You wouldn't know it from looking at most sailors but sailing is a fairly physical sport. On little boats (like Lasers), you need a pretty fit core to hike and use your body to flatten the boat. On big boats, you need to be pretty strong to raise sails and trim loaded sails. On the middle ground (boats like mine), you really don't need to be in very good shape at all. And that's why I never have been.
On last year's Pac Cup, I really felt the lack of strength conditioning. Oceanaire had very heavy sails and when you needed to raise one quickly, I really didn't have the strength to do it. To be fair, only one of us did (hey Phil) but still I could have pulled my weight a bit better. By the time I realized this, it was too late to really get myself in better shape.
Since I'm doing the Pac Cup again, I have an obligation to be stronger. Thanks to my newest obsession (swimming), I'm actually getting there. For the first time in my life, there are actually visible muscles on me and I figure if I can swim 1000 yards without dying, I can probably run to the bow of a 44 foot boat without my lungs imploding.
So, there you have it. Sailors need to be strong and thanks to swimming I'm almost strong. Just in time to join a boat with electric winches.