Step 1. Work on your weaknesses.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses, for some, it is light air and flat water, for others they are faster in a big breeze and boisterous seas. It is fun to practice in your favourite conditions but you need to get out of your comfort zone and spend more practice time sailing in the conditions that you are slower in.
Step 2. Preparation.
Leading up to an event focus on reducing distractions, cross off all the items on your boat work list and let all work clients, colleagues and friends know that you will not be available during the event. When a regatta begins you need to be rested and ready, and your first and only priority is going sailing.
Step3. Go to a regatta with someone you have spent a lot of time sailing with.
If you are sailing in a multi-crewed boat resist the temptation to link up with a hot shot in your class for a big event. In a crew-driven boat, the helmsperson only does about thirty per cent of the work. If you compete with someone that you have spent many hours in the boat with, you know each other’s weaknesses but also know each other’s strengths, and in tough situations, you remind each other to focus on those and let the rest sort itself out.
Step4. Nutrition and Hydration.
Proper nutrition and hydration could make or break your results. Carry adequate food, snacks and water during the race especially if you are competing in two or three races in one day. Don’t neglect off the water fuel and hydration and resist the partying until the event is finished. Supply your own food rather than what the regatta organizers or canteen provide and don’t neglect to get plenty of sleep during the event.
Step5. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be better than the rest.
It’s easy to give up, but instead, focus on the opportunities that an event presents and sail hard, remember everybody else is hurting too and wrestling with the same issues as you are. Fortunately, great boat speed, developed over the time of working together will allow you to move up through the fleet and this is where all your hard work pays off.