Dinghy Show and Shopping

Today was the first day of the Dinghy Show. I had offered to “man” the WHSA stand representing, obviously, Wembley Sailing Club. It was the my first time at the Dinghy Show and I enjoyed it. I went there with Pete and later on we saw Liam and Brent. At around 2 o’ clock, Steve came and as I needed to have break from standing at the stand for 4 hours, we had a quick round and then went for a drink. Steve wanted to have a look at a new spray-top by Gill. I wanted to buy a drinking bottle and some shock-cord and we both wanted to check the new 8.1 Laser rig by Rooster.

We went to Gill stand and we saw the new spray-top. They market it as a thermal-top, but it’s fleecy, waterproof and breathable. To me, that’s the best combination. Although I like it, I cannot really spend £75 on a spray top while I need a new sail. We had a look at all their products and I wanted to find a good pair of gloves fro winter because the ones I have are not that good. They don’t keep my hands very warm once they get wet and the other problems, is that the seems on the inside of the fingers, some times feel very uncomfortable. I mentioned it to them and they told me that if I thought there was something wrong with them, I could send them to them and if they find that there is a fault they will replace them. I thin it’s a design issue though, and I cannot stay without gloves, not even for a Sunday.

They also have a very nice pair of shorts. I think that I will have to get those as soon as it starts getting hot. It’s a shame my birthday is not early in the summer so, I can ask from someone to buy them for me. They have them in black and grey. I prefer the grey. They are waterproof, breathable and they have a non-abrasive seat panel. Last summer I was wearing a pair of cycling shorts and I would like to avoid destroying them on the deck of Lasers. These are definitely in my wish-list, although they cost £45, which is a bit too much. The winning feature is the seat panel.

While Steve was making a fool of himself by telling them that the the thermal top is missing a draw-string while he was wearing back to front, I was looking at the sunglasses. I saw the pair that I had bought in spring and ended up int he bottom of the Welsh Harp and I told them that although they are floatable, they don’t float. They insisted that they float, and I said that they don’t but unfortunately I cannot send them back to them because they are a t the bottom of the Harp! I even asked how much they were, hoping that there is some “show offer” or something but unfortunately there wasn’t. But, they offered me a “replacement” pair. They actually told me to take the ones they had there and then on display! Thanks Gemma! That is customer service. They could have told me to buy another pair, throw them in the bath tub, and if they would sink, then they would give me my money back, or anything similar. No, they gave me another pair. Gill have a new loyal customer.

I bought, a drinking bottle from Rooster, a few metres of shock-cord in order to attach the bottle to the back of the cockpit and a new ratchet block from the Laser Centre for £10. It’s not a top of the range Ronstan Fredricksen, bit it’s a brand new RWO and it will definitely work better than the one I have at the moment.

You might think that I am going on and on about money, but the truth is that everything sailing related costs at least double. Even duck tape! a 5m duck tape roll from a chandlery store is £3. 50metres of duck tape from a DIY shop is £5! On top of that, since I have been sailing for less than a year, there is so much gear that I need to buy. And since the boat I bought was second hand, it needs some new bits and highest priority is a sail that costs £420. I cannot spend this sort of money right now and if I spend £40 here, £50 there and £60 somewhere else, then at the end of the day I will spend more that £420. In that case, I might as well, go and buy the sail. As you can see, I am saving money in order to buy more important and expensive things I need.

After the show, I went to Steve’s place for dinner and we had a nice chat about sailing, the club, the incidents we had at the stand with the reps of the other clubs, etc. I was prepaired to write about an incident, but I cannot be bothered. I am feeling quite up-beat after the show and I don’t want to spoil things, talking about narrow-minded idiots.

Sailing tomorrow and it’s going to be quite windy.