Thirty years ago, starting August 15th, I sailed three World Championships, in two dinghy classes, in the space of five weeks. It was a simpler era, of simpler sailing dinghies, of amateurs that trained mostly by competing on weekends, and, if you just went out sailing, there was no training regimen, you were just out there for fun. Looking back now, that mid-August to mid-September, I was probably at the peak of my sailboat racing prowess; I was sailing fit, I had been hammering away at dinghy racing for the better part of ten years prior in various dinghies. Make no mistake, I'm not World Champion caliber; not mentally tough enough, not obsessively focused, my ego not wrapped around my performance on the race course. But I was good enough to steal a race here and there, to put up a series podium finish every so often.
Changes were afoot; I'd been married four years, I had a one year old son and my wife, the saint she has always been, was 7 1/2 months pregnant with twins. My footloose sailing lifestyle was about to wrap up for family and some sort of career. But then and now there still remains those three championships of 1981, August through September, racing with a band of brothers, both teammates and competitors, memories still strong to this very day.
Elinor Goulding Smith
11 hours ago