Competitive Sailing Sailing Sailing To Win Yacht Racing

Losing Your Touch? How To Get Out Of A Slump

If you feel as though you are losing your touch out on the race course sometimes you need to go back and start at the beginning.

If your performance is a shadow of your past, you need to go through each one of the potential problem areas.

First, check the finish of the boat and your equipment and make sure that it is up to racing standard.

Next, go sailing and work on your steering, your sails and adjustments. If you think the problem is something you are doing, work with your team to analyse and come up with a consensus.

Once you have an answer, go out for a full training session or two to work on and fix the problem that is causing your current “go slows”.

The most important point here is don’t go looking for excuses, go all the way back to the begining and recheck everything and then go sailing to see if your performance improves.

Be honest with yourself, you may find that you are not footing because the sails are not sheeted properly or you are not pointing because you have not bent the mast to suit the conditions.

A question often asked regarding a slump is “have we peaked too soon”. Sometimes coming up to a big event it does no harm to have an uncustomary poor result to bring you back to earth.

Treat it as a wake up call and go back to the basics to evaluate where you are really at. An overconfident sailor gets too relaxed  and does not concentrate on steering, keeping the boat flat & trimmed correctly or study the sails and equipment diligently enough.

When you have a bad day, during the debrief, list at least 10 things that you could have done better and this should include input from everyone on the team. 

Once the list is put together, use your practice sessions to work on each of the things that you have identified as issues and sharpen your skills so that next time you race these problems do not occur again.

By Brett Bowden

Brett Bowden is an author, entrepreneur, business broker, and yachtsman. Brett is a competitive yachtsman and has competed in many races and championships around the world and still owns several boats.
Brett Bowden is the author of “Sailing To Win” and lives in Victoria, Australia.

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