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post #1 of 8 Old 05-12-2005 Thread Starter
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How to pick up racing experience?

Hello, I am a young sailor (20 years old), and my goal is to become a proffesional racer. My question is, how can I gain a lot of racing experience in the US. I would apprecieate you advice (considering I don''t have a lot of money, and I want to gain as much experience in as little time as possible).
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-12-2005
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How to pick up racing experience?

I would assume you are looking to be a pro crew as opposed to a pro racer owner. First step is to find the yacht club nearest you that has the most active and wide ranging dingy/OD fleet. Forget about really learning anything in the cruising class, they are as a rule a few steps behind when it comes to the intensity level and rules knowlege etc. It is good to find an area that has a number of good yeach clubs. Western LIS has some really outstanding clubs with active programs. Once you identify the club, it is as simple as posting a note on the club''s crew available bulletin board, they all have them. Make sure you list yourself as an eager novice. You won''t land any top crew positions at first, as the top teams usually have a stable crew list. But get on whatever you can. Starting out low, work yourself up to better teams as you progress. Be prepared to be little more than ballast at first. And make sure you are there early, and stay late. Helping out at the lift, and the staging lot wherever you can. LISTEN to everyone, and try to find out who the "Hot" teams are and try to hang around them after the race. In many of the clubs, they are always looking for extra hands on the race committee, and that is good to ingratiate yourself to the commodore or race chairman. Plan on this taking a number of years, this is nothing that can be accomplished overnight. I started actively racing one design at the age of 10 and at age 20 was already very sought after, so you will have a lot of catching up to do. Live and breath sailing. Watch videos, get all the books you can on sailing and racing and study them. Look at getting a job at a local loft, even if it is just taking out the trash for starters. KEEP YOURSELF IN SHAPE AND FIT!!!!! When you do finally graduate to the big boats, you will start at the bottom all over again, grinding or hauling sails below decks. Plan on living out of a duffle bag. Don''t get caught up in too many material possessions, you will need to have a low overhead at first, as you will be spending a good deal of time sailing and not making any money. There are very few paying positions in racing and those that do get paid are the cream of the crop. If you are lucky, you can land a position as a BN on a larger boat. Get your hours in and your licenses up to CG 100Tn. Good Luck, it is a dream that is worthy to follow.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-12-2005
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How to pick up racing experience?

Ditto everything silmaril said. Also, sail in as many different classes of boats and with as many different skippers as possible. Each class of boat has design characteristics that will add to your understanding of the dynamic principles involved in sailing generally. No single skipper knows every conceivable racing maneuver and technique, but, if you learn from a lot of good racers, you''ll gain their collective knowledge.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-19-2006
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How to pick up racing experience?

yep, you have to start small just like a formula 1 racer... before he is a F1 pilot, they start off in (most of the time) go karts, then off to Formula 3s, then Formula 2, and finally Formula 1 IF they are good in the previous classes
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-06-2007
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sail light, powerful boats

General racing trend is toward relatively lighter and faster boats with bigger kites. So, try to sail lighter more high horsepower boats to get a feel for how these go. In small boats try 505, 49er, Int. 14, google them for class/fleet sites. in bigger boats try Melges 24, melges 32, Mumm 30 etc. Buy/borrow/steal a copy of Frank Bethwaite's book High performance Sailing. Read "Sailing Anarchy" website. Go to the 3 closest sail lofts, give them your info, tell them you are ALWAYS available for sail testing on race boats, any weather, any time. Your phone will ring.

Be the first guy to the boat on race days. Clean stuff. be the last guy to go home. Clean stuff.

Never ever give up.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-06-2007
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I'm only 17, but I'm sort of on the same track. I have a Santana 2023 that I buoy race a few times a week, but I really prefer crewing on larger boats, I'm not too interested in being a professional racer, but I am always looking for rides. In Seattle, it took a while to prove myself, but now most of the big boats know me, and know that I work hard and I NEVER turn down an offer. I also work as a volunteer instructor at a local kid's sailing club (Lasers, FJ's and Optimist), and I've made a lot of good contacts doing this. Basically, if you want to crew, you gotta get out out there and show 'em you can do it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-06-2007
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I just realized, this thread is like 2 years old. d'oh!

Last edited by knotaloud; 07-06-2007 at 11:48 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-06-2007
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That's cause Joe revived a dead thread... Joe, don't do that.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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