August 2013

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live on the move Sailing Madison: Sea for Yourself! Helen of Troy must've had one sensational mug to successfully launch a thousand ships. When trying to schedule my sailing trip recently, it took four attempts and a day with just the right amount of wind to finally get our E-Scow sailboat moving on Lake Mendota. Once we got going, however, I was treated to a glorious perspective of summer in Madison. Previously my sum sailing experience consisted of sipping beverages on a bachelorette party vessel while trying to stave off nausea and keep my balloon-head from the boom. I also recall one atWhere to Go tempt to sail a Sunfish at overnight Members of Hoofers camp with an equally ill-equipped Sailing Club get access 12-year-old. If memory serves, to a fleet of sailboats as we got stranded. Perhaps we well as beginner lessons from experienced instrucnever actually left port. Nevertors. Sign up for the theless, when a Madisonian gets month or fall session at invited to go sailing on a sunny afternoon, the answer should equal YES—even if said Wisconsinite lacks sea legs, sea-wear and sea-speak. I met my generous hosts, master sailing aficionado and racer Trey Sprinkman and photographer Becky Behling, at Burrows Park. From a fitness perspective, I ling and I help hoist the sails, which took all figured my hair would suffer the brunt of of my might. Considering the burn in my the workout by whipping in the wind as the biceps, I began to doubt my stamina and rest of me did numerous reps of sitting on worried that Sprinkman mistook me for my duff in the sun cruising around the lake. an able-bodied sailor. He seemed to have However, the sailing workout began faith in my lack of abilities, however, as he before even entering the water. Readying had me steer the boat. Yes, I, Ann Imig, sat the boat—pushing it from the slip onto in the stern (back) of the boat steering the the dolly and guiding it into the water— tiller and trimming (tightening) the sheet required a bit of agility and maneuvering, (line) on the main (sail) as needed. Um, not to mention expertise. In fact, every yeah, check out all that seafaring lingo aspect of sailing—from the expansive terI just threw down. Anyway, depending minology, to the understanding of climate on the heel (tilt) of the boat in the water, and wind patterns, to the mechanics of we sat tethered only by our feet with our working all the different lines, sails and butts completely off the side—a serious ab equipment, to water safety and boating workout when the wind picked up. etiquette—requires someone with the proSailing requires constant "tacking," ficiency to negotiate all of these moving turning to move the sails to the other side parts. (Hint: This person is not me. There's of the boat, to change direction according a good chance this isn't you, either. Don't to the wind, which demands fast thinktry sailing without a seasoned instructor.) ing and efficient movements. With a good Once in the water, Sprinkman had Beh- 16 BRAVA Magazine August 2013 instructor, even in a first lesson you can experience both peaceful moments of gliding through the water—white sails billowing above—and also thrilling moments of catching the wind and letting the sails propel you as you bear down on the boat (and pray it doesn't capsize). As we cruised, Sprinkman pointed to different landmarks like the Memorial Union, a water tower in Middleton and Maple Bluff, orienting me to the shoreline and showing me Madison from a different perspective. As a bonus, he flew a kite, a huge colorful sail almost like the inside of a hot air balloon, enhancing the joy quotient even further. When the engineering, physics, geography and physicality of sailing come together, the result is a glorious combination of exhilaration and relaxation. You'll crush hard for summer in Madison all over again. Photo by Bobbi Petersen By Ann Imig

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