Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Sailor's Reality

What is reasonable may be feasible and what is feasible may become reality. As I think about this, a lone sailor is battling with the elements in an attempt to beat Dame Ellen MacArthur’s record time of circumnavigating the globe in 71 days in her trimaran, B&Q/Castorama. The new aspirant is Francis Joyon aboard ‘Idec’, a 30 metre trimaran. He is comfortably ahead of Ellen’s position after sailing 44 days, and no doubt he is relieved that Thomas Coville sailing ‘Sodeb’O’, a 32 metre trimaran, has been forced to retire from his attempt at the record. Ironically, minutes after achieving the record for sailing further than any person in 24 hours, i.e., 619.3 nautical miles, Coville was forced to abandon his circumnavigation attempt because of damage sustained to the starboard float of his trimaran, most probably caused by a collision with ice.

Things that are feasible can hang in the balance when it comes to reality because of uncontrollable circumstances. A sailor can plan a route and determine strategies for success, but he cannot control the weather, neither can he guarantee that his strength will hold out, nor can he predict the unknown such as the possibility of his yacht colliding with an object, as was the case with the unfortunate Coville who is ‘limping’ towards Capetown.

For many of us amateur ‘weekend’ sailors we like to test ourselves by attempting the feasible, while hoping our dreams may become reality.

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