Being consistent is especially important in big fleets where a small mistake can lose you plenty of places. With a large number of fast boats in an international championship, the chances of getting those places back is highly unlikely.
Great boat handling is particularly relevant and practice is an easy way to ensure that small but significant snafus don’t occur. Practice boatspeed and manouvres to ensure that in the heat of competition a weakness in either of these areas of sailing will not affect your end results.
Check your boat after every sail to look for items of gear that are wearing or need maintenance, having a gear failure can slow you down or finish your day altogether.
In many events the boat that wins the regatta sailed consistently and finished in every race and although they did not shoot the lights out, the aggregate of their score was enough to win.
For every venue that you sail at, be consistent with your preparation such as reading the weather forecasts, tidal observations, boat preparation and getting out on the water a good amount of time prior to the start.
Taking risks is rarely a great regatta winning strategy and keeping with the fleet is generally the right tactic. Make sure that you keep out of trouble as well.
Regattas are won by continually sailing fast and heading in the right direction and you don’t have to beat every boat that you come accross on the course.
Getting into a protestable situation is not smart, even if you think you are right, sometimes it makes sense to bail out if you get into a duel with a gnarly competitor and boat damage can ruin your race.
A disqualification will not only ruin your consistensy but it can effect your mindset negatively for future races.
Above all have a plan plus a back up should circumstances dictate the original was no longer relevant due to changing conditions or getting caught on the wrong side of the course.
Staying calm when a plan goes pear shaped means that you are able to make a rational change to plan B and maintain consistent results rather than going off on a flier which more than often only compounds the disaster.
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