Perhaps it's because I'm freshly returned from a 'refitting', compliments of my shoulder surgeon, but the I've-got-to-go-sailing-now bug has me something fierce this year. A quick glance at the calendar tells me that I'm likely not alone.
Sure, the fortunate few were born/reside in the Caribbean, Florida or Hawaii, but for the rest of us, it's a matter of gearing up (mentally and physically!) for frostbiting, or buying plane tickets to a place where the only thing cold to hit your hand is a frosty drink after a great day of racing.
While my winter's sidelining is a matter of medical orders, I highly encourage everyone else to seek their sailing fix by any and all means possible (hey, we're sailors after all). The opportunities abound, as the Caribbean racing season is just about to get going, racing in the Sunshine State is in full swing, and the Mexican racing circuit—which, I'm told, is a real hoot—offers a south-of-the-border sailing fix.
There's even great local racing to be had around Puget Sound (the rumors are true: we get our wind when we also get the annual 'liquid sunshine' that keeps the rainforests temperate and the ski lifts spinning), provided, of course, that one has two working shoulders and plenty of warm layers...
In the meantime, there's plenty of great sailing taking place this week to keep you entertained as a spectator. Sure, it's not the same as wind in your face and a mainsheet in your hand, but it has its advantages, namely a warm, dry bed, real food and a working thermostat. Quantum Key West Race Week is wrapping up with plenty of close racing and racecourse tomfoolery across all fleets.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is preparing to press onwards towards Sanya, China. And for One Design sailors, the Rolex Miami OCR kicks off on January 23rd, so stay tuned for more information, as it becomes known.
And now Grant Dalton from Emirates Team NZ is talking AC72...
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