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Don’t Paint over the past

Paint

In this edition we take a look at the past while keeping a weather eye on the future.

Caribbean sailing, racing and cruising, is evolving at an unprecedented rate. In their quest to attract competitors, organizers pack more events into their regattas and even add extra days. This is wonderful for the sport and a financial boost for the Caribbean region. For a while, however, many regattas opted for a ‘wild west’ approach with little thought to the effect their event might have on the regatta calendar as a whole. Now, thanks to a move by the Caribbean Sailing Association, regatta organizers are working together to ensure that regatta dates don’t clash. This will make it easier for competitors to plan a sailing campaign around several events and is excellent news for the region.

One regatta offering something new this year is the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta. They have introduced a one-design inshore class which is sure to garner lots of attention. The regatta organizers tell me this is not a gimmick but a serious attempt to bring more small boat sailing to the event with a view to introducing dingy racing at a manageable level. You can read about the new Heineken Light Inshore Class on page 28.

Our wonderful Caribbean regattas would not be at the level of excellence we enjoy today if it hadn’t been for the sport’s visionaries and pioneers. Like an editor takes a risk in listing event sponsors knowing inevitably someone will be left out, I am not going to name individuals, I would, however, draw your attention to where we look back over forty years of International Rolex Regattas, and to were there’s a report from the Bill Chandler Regatta in St. Croix.

As a rule, we do not run serialized articles in All At Sea but this month we bring you part one of a fascinating three part feature written by Thomas Tangvald, Two Thousand Miles to Brazil. Once you read the first installment, I am sure you will agree that I had little choice than to publish this wonderful story. Thomas is the son of legendary sailor Peter Tangvald. Tangvald senior was a pioneer cruising sailor, a radical who broke all the rules, a man who lived his life the way he wanted and to hell with authority. His lifestyle endeared him to many. Others, jealous of such freedom, made numerous attempts to clip his wings and make him conform. The Norwegian sailor would have none of it. Peter Tangvald lost his life in a boating accident in Bonaire in 1991. Jan and I had the honor of having dinner with the Tangvald family when we anchored next to them in Culebra in the 80s so I was thrilled to receive young Tangvald’s article and it gives me great pleasure to publish it here.

Work on our boat G-String goes on apace and I am enjoying using skills learned over a lifetime of boating that have, over the last couple of years, become a little rusty. Splicing I found easy and carpentry work, once I cleaned and sharpened my tools, was a joy. Even rebuilding the head was fun. Of course, I have the help of my wife Jan and it is nice to see that her boating skills have returned too. You can see that from the way she handles a paint brush while I supervise. Now, ladies, before you email about that last comment, Jan and I have been together for many years and she has proven many times that she can ‘hand, reef and steer’ as well as me, if not better. What I can’t do is paint, yes, I can mop it on, but it always looks bad and so I leave it to the expert. I learned the hard way that when a couple sail together, they must do so in harmony: In harmony with the boat, in harmony with the environment and in harmony with each other.

The alternative leads to a pot of paint over the head!

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