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Competitive Sailing Sailing Sailing To Win Yacht Racing

Ultimate Sailing Success Comes From Teamwork

In a crewed boat there is great satisfaction from being part of a good crew.

It is often said that everyone secretly wants to be the skipper but there are also those that get more rewards from being part of a well functioning team.

When you compete in a world class event, great crew work is what makes the difference between two boats. Ninety percent of the difference comes from boathandling and being the slickest at tacking, gybing, working the waves and calling the shifts.

While the helmsman concentrates on steering, the crew do everything else, so their importance cannot be underestimated.

A great crew arrive at the boat early, check and recheck equipment then set the boat up for the days racing. Talk will be about the forthcoming races, the weather, competitors to be aware of and what to expect out on the course.

Those teams that sit around in the clubhouse till the last minute discussing a range of subjects not related to the racing are setting themselves up to fail.

Every crew member needs to have a clear idea of what their job is but must also know the tasks of their team mates so that they can fill in when an emergeny arrises or someone can’t be there.

To be successful, your team must have the desire to win in order to push themselves harder than their fellow competitors, even when they are dead tired.

Good communication onboard is essential and the larger the crew, the more important this becomes. In the case of a huge team there is the need to have a spokesperson for each essential team, as an example bow, mast office, trimmers and tactics.

Too much undisiplined chatter only serves to distract and causes concentration of all crew members to suffer.

On a lot of boats, the downwind leg is seen as the chance to relax but many places can be gained or advantage increased by working the waves and the shifts whilst those around you take it easy.

As well as the desire to win and personal optimism, another essential requirement is compatibilty followed by sailing knowledge and good physical condition.

Most other things to be successful in sailing can be taught, practiced or learned as long as the desire to achieve is there.

How often have we seen a team of champions not succeed because they couldn’t get along, each crew member and their skills set needs to complement other team members.

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Competitive Sailing Sailing Sailing To Win Yacht Racing

Importance Of Psychology To Get Great Results In Sailboat Racing

In any sport, the higher the level, the more important the state of mind becomes. In racing a sailboat, because of complexity, mastering this aspect is even more critical if you want to win.

Top sailors master boat handling, trimming, the rules of racing, meteorolgy, sailing in current and so on but as you reach the top few in any fleet, pschology starts to play a greater role.

At the top level, the difference in boatspeed is negligible and at this point your mental condition becomes every bit as important as your physical condition.

A racing sailor who doesn’t have a clear and relaxed mind may miss a cloud the produces a wind shift or miss seeing a tide transition line ahead.

They are also not thinking about how an opponent will react if they gybe or tack therefore they miss things which means they can no longer influence or control their competitors.

When you go racing, whether it be at club, national or international level, you need to be able to vacate your mind of your business, financial or relationship concerns so you can concentrate on the race.

Obviously we are all different, with different outside pressures, so each of us need to have our own ways to relax prior to going out to race.

For some it may be sitting quietly with a coffee and the newspaper, for others it may be tinkering with the boat whilst at the same time listening to your favourite music through headphones.

Recently I was chatting to a very successful sailor who told me that on a light wind day he tuned his earphones to gentle music and on a heavy wind and wave day, the music he listened to whilst setting up was much more upbeat and boisterous.

For some sailors it is setting up early then moving around the boat park chatting to fellow competitors about the days coming event and for others it is immersing themselves in their own boat and thoughts, blocking out everything else.

One easy win in the psychological stakes is to launch and get out to the course area early or being the first off the beach, fellow competitors who are still rigging and setting their boats up will notice and become stressed.

If you can control your mind you are a long way towards becoming a champion.

#sailingtowin #sail #sailtowin #yachtrace #sailingcoach #sailboatrace

SAILING TO WIN?

 

 

 

Categories
Competitive Sailing Sailing Sailing To Win Yacht Racing

How to Lose to Win

I found this article (copied below) online, written by Colin D Neal outlining the vitues of defeat. It was written in 1972 and appeared in Yacht Racing.

It is as relevant today as it was then.

The guy who regularly beats you has served his apprenticeship of defeats and is now reaping the benefits.

Let those who consistently sail to victory remain smug and not read this article, lest they see herein the future and be touched with the first gentle pangs of anxiety over their eventual defeat by that newcomer who now just barely muddles around the course.

Winning sailors don’t lose their touch, they just get out of the habit of learning from every race. Those of us who are losing have the decided advantage of being hungry for victory and thus learn something from every loss.

After a year of watching the rest of the fleet sail gracefully off into the distance, the act of gradually improving to the point of being able to sail around several marks with your competitors brings one to a peak of ecstasy that will probably never be experienced again in sailing, except perhaps when one first rounds the windward mark in the lead.

Therein lies the advantage of the novice, and the reason why this sage of 29 years asserts loudly for all the world to hear—today’s losers shall inherit tomorrow’s trophies, for the pains of defeat provide more incen­tive to win then do the joys of victory.

Losing a sailboat race is probably one of the most distressing conditions in which a person voluntarily puts oneself. What could be simpler, on first sight, than speedily and easily sailing around those little marks?

Almost anyone can learn to sail within a matter of hours. In fact, if we are to be truthful with ourselves, we are forced to admit that sailing is ludicrously easy after a bit of practice.

If sailing is so easy, why then is competitive sailing so agonizingly difficult?

During our first races as a beginner, why are we only one third of the way to the mark when everyone else is rounding?

Or, why is our boat continually alternating between luffing and almost capsizing when everyone else is merrily beating into a 15-knot hurricane, with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts?

On light air days, how are they able to plod cheerfully onward while our tub wanders resolutely back from whence it came whenever a wave of more than two inches in height breaks apathetically under the bow?

With the same sails and boat, how come other guy sails higher and faster than we do on the beats, and even faster on the reaches and runs?

The answer to such questions lies in the acquisition of a sound psychological understanding of the sailboat and the relationship of the helmsman to it.

And the key to this understanding (and to the secret of eventual success) lies in the recognition of our boat’s inherent devilishness, with which we must constantly battle and from which we can constantly learn.

Scientific knowledge to the contrary, who can privately doubt that the tender, hypersensitive creature we allegedly command actually has an inhumanly human and maliciously independent spirit of her own?

To those rationalists who scoff and claim otherwise, I say this: explain in 25 words or less why changing the length of the forestay by three inches puts you far ahead this week and at the back of the fleet the next, under the same wind conditions.

The old cliché about winning races by making the fewest mistakes is not only trite, but true. And how do we learn to make the fewest mistakes? By making mistakes.

Nobody learns to cover until he loses because of his failure to cover. We learn how to round properly by rounding wrongly and losing.

We learn how to tune for and sail the beats by getting angry enough to find out everything we can about the subject and then getting out and tuning and practicing and racing and racing and racing.

There are no child prodigies or other amazing successes in sailboat racing. The dozens (or hundreds) of variables in tuning, tactics, boat handling and wind­finding see to that.

The guy who regularly beats you has served his apprenticeship of defeats and is now reaping the benefits. He got there as a result of a lengthy quest for ways to avoid the embarrassment and agony of defeat.

#sailingtowin #sailing #sailboatrace #sailingcoach #sail #sailtowin