Yachting is rather a posh word, isn’t it? It conjures up pictures of prestigious vessels like the super-yachts of today and J Class racers of yesteryear. Such a pastime surely is for the elite rich, or is it? I would venture to suggest that many yachtsmen, or in this day of political correctness, yachtspersons, are in fact as poor as church mice. The average genuine, fanatical aficionado, has mortgaged himself to the hilt, investing all he has in the ‘love of his life’.
What about the enthusiast, who by circumstances can only afford the tiniest of vessels? He too, sacrifices all he has to obtain and maintain his ‘joy’.
So, the very rich, those who are not so rich, and the poor have in common this passion for the thing they adore. Is this not akin to all genuine followers of religions?
There are many religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Daoism and numerous others, but all have their devotees. Likewise there are many forms of water-borne activities: canoeing, rowing, dinghy sailing, one design racing, ocean cruising, ocean racing and many others, but their devoted practitioners seek perfection.
Isn’t ‘devotion’ the common factor of all religions, including Yachting? Who are the ayatollahs, bishops, priests and gurus of Yachting? Many at this time worship the unassuming Ellen MacArthur who has been conferred a ‘saint’ by the Queen and will receive her religious robes shortly.