Re: Hello from Canada. Looking to plan a long trip, any help would be appreciated.
Racing is a great way to train on account of it being very intense. You learn to make quick sail changes, use wind shifts and currents to best advantage (hopefully!) and a LOT of reacers are highly experienced. They're always looking for crews, so it's easy to get out for a midweek around the cans blast on a range of vessels, and who knws where it'll lead you? I'd not raced until a few years ago, having always cruised, but found it to be different and very useful for higlighting the gaps in your knowledge. Good for exploring outside your comfort zone. Not to be discounted. Good luck and have fun! I'll maybe see you around later in the year...