A slightly misleading title to this post, since Flight 1 has not yet taken place despite the season being two weeks old.
However, I hope that your Tuesday mornings, like mine, are once again filled with anticipation and laced with more than a hint of adrenalin.
Next week looks promising and, in the meantime, I advise you to look over your bateau and take stock because I cannot promise that it will be light.
Please also take a moment to consider the forthcoming Etchells Invitational - on the subject of which I will be circulating a special email later this week.
The purpose of the Invitational is to introduce new blood - and some fresh enthusiasm - into our class. There are still too many boats standing idle on the hard when there is (as we all know) genuine excitement and exhilaration to be found just beyond the breakwater.
From an outsider's perspective it can be hard to reconcile the reality of fast, fun, competitive sailing with the common perception of the Etchells Class as some kind of floating Rotary Club - an impression that I am determined to rehabilitate.
Whilst it is pleasant to see your familiar faces across a packed Swashies of a Tuesday evening, think how much you would enjoy the sight and thrill of a packed starting line, new rivalries and fresh competition.
The Invitational will not form part of the regular season, but will include awesome prizes and a Duckworth-Lewisesque system to reward the boat with most (genuine) newbies. I for one have invited a promising young chap just in from San Francisco whose recent experience seems to have been in cats (of all things!), so it will be interesting to see how he copes with sailing at this rarefied level.
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.