With summer over, the racer knows it. It’ s time for Winter Championships, around our shores: we’ll follow them for you, with winners, reports and stories.
But to introduce the topic properly, we asked Marco Cohen, a film producer and avid sailor with his Mat 1010 Dajenu, to tell, with his trademark irony (you already know his pieces: that of the shipowner’s syndrome or How to participate in offshore racing knowing you will lose, the “phenomenology of winter”. Happy reading!
The phenomenology of the Winter Championship
Not A or B.
One of the founding principles of the Western world’s way of reasoning.
This is how the language of computers, the algorithms of cell phones and even a good part of our social conventions work, which then lead us to meet at a predetermined time in a predetermined place even with other human beings, including mothers-in-law.
To mean, “Love don’t worry, if it doesn’t rain tomorrow I’ll go for a walk with you.” This law applies to everything except memberships in winter championship regattas when, poor deluded man, the owner the weekend before the winter regatta starts preparing the crew list through the usual chat.
- Read also: Real vs Ideal Crew
“If I come, I’m there.”
Here are some sworn answers, all true:
“I would tend to be there.”
“if I come, I’m there.”
“I would love to ”
“I would come flying if I could.”
“I am almost sure ”
“I’ll come if he comes.”
You then come up with a crew list that oscillates like electrons in quantum physics and here we open, around the middle of the week when the weather forecast even in winter (spoiler: watch, dear crew, that even your beloved owner watches it) becomes more reliable, an opposite and extreme branch
- Beautiful weather, mild weather with the classic north wind shaking the placid waters of the Gulf of Tigullio promising flawless sailings and dreamy Instagram stories… the list grows longer by the day, a shower of confirmations that you could fill the hydrofoil to Capri.
- Uncertain weather, forecast of rain and bitter cold. Slowly and relentlessly the chat populates with their own or others’ injuries/medical commitments. “microfractured toe nothing serious but better not to risk it”; “they put an MRI on me just over the weekend”; “until yesterday I had a fever”; “I would come but the doctor told me not to” or to other colorful freestyle:
Sportsman — “I have my son’s tournament.”
religious… “I forgot I have my daughter’s communion.”
abroad… “I have to go to Lugano with my wife.”
Winter championship: and now how do I do it?
In between curses, you start rethinking and going over in your mind the possible alternatives that if you hadn’t already called them a reason there will be…
This second round of scouting I confidentially nicknamed it “of the dead cat” because even if you got a positive response from a dead cat, you would bring it on board with no ifs or buts, given the level of desperation.
Moreover, even lowering the claims, this second round has a statistical match of one yes in every 100 calls made within 12 hours before departure that for tramontana sailing requirements usually settles around 8 a.m., maximum 8:30 a.m. with exit from the harbor clearly in the dark.
Two tragic moments of the Winter Championship
And here we celebrate two tragic moments, which frequenters of the legendary Tigullio Winter Championship are surely familiar with:
- One geolocated on Liguria precisely is, “and belin today I don’t know what you have but everyone is asking me for focaccia … it’s over.” Because of course the crews, the good, trained ones always get down to the dock before you do. And if you are familiar with the classic Ligurian welcome, you can understand what the classic Ligurian welcome can be like at 7 a.m. and in winter.
- The other, universal. The tramontana is a cold wind. But it is even colder, holy cow, when before dawn there is still no sun. If you have done the Tigullio, Genoa winters, or West Liguria or some lakes, I think you may also be ready for an autumn ascent on Anapurna.
You go out, pissed off like a beast of the series but who made me do it and then you wonder, after that, being three, you are back on the bow for the first time since the 1988 Giraglia, but how the fuck do they make it across the Atlantic in two, when a triangle of a couple of hours in Tigullio destroyed you in a short time.
And then, often, as usual, the miracle. You look at those black clouds that you would never have gotten out of bed if it weren’t for the regatta. Sometimes even the sun comes out. And you start smiling and thinking how beautiful the sea is in winter and those poor people who stayed in the city cooped up in their apartments. They have no idea what day they missed. You turn around and see everyone on the dock smiling, maybe even the Ligurian bartender when he sees you coming back.
I finish with the classic top ten, obviously semi-serious on the…
Ten reasons to attend a Winter Championship this year
- Because then you don’t see Inter losing at the San Siro.
- Because then what you smash in the winter won’t break in the summer on vacation. This rule is universal, so even those who have a cruising boat should think about it.
- Because that way, after you go out in the dark and the north wind, maybe wet from the rain, when you come back… your house will feel like a warm and cozy place even with the heating turned off/lowered due to bill cost.
- Because sailing is so much more beautiful than padel which is played between 4 walls.
- Because “I was first at the first buoy.” Of the series if not what do you tell your friends when you see them at dinner or a movie?
- Because then you avoid grocery shopping on Saturday mornings. But why then does everyone want to go shopping on Saturday mornings.
- Because Vermentino in winter is immediately ready to use, you don’t even have to refrigerate it.
- Because then you can end up in the winter classics in the Sailing Newspaper.
- Because then you can complain about your crew.
- Because in the end, let’s face it, winter weather conditions in Italy are very similar to those in Brittany or Cowes in summer.
In this regard I would like to close with a story from a friend of mine who had done the dinghy course in Glenans in August. 6:30 a.m. wakes up, opens window: monstrous weather, rain, thirty knots lost already at dawn… sets a peaceful smile, goes back to bed saying at least today a break. REST. He was awakened shortly afterwards by the annoyed Frenchmen to the cry, “It’s a beautiful day. To go sailing you need wind.”.
*I’ll tell you who I am (with irony)
Marco Cohen, a film producer and avid sailor, describes himself as follows: “Marco Cohen, Interist, philosopher, size 54 and in good times 56, producer of necessary films for me and my family. I re-embraced sailing at the age of 37 after yet another soccer injury when I realized it is the only sport you can do sitting down and with a glass in your hand.
Until I was 25 years old family brawls on a J/24, Fiesta, with my twin brother Daniel and our father Corrado, called the ghost vessel because even when they could not see us, they could hear us, then again a J/24, a J/92 s and since 2016 my beloved Dajenu by Mark Mills. Fast and classy medium improperly ended up in our hands, more apt to pick up the bottle opener than the rudder.”