Some two whole years into The Everyman Olympics, I finally found me a coach.
Thanks more to my relationship than to any close connection to open water, and more precisely thanks to the helpful intervention of my missus grandpa Len - thanks Len!
For you see despite a number of enquiries I'd made (at one point leading me to think I'd have to forfeit the use of a proper Olympic-type vessel), it took the good nature of Len and the positive reaction of one very excellent sailor in Mark Taylor to bring about one particularly expensive, overcast morning in southern England...
Just twenty minutes inside of entering Chichester, I'd met up with Coach Taylor, driven to two shops and found myself driving behind a trailered boat while wearing a skin-tight rubber suit and nearly £250 lighter.
|Weebles wobble but they can't fall down|
By 9:30am one Saturday in early February I was stood on a stony beach trying to get my hands into some rubber gloves, while keeping out of the way as Coach Taylor set up the laser; an Olympic category of small sailing boat.
|Coach Taylor setting up his own power boat, from which he would guide me.|
'Well that covers my first lesson then...capsizing' - Coach Taylor
This first session I spent more time in the drink than on the boat, thankfully my wetsuit kept me buoyant, though it it didn't seem to keep me dry - I was joined in my rubber get-up by a few pints of cold seawater, but the ear-to-ear grin showed I wasn't complaining.
|Coach Taylor & The Everyman Olympian - note how dry he looks!|
I've since had a few more lessons and been joined in the boat by Coach Taylor. We've managed to stay pretty dry funnily enough. This weekend I'm looking forward to getting out on his yacht for some training on how to better read and maximise the window, and just to show how dedicated I am - I'll be missing the mighty Chelsea against Liverpool in the FA Cup Final...come on you Blues!!