To fail to plan is to plan to fail

Posted on July 5, 2015 12:00 am


To fail to plan is to plan to fail

To fail to plan is to plan to fail, the saying goes.

Failing to properly prepare a boat for a first timer’s sail in the force 5 gusting 50 on Saturday could have been disastrous. I am pleased to report that we had no senior moments getting the Bahia ready whilst eyeing the growing herd of white horses on Grassholme.

I persuaded Jon to help me try and keep our visitor, Emma, out of the water by crewing, and into the breach we ventured. ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ is my sailing mantra, and for the record, most of it did.

Even though the mainsail was reefed and depowered to the limit of my expertise the boat swept across the waters, beating hard into the growing westerly. Big gusts meant that Jon was throwing his ample kilos about and at one point both of us dropped sheets and slung our entire body weight over the elevating side of the boat in last ditch self-preservation.

I think Emma presumed we had succumbed to sea-sickness!

A few minutes later with all three of us up on the side, somebody turned off the gale leaving our visitor dragging waist deep through the water before the wind returned and righted everything. Not easy to give any useful instruction or even commentary in these conditions but if excitement, enthusiasm and pure joy are infectious, then Emma will need isolating for a while.

A brill’ sail where we shredded a jib and l and I took a whipping worthy of Tom Brown from the flogging sheets while the knife was taken to an uninvited knot.

There were three races on Sunday, but because I failed to prepare a backup plan for tonight’s power outage, I do not have the results. Suffice to say, somebody won and it will be on the web site if you really want to know.

Chris Dauber