What We Sail Is Not Necessarily Why We Sail

Published on April 28th, 2015

Ben Hall of Hall Spars & Rigging appreciates the bleeding edge of sailing technology, but also recognizes that what we sail is not necessarily why we sail. Here he explains…

Sailing is a sport that you can enjoy on many levels and one that you can remain active in for most of your life. I have been lucky to sail a huge variety of boats, and this year for me is a great example of this variety.

It started out in January learning to foil my A-Class Catamaran in Islamorada, Florida, with more events in March to prepare for the Class North Americans in May in Panama City. Also in March, my wife, Nan, and I sailed on the Gunboat 55 Toccata at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. I then followed that up in April by experiencing the “first flight” on the G4 cruising catamaran.

In June is Block Island Race Week, sailing our old but highly modified Evelyn 32 Bluto with friends and family. Every Wednesday night in the summer we also sail Bluto in the Bristol YC “beer can” series. This is a family affair and an opportunity to introduce young sailors to handicap racing.

The family theme will extend for me to the Thistle US Nationals in July at Ft Walton Beach, Florida. This will be particularly special as my daughters Liz and Caroline will be my crew (doesn’t get much better than that!).

Finally in September, a big group of us will be going to the A Cat Worlds in Punta Ala, Italy. If there’s time, I hope to try out a Moth for the first time.

Despite all the variety, and whether a boat is vintage or cutting edge, what matters most is not what kind of boat you are sailing… just that you are sailing. Being on the water, and enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded people, is what fuels our sport.

So let’s just go sailing…

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