Re: Signing up for races
Great advice above.
The one thing I would add is that as an owner, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that pisses me off faster than someone who commits to be there and then doesn't show up. Unless someone died, or you are in the hospital after you commit to me I just don't want you on the boat, I need you there. Because your spot is critical to the operation of the boat.
Worst example of this, was in the J-22 Midwinters, we were 9th out of 75 boats going into the last day, with a realistic shot of finishing in the top 5 if we had a good last day. Now this is a major regatta, boats out with professional crews, and huge money spent to prep boats. But on the last day two of my crew didn't show. Aparently they decided it was too rough to go sailing so they bailed. As the rest of the fleet left for the race course we sat at the dock, watchingr our chance of a good finish evaporate.
That was 7 years ago. To this day I won't even consider allowing those two on my boat, or any boat I am managing, because I won't risk a regatta finish on them. I can also tell you that the two in question were at the time hot shot sailors gaining a reputation in the national circuit, and now neither of them even got invited to sail the last North Americans that was in their hometown. Because of this one incident.