can you help me out here. After a year of racing my crew is pretty okay in boat handling and becoming more and more proficient in trim. We're moving up in the fleet so everything is going well. What I am wondering about is what hand signals are you guys using for the bow person to communicate in the pre start to the driver and tactician? I.e. distance to the line, luffing and bearing, accelerating, de-accelerating. We're still working out a system and some tips would be helpful.
Keep it simple. You need boat lengths to the line (pinky through index finger)
, and 'up' or 'down' (thumb pointed in the direction needed)
. On a race boat, everyone needs their hands free, so a radio w/o a headset is a non-starter. Headsets happen on some large boats with large budgets, but I can't recall seeing any locally. Hand signals or a tap on the deck are also good for initiating jibes, tacks, etc... in tactical situations when silence is golden. The bow doesn't usually have anything to say about acceleration as they're not watching time. When driving, I'll take a look at my watch in the sequence, as will the tactician, but having someone dedicated to doing the final minute (5, 4:30, 4, 3:30, 2, 2:30, 1 min, 45sec, 30sec, 20sec, 15, 10, 5,4,3,2,1sec....) is very helpful.. again, loud enough for the afterguard and trimmers to hear, no more. Good boats are quiet boats.