Introducing James Anderson

James Andreson, whose brand new boat C55 is now in construction, is new to the BOD fleet so we sent our roving reporter out to find out more about James, his sailing background and what has brought him to the class.

BOD – We are thrilled that you are joining the fleet James.  How did you make the decision to have a new BOD built?

James – I have been pondering getting back into sailing for some time and having a Brightlingsea base made the BOD an obvious choice.  On top of that I’ve got kids who are themselves very involved at BSC, Fin sailing a 49er and Maddy a Nacra 17.  My other daughter is now a medical student but because of all the pressures involved in getting into medical school, she stopped sailing at the Mirror stage although I’m hoping the BOD might get her involved again.  Fin has crewed for Chris Matthews in his BOD and really enjoyed himself so he and Maddy have been piling on the pressure to get me sailing again.  I stopped sailing regularly about ten years ago after breaking my arm rather badly and I subsequently took up cycling furiously.  I’ve really enjoyed doing that and this summer in anticipation of cycling over the Pyrenees, I got fitter than I’ve been since I left university, so I thought to myself ‘you’re not dead yet, why not get sailing again?

BOD – Tell us a bit about your sailing background

My sailing life started at Ely Sailing Club, where my Dad had a National 12 – an Uffa King No. 543 and subsequently a Proctor No. 1387.  Ely was (and still is) one of those inland gravel pit clubs beloved of National 12 sailors where the wind comes from everywhere and just as the boat starts planing you reach the next mark.  I started crewing in National 12’s  and Enterprises and then crewed for a school friend in a Cadet (We still sail together for a week every summer with Sunsail in the Mediterranean).  I probably had my greatest sailing success crewing in an Enterprise when I crewed for an elderly accountant from Cambridge.  He never spoke much, he wore BBC glasses and a black beret and he didn’t expect much from me except to be quiet and make up the numbers (i.e.he was obliged to have a crew although would probably have been happier without).  But he was a fantastic sailor and we won various events around those parts – Thrapston and Grafham I remember particularly.

I later got a Firefly which I sailed with my brother at Grafham (we were members the year it opened 1966 if I remember right) and at Brancaster in Norfolk.  I later sailed an International 14 with my brother but we were neither heavy enough or canny enough to compete very successfully.  And then as family and work intervened my sailing took a back seat.  I’ve done a bit of big boat sailing over the years including while working in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a year in 1985-6.  But I’ve never felt big boats have the immediacy and excitement of dinghies.

BOD – Who will you be sailing the BOD with?

I’m hoping that my kids will provide me with crew, but I’ve got various old friends (including that same brother and Cadet sailing schoolfriend, who might step in if needed).  One of the things that has changed so dramatically since I started sailing, is the fantastic coaching opportunities that now exist both at a local and national level.  As a consequence my children are much better tacticians than I am, so I will just do what I’m told!

I’m looking forward to joining the expanding fleet.

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