Sunday, August 21, 2011

1981 International Canoe Worlds; The Epilogue

What other memories do I carry from the 81 International Canoe Worlds?
  1. I've done three other regattas where the housing, food, and dinghy park were based out of one site (excluding Sugar Island Week, where everyone is stuck on the island for a week). Today, it's not common to do that for regattas (except, like Sugar Island, camp regattas seem to be getting popular, which uses the same concept of throwing everyone together after racing). Having everything at Tabor Academy was good. Since most of us were on a steep learning curve, shared experiences across nationalities took on even more meaning.
  2. I had a one year old infant at home that was an early riser. Keeping my morning routine, around 6:30 am I'd be up in the dim beginnings of daylight, sauntering among the different International Canoes scattered about the dinghy park. Just me and one of the Germans, who, very punctually, would hoist his sails with at least 3 1/2 hours before he had to launch. There's still something about racing dinghies waiting in the half morning light that I find very picturesque.
  3. I developed later in the week, a physical affliction known only to sliding seat sailors; severe abrasions on each butt cheek from sliding in and out (several International Canoe sailors from that era slyly referenced such malady in the names of the IC's, i.e "Sticky Buns" and "Rosie Cheeks"). Mid week a lot of us were walking bow legged like cowboys. I thought I had enough padding but as I was to find out later, any movement whatsoever of the piece of clothing or wet suit that was layered next to your butt would act like sandpaper. The physical hurt ratcheted up so, that come Thursday, I was desperate enough (and I alone) to come up with the solution of taping up my butt cheeks with duct tape. It worked well enough for Thursdays racing but when I decided to remove them after the racing, the real pain began. I had no idea how many little tiny hairs you have on your butt. And with duct tape, there is no quick rip it off. Picture Steve Carrell's chest hair removal (movie '40 Year Old Virgin') in very, very, slow, slow motion.
  4. I roomed with a young English sailor (I think Adrian was his name), who would attack his IC with a saw, hammer and nails every evening after sailing. On measurement day, Adrian found out his IC was considerably overweight. After determining that the previous owner had squirreled away lead weights in the hull (ostensibly to prevent nosediving), Adrian proceeded to cut huge square holes in the deck. He found the weights and then closed up the holes by nailing some scrap plywood he found laying around the dorms. He had seat carriage problems which he fixed by nailing some large 2X4's to the carriage. In all my time racing dinghies, I have never seen someone destroy in a week, what had been a very pretty cold molded International Canoe.
Finally a picture of a youngish Tweezerman standing (probably because it was too painful to sit) in the Tabor Academy dinghy park alongside his first IC "No Eyes". Thirty years ago, the sailing kit appears prehistoric!

1 comment:

Tillerman said...

I totally agree with you that living and eating at the regatta site makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable, but it is rare these days. We did at the Laser Masters Worlds in Cancun, and some sailors did at the Masters Worlds in Hyannis by renting condos next to the yacht club. For me, driving backward and forwards from accommodation to regatta site and then driving somewhere else to eat in the evenings makes it so much less fun (and wastes so much more time.)

I hope we are now going to hear about the other major champiomships you sailed that summer?