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Thread: My last Highland Games as a competitor

  1. #1
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    Default My last Highland Games as a competitor

    Well, this past weekend was my very last Games as a competitor. I need to retire to focus on some other things; a big sailing goal that I have for, hopefully 2022, and a program in music composition that I want to start.

    Anyway, while I was recovering from rotator cuff surgery a couple of months ago, I could not squat normally. Instead, I did what are called goblet squats, which are pretty light weight but great for form. Somewhere during that time, I tightened up some muscles in my lower back and compressed a vertebral disk. I've been dealing with what can best be called a real pain in the ass, as a result of this, for a couple of months. Along with that pain in the ass comes a significant loss of strength. Throwing practices in the last two weeks have been completely miserable as throwing the stuff we have at the games is basically All About Ass.. So I had no expectations for my last Games. I was gonna do the road trip with my friend Marty, drink some beer, sit in the hot tub at Marty's friends house, and if I fell all over myself at the Games at least I would have gone. I would have had a chance to say goodbye to all my southern California friends.

    Well, Saturday morning I took a couple of Aleve. After the National Anthem and the athletes meeting, I put my neoprene back support on under my kilt, strapped the kilt on and buckled down my weight lifting belt, good and hard, on top. I NEVER throw with my weight lifting belt. So, with no expectations, I marched with my bros over to the hammer cage to get the day started.

    In summary, I had a remarkable day. I own the field record for the Senior Masters Heavy Hammer, already. I thought I might throw ten feet shy of that but instead I was only two feet off. I dished up some perfectly respectable throws. Well, damn. In the light hammer, last years effort put me 2 inches behind my old friend, long retired now, Ray Oster for the field record. To my total shock, on my next-to-last throw, I got the field record by two inches. Incredible! At at that point I figured I could just fall down for the rest of the day, and it would be a great day, anyway.

    But son of a gun, weight over bar went OK, I snuck it over 12 feet. Yeah, sure I didn't have my usual mojo, I'm throwing with only half a functional ass, and throwing is ALL ass, but hell. 12 feet is no disaster. In sheaf, I plowed the bag into the bar 3x at 24 feet, which means I had 23+ all three times. Well, hell my lifetime personal best is only 25 and I set that eight years ago. That's a GOOD day. I mean, I cleared 21 feet and missed at 24 so the record books will show 21, but I know that I had 23 in me on Saturday, and it's what I know that counts.

    In caber, I was the only Senior Master to turn the challenge caber. So I threw with the "young bucks" in the 50-59 class..LOL...and turned that stick 3x for a best of 12:05. All the turns were better than 12:30. That's a damn good caber sequence and it was on a light-ish but perfectly respectable stick.

    After lunch, weights went OK...heavy was sort of "meh" but by no means a meltdown, and the light weight for distance was very respectable. I probably would have grabbed that field record as well, but two of my throws, I foot-fouled out the back so they didn't count. So I had to settle for 43' 11", but that is by no stretch of the imagination "bad". It's perfectly respectable and a *ton* better than I was afraid I was going to get.

    Stones *sucked* at the end of the day. The affected muscles in my butt were giving out and if I can't plant my left side, drive off the right side and block, then it's all "arm". So that kinda sucked and my numbers were wrteched, for me. But WTH, everything else was good.

    So for my last Games, ever, I won every event in my class, set a field record, and finally for the first time ever brought home a Class Win from that Games. I've been second or third more times than I can count, but now I've got a class trophy. Not only that, but the composite score from this one Games has me ranked 5th in the world for the Senior Masters.

    I would say that this was a really great way to hang up my cleats. I got to say goodbye to a lot of good friends, and Adriane Wilson, the 5x womens world champion and a special friend showed up on Sunday. She was in town doing strength and throws training for the Invictus Games. So I got to hug Adriane, and say goodbye to her, too. We all love Adriane, and all us guys shamelessly crush on her. Adriane and her husband, Joe hosted me in Charlotte, NC when I was there for the Masters Worlds in 2012. I even did a gym lifting session with her, which was great fun.

    It's time to move on to other things, like a 2022 Pac Cup or SHTP, and a trip to Micronesia for example. I was ready for these Games to basically suck. I was braced to just force myself to keep a good attitude, and just deal with the suck, but they anything BUT sucked.

    I am grateful. Really grateful.

    This transition is really hard for me, but now it's time to move on. Step One? Lose about 60 pounds. Get from 305 down to about 245.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  2. #2
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    Impressive!

    Congratulations Alan!
    Nice to retire on a high note.

