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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Want to learn, what's next step
Knowing where you are would help...
The Power and Sail Squadron courses are good places to start, as well as the various ASA courses that are often offered by sailing schools etc.
And there's nothing like experience.. if you're near a local yacht club or marina that holds weekend and evening racing programs it's often possible to sign on as crew for those boats that typically sail shorthanded. You can move from being 'rail meat' to working, useful crew by being observant, reliable, interested and willing to learn. It may also be possible to crew on a variety of boats to get a feel for the differences between them. You can learn a lot about sail trim, boat handling etc that are excellent skills to have whether you ever plan to race or not.
You'll also be more likely to get experience in less-than-idyllic conditions, as the races usually go regardless, and heavy air and cold weather sailing practice will always stand you in good stead too.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)