First time crewing/racing this weekend - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Smile Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

Ropeclimber;
I gotta tell ya - I'm impressed as hell.
I've got a couple of newbs on my boat this year, and they're working hard getting ready - reading books, attending crew courses, but you are over-the-top!!

You're getting great help and advice here, too.

One thing I'd like to add, further to my additional comments (thanks to Milkjug - his/her comment made me think of it).

The most difficult/complicated/stressful parts of racing are the maneuvers and transitions. windward and leeward mark roundings most of all.

Some skippers do not clearly express what they are planning, and what they want you to do - just like Milkjug said. Don't be afraid to start that conversation yourself, if it doesn't seem to be happening naturally. Maybe not the first maneuver, but if by the second, you don't feel the communication is good enough, a simple question like 'Hey Skipper - how is this rounding going to go?' might get it going. If not, follow up questions like 'Port or Starboard gybe', 'are we going to try to go inside of that guy', or 'you want me to trim the sheet, and THEN switch sides, right?' are helpful.

You seem like a pretty squared away, outgoing, confident person - so I don't think this is too much to remember. If you're overwhelmed, just remember:
1. Breathe; 2. Talk; 3. Fun; 4. Buy Beer.

Cheers!
Andy
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post #22 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

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Originally Posted by ropeclimber View Post
If you could prioritize the top three things I should know for Sunday so that I don't come across like a complete n00b, what would they be?

Thank you!
1. Understand the starting sequence for the race.
2. Know the basics of the racing rules, such as who has right of way.
3. Understand the position, role and responsibilities of each crew member.

While underway, don't talk unless spoken to. Remain calm. Stay out of the way if you do not know what to do. Watch what everyone else is doing. Watch what the other boats are doing.

During the starting sequence, try to figure out the favored end of the line, and watch how the boats position themselves.

Remember your basics: in the excitement of a race, new crew will make stupid basic mistakes, like wrapping a winch in the wrong direction, or failing to release a line or sheet. Don't be that person.
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post #23 of 50 Old 04-10-2014 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aelkin View Post
Ropeclimber; I gotta tell ya - I'm impressed as hell. I've got a couple of newbs on my boat this year, and they're working hard getting ready - reading books, attending crew courses, but you are over-the-top!!
Thanks! Sailnet is awesome for learning this stuff. I haven't gotten any work done for the last two days thanks to all the browsing I've done. I'm watching the angle of attack thread closely because it's a question I had as well. Good timing!

Paulk- I did some weighted sit-ups today just in case.

JamesWilson29- I was feeling confident and then you came along. I don't know anything about starting sequences. Is this the whole jockeying to get to the start line but not before the race begins?
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post #24 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

LOL...this is exactly why I said NOT to worry about this stuff.
I skipper a 35 footer, have been racing for 7 years, on 5 different boats, and I still struggle to figure out the favoured end, tactics etc. Racing rules are a lifetime of learning!

The best advice James gave was to make sure you don't wrap the winch backwards...we've all done that, and felt stupid afterwards.

No skipper on the planet is going to expect a first-time crew to watch for wind shifts, figure out a starting strategy, or even ask for an opinion on line set.

Stick with the basics, baby!!

Andy
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post #25 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

Relax...have fun. People just love to rehash the races and argue about strategy! You could try to pay attention to who was where and when, so that you can bombard them with questions afterwards. Better yet, mount a GoPro on the stern pointing toward the bow ;-)
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post #26 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

Hey James;
I re-read your post, and I owe you an apology!
I jumped to a bunch of assumptions about what you were talking about, but when I took a minute to think about it, you're right - sorry!!

Climber - When James is talking about the starting sequence, he's referring to a series of flags and sounds during the countdown to the start. (at 5 minutes, 1 minute, and at the start, for example)

It can be helpful for a skipper who's trying to manoeuvre his way around the pre-start to have someone watching that sequence so he can worry about not hitting people, and getting to the line on time....

Cheers!
Andy
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post #27 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

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Originally Posted by aelkin View Post
Ropeclimber;

The most difficult/complicated/stressful parts of racing are the maneuvers and transitions. windward and leeward mark roundings most of all.

Some skippers do not clearly express what they are planning, and what they want you to do - just like Milkjug said. Don't be afraid to start that conversation yourself, if it doesn't seem to be happening naturally. Maybe not the first maneuver, but if by the second, you don't feel the communication is good enough, a simple question like 'Hey Skipper - how is this rounding going to go?' might get it going.
Andy
The ride on a lightning is exhilarating!

I echo elkin's comments. Also on the way to the racecourse ask what your job will entail on each leg of the race. Ask the same question again before each mark if you need to. Things may be more relaxed between the marks (depending on the traffic) which may afford time for more detail in the explanation. Conversing with the other crew will allow the skipper to concentrate on his job if that is his desire.
-CH
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post #28 of 50 Old 04-10-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

When on a larger vessel the noob crew should always stand on deck so as to obstruct the helmsman's view when manoeuvring or docking.
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post #29 of 50 Old 04-11-2014
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

Racing begins before the actual start.
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post #30 of 50 Old 04-11-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: First time crewing/racing this weekend

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Racing begins before the actual start.
Understood.

Thanks to JamesWilson29 & aelkin, I found the Racing Rules of Sailing and the starting sequence for the fleet so I am now aware of those flags and sounds.

I also found diagrams of the three possible courses and learned that all of the roundings are to port, except in one course which *may* use a gate in which case you can round to port or starboard.

Thanks again, everyone. I wouldn't have thought to look for half of this stuff, and now that I've found it, I feel a lot more confident.

I'll report back on Sunday and let you all know how it went!
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