So after 5 years of trying…. I finally won an actual proper bona-fide sailing series in a proper club event and at prize giving on Saturday got a real life proper prize.
This is significant as I have frequently received the pity prize at the club.
Now I appreciate the understanding that I am an achievement junkie and like to have prizes to keep forever and ever (yes, I still have all of my Brownie badges and certificates for every half assed training course I go on – I mean who actually keeps these things). But it had been getting a little ridiculous.
My first full year of Sailing I won the Best Improvers award. I was very proud to have won this award. It was voted for by the club. I might not have won anything, but I was IMPROVING. Having sailed a club Comet for the year I thought this was a good start. And I got a funky pottery bowl to keep illustrating this important point.
Second year, I raced a lot in my hubbys Laser (I say it was his – he bought it, refurbed it and then didn’t even put it in the water once – his type of sailing) but wasn’t getting so much better….. in fact I had made a season out of getting capsized and not being able to get the boat back up. This was not the case when sailing other people’s Lasers. We sold the boat – it was obviously not me, it was the boats fault and that it was 100 years old and very heavy and therefore I wasn’t very good.
The club obviously thought I was doing good too. I got the Best Improvers award. Again. At this point I was still suitably touched about the fact that people cared.
Third year I got a new Laser. It had go faster Orange and yellow stripes on the bottom of it. It had a pimpy sail with lots of patterns on it.
This was going to be my year. Sure enough, third time lucky….. Best Improvers award.
Now by this time I have to admit to getting a little peeved. Just how much better did I have to get to actually win something?? Or even just get a place?!?! GRRRR!
So that was the obviously the reason that I made the thoroughly sensible decision that what I needed…. Was a faster boat. I took this decision over a long period of about three hours in the pub and promptly went home and bought a faster boat off E-Bay. The logic was impeccable. Now there was an itty bitty little problem with this. I bought an asymmetric boat. I have always wanted one, and in fact had previously owned a baby one (no PY though, so couldn’t race it). The itty problem was that pretty much no one who was racing regularly had an asymmetric, never mind anything of the same class or type. So no one to learn off. And it turns out, handicap racing round the cans, well not so great for asymmetrics. A lot of fun, but no cigar. At committee last year I was one of those who thought it would be great to encourage those who were racing, but not being very successful, so we came up with a new prize – the ‘Doing lots of racing but never coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd’ award’. I thought this was a great idea. Until come prize giving, I won it. On the plus side at least it wasn’t the Best Improvers which, let’s be honest if I had won would have had to be renamed in my honour. This was all particularly embarrassing as series’ were by now being won by people I had been involved in training in the first place. You know, people who couldn’t sail at all six months ago.
So that brings us to this year. I haven’t raced much. This is in some ways down to truly horrible weather which means we haven’t stayed at the club so much, and also due to truly terrible performance putting me off a little. But I did take part in a few events, and triumphs this year include ‘Not being last in the May Open’ and coming third in the Little Americas Cup. That’s right I got an honest to God third. In a Topper. In the rain.
So at the prize giving on Saturday I dressed appropriately and proudly received my first ‘proper’ award following five years of sailing prowess.
It needs a little plaque to put it on now – I have yet to add my previous triumphs…
The moral of this tale? I’m just out to buy a Topper…..
Oh – and in case you are interested my brother won this year’s Best Improver.