We race, we learn! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-01-2008 Thread Starter
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We race, we learn!

For the doubters:

I have frequently been told (and always believed) that racing will teach you more about sailing than just 'messing around in boats'. I just don't have much experience sailing and had none racing, until last weekend. and I'm here to tell you:
IT'S TRUE
(Alex-type big red letters appropriate, hold the flaming!)

I don't even know where to start and don't have my brain wrapped around it all well enough to put into words, but the simple truth is that I learned more in a 1.5 hour race (with a couple hours practice before-hand) than I did in a week on a bareboat charter. Not just speed-things, but more general knowledge as well.


(PS nothing wrong with messing about in boats, that's my personal preference, but to learn....)
If you have the chance to crew on a raceboat, DO IT! (normal caveats about 'some-skippers-are-ogres' apply - but we didn't have that problem)


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"... the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze." - Richard Bode, First you have to row a little boat (pg. 94)

Last edited by ReverendMike; 05-01-2008 at 11:47 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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Cool...great news...

was it circuit or distance?

do more and more..get all kinds of weather too...rotate positions if you can
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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I couldn't agree more. A lot of my best experiences and most valuable learning experiences were on during racing. There's just a more pressing need to be on top of things like sail trim, paying attention to minor wind shifts, and you always meet people who are very interested/knowledgeable (being around people like that is VERY helpful).

I sail.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-01-2008 Thread Starter
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It was the only thing there is in central Missouri: handicapped races with everything from a C&C 115 and a J/35 (we were on that, nice ride) to some real slow 'weekend campers'. It's not really too organized, just beer-can races in a lake full of powerboats. More details with pictures when I/we have time. Thanks for the encouragement, and btw some of your posts (Giulietta/Alex) make MUCH more sense now. (Sailaway's on the other hand....)

(got promoted at work, so I actually get to stay busy and make more $. Win for me, but not much time for you guys, sorry, think of you often and i do check in, just no time to post....)


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"... the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze." - Richard Bode, First you have to row a little boat (pg. 94)
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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Wait until you have to handle three lines at once, with two hands/arms and pea brain! happened last monday, I was supposed to let the jib sheet loose so it could roller furl in, haul in the spinnaker line, all the while hauling UP the spinnaker halyard! All happened, not in correct order yadda yadda.....but what they hey, we did not broach or break a boom or some other fun thing. I guess that is a good thing.

On two races on that boat, a C&C 115, I figured a few things out that would work better on my boat as far as how to, better ways to setup up reef lines, and sheeting the jib/genoa. so not all is lost. Now if we can figure out how to make things work my mid may for local nood race, so we do not embarrass our selves, all the better!

marty

She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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...some real slow 'weekend campers'...

Rev- Don't be so hard on CD- he does the best he can with what he's got.

hunter Legend 37 Semper Paratus
Formerly - Tartan 34C Yawl
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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I could not agree more, especially in regards to circuit style, round the cans racing.
Most day sailors go out, hit a beam reach sail a bit and beam reach back to where they started.
Taking your boat, in traffic from point A to point B to point C, upwind, downwind and cross wind teachs a lot more about both your boat, and if you are watching, others - and tactics and strategies for how to do it smartly (by which I mean looking good and intelligently),
The Admiral and I both try to go out every friday for our YC races, competition isn't so sharp as it is more social than competitive.
We are always open for guests and ad hoc crew, PM if interested.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-01-2008
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Probably the reason that racing provides such a good learning curve is because you actually sail, regardless of the weather and wind. How many cruisers don't sail to windward, or motor when the winds are light, or motor when the winds are too heavy, or have a schedule and can't make the timings under sail.
Racing is great for teaching sailing, so is a boat without an engine (or one that won't start!).

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
.....without an engine (or one that won't start!).
I learned how to sail into the slip, right after I ran out of gas.


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post #10 of 15 Old 05-02-2008
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I've always tried to convince self-proclaimed "cruising sailors" to get into racing on their own boat (or OPBs) for that reason.

Learning how to deal with adverse current, wind shifts, sail trim, when to change/shorten sail for optimum VMG not only "just feels good" but it also can mean getting that last mooring buoy or spot on a dock, or your favourite anchoring nook at the end of the day.

And Plumper's point about sailing in all conditions is a good one too.

Many small yacht clubs and associations have very casual racing programs that are ideal for this kind of exposure without the pressure and aggression of other more serious racing venues.

Ron

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)
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