  3. #3
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    Well done ... what's that sailing project?
    P___/)___J
    Solo RTW

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamottep View Post
    Well done ... what's that sailing project?
    In 1946 my father was stationed on Eniewetok atoll, a Lieutenant JG, skippering an air-sea rescue boat. The US Navy transferred him to Guam and made him the captain of the LCI 983, a 153 foot vessel designed to deliver troops and light vehicles up on a beach. They drew 3 feet and were miserably wet in any sort of seaway. The US Government sent along a Harvard anthropology professor, a medical doctor, an economist and a few other employees of the U.S. Commercial Company, a consulting agency at that time. The mission was to sail from west to east through Micronesia, doing a socio-economic survey of the islands in the aftermath of WWII. The islands had not been self-governing for a couple of hundred years, but the USA did not want to take on the area as a "Territory", like how Puerto Rico is.



    My father was the skipper of the LCI 983 during this voyage.



    See the skinny guy in the middle, dealing cards with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth? That's my father. He was 23 years old.



    The report that was generated by this voyage was submitted to the United Nations, which then created the Trust Territories of Micronesia, which is how the islands were governed for the next 50 years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_...acific_Islands

    I have a copy of that report. I also wrote to the US Naval Archives and I have a copy of the deck log book, signed by my father, for the entire voyage. It contains courses, headings, where they were anchored, and priceless details like where they set off an unexploded Japanese mine, on the beach.
    Last edited by AlanH; 10-17-2018 at 04:22 PM.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  5. #5
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    Dad was not one to collect momentos, take pictures and so on during his Navy career. However, on THIS trip, he did take pictures, did record things. I have a book full of photos, boxes full of shell jewelry, and there are woven palm fans sitting in my study as I type this. I have all of the necessary information to sail my fathers voyage from Guam to Honolulu, in reverse, after the 2022 SHTP or Doublehanded Pac Cup.

    I've seen this picture since I was an infant.



    I want to stand on that beach, in that spot.

    It seems like a good sailing goal, to me.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  6. #6
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    Sounds like a fun project!
    P___/)___J
    Solo RTW

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanH View Post
    It seems like a good sailing goal, to me.
    Super cool. The S-2 will be your magic carpet?(!) Or can we look forward to following the new-new-new boat for AlanH thread...

  8. #8
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    This looks about right for the Piper. You'd probably need to "bow" the bunks up more at the ends.

    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bpo...720156222.html

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanikai View Post
    Super cool. The S-2 will be your magic carpet?(!) Or can we look forward to following the new-new-new boat for AlanH thread...
    When I bought the S2 7.9 I had in mind the smallest boat I could take across an ocean and not be miserable, and could live on for about 4 months, and had a PHRF rating <200. I didn't want an ultralight, but I wanted something built simply and with Santa Cruz-type quality glasswork. At the same time it had to be fun to sail on the Bay in the several years of SSS I'd be doing before I took off. I wanted a boat I could do the SHTP in without breaking the bank, and then keep going. I thought it would be nice to have a boat that I could have a trailer built for, in Guam and ship back. The S2 fits all those criteria. Seriously, the ONLY complaint I have about the S-2 is the rudder/tiller instability and I think I might have solved that with the new rudder.

    However, if I could have my druthers, I'd have something bigger... 30-32 feet, ballast/disp ratio of about 40%, SA/disp ratio in the low 200's, PHRF rating <180. I'd love something like a Yankee 30, Tartan 30, Tartan 3000, maybe a Sabre 30...at the upper end in terms of size, a Valiant 32, Aloha 32 (retrofitted with a tiller) or cha-chinnngggg...Pacific Seacraft 31. I'd also love to take my all-time dream boat..an Olson 911s.

    But those boats are more boat-bucks than I can afford, though there IS an essentially abandoned Tartan 3000 in my marina. There's a Yamaha 30 that's lein-sale'd in my marina as well, but it's the forward-engine model. By the time I'd paid for moving the entire power plant back under the cockpit, I'd have bought a whole new boat, so that makes no sense.

    However, another option has presented itself in the form of an arrangement with a good friend who has a Capo 30. I would love to take a Capo 30 on this trip, it's essentially my ideal boat, but I doubt that I can afford to ship a Capo 30 back to San Francisco from Guam. That means sailing it all the way around, a loop of the entire North Pacific, via Japan and Korea, though I suppose I could get to Guam and just turn around. A North Pacific Loop is a serious undertaking.

    so we shall see.

    The reason I bought the Piper...or tried to... is to have a cool daysailer when I get back from this extravaganza, if I have to sell the S2 7.9 in Guam. Incredibly, there is already an S2 7.9 out there.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  10. #10
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    I've been eyeing that trailer advertisement, Bob. If the current owner gets the Pipers title squared away, I'm going to need something like that. The challenge will be getting the boat off the guys property, and to a hoist that will lift it off the current trailer. To get it off the property will mean dropping about $500 in welding fees and steel, to make the trailer road-worthy. once that's done, though...then there's really nothing wrong with the current trailer, aside from the fact that nobody here knows what the heck the piston arrangement is, that's right behind the towing receiver.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

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