To retrace this road…

this blog thread will take you back in time to 1987. I was single, about 30 years old, and had a good job as a software engineer. I had plenty of time, money and passion for competition and adventure.

I lived in Florida and had been racing Prindle catamaran sailboats as a hobby for over five years.

My friend Phil flying a hull on the Atlantic Ocean

My group of sailing friends were also full of adventure. Sailing and racing 300 pound, 16 foot long boats with a bunch of sail area on the Atlantic Ocean was not for scaredy cats. It was a physically and mentally demanding sport. We pushed those little boats to the limits and frequently beyond. Damaged and broken boats were not uncommon. Bodily damage was mostly limited to sunburn, cuts and bruises. The number of near misses were countless.

At the time, I felt that winning sailboat races was the toughest thing I had tried to succeed at. Maybe to this day, there is nothing I’ve tried harder and longer at mastering.

Sherry and Sue show off matching bruises after a particularly tough day on the water - we were sure that some visitors to the beach thought that we beat our girlfriends because of all the bruises

Eventually some of the group that I enjoyed racing with, started drifting away from sailing. Marriages came and babies followed and priorities changed. New people were slow to enter the sport as the brand new sport of windsurfing was much less expensive to get into and took far less effort to participate in. The people that remained in the sport were investing in bigger, more expensive boats that required crews. I preferred racing my boats single-handed. As the group slowly drifted apart, I started losing interest in catamaran racing, and found myself spending more and more time on my bicycle.

One Response to “To retrace this road…”

  1. Ryan says:

    This is very interesting Mike. Kind of like you in 1988, I’m a software engineer, nearing 30, single, and started sailing keel boats a few months ago. I thought it would be leisurely fun, but it turned out to be a very mentally and physically demanding sport. I’m hoping that I will enjoy it more once it feels natural to me, but I have had thoughts of moving on to try another sport until I find one that I love. Golf? Since my club membership is for a whole year, I still have the rest of the season to learn.