done an event I have improved my boat speed dramatically.

I started in the middle class when I was 18 in a Magnum 5 that was twice as wide as everyone else narrow boat. I got beaten by kids my age in new Magnum 9, and Axemans etc... OK they were good sailors but how could I compete with their hardware? (Interestingly 20 years later one of these kids was complaining about a kid who had been bought a brand new boat by daddy.)

I had out growen the Magnum 5 so got a second hand Gentleman Jim and then I begged and borrowed to build my own modern Moth. I used both these boats to come in the middle of the fleet again in the early 90s. The boat I build in 93 I got back into to come in the middle of the fleet in 2005 in a lowrider and then in the middle of the fleet as a foiler 2006. I dramatically improved the set up and reliability to come in the middle of the fleet again in 2007. I built a brand new boat to come in the middle of the fleet again this year. Some people are born winners, some loosers,
I am born to be middle class.

I would love to be World Champion, however as the Moth stakes rise the commitment to win does too. You need Money, new gear, to travel lots, training partners, a coach, spares, shore based boat repair and support crew and you have to spend hours and hours on the water no matter what the weather is. Whether the guys that are putting this level of commitment together are professional or not is hard to say but for sure they are putting in am impressive performance.

All I know is that in my line of work it is important to have fun, and that is why I am in this fleet. To me that means some good racing, building some cool boats and some good mates to play with. It is fun to be part of the Moth fleet and to meet up (in reality and virtually) with
old and new friends. After all the boats are the star of the show not some ego that just won a race (unless I win a race of course).

So since I am bound to come in the middle of the fleet I can only hope that the standard of the fleet continues to improve, so that I can too. I do not think a 2 tier system is good for the racing or atmosphere and how do you split the the professionals from the amateurs, and the rich from the poor, and the young from the old and the fit from the unfit and the people that have done some training from the guys that launched the boat at the event.

The fleet is a group and there is more than one star. Without the crazy prototypes that turn up, the new ideas, the hard working committee members and event organizers, the tiller of doom, saluting the squadron leader and top gun quotes it would not be so much fun. If the only thing we as members can appreciate, is the guy that won, then we are reading too much of our own publicity and should go to an event and have a curry, beer and laugh with the Middle class because that is what it is about for the majority.

I think every Moth sailor has to know what they are wanting to archive in the Moth fleet and set their own realistic personal goals and ambitions. If you are frustrated because you get beaten by some dick that has bought, or got given a new boat that is faster than you then "Harden the Fuck up". In this world money and success are closely linked. Being talented and hard working is not enough, and life aint fair. If you really want to win then you need more commitment, talent and resources than everyone else or you need to make sure you have a smile on your face at the end of the day.

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