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  #1  
Old 05-21-2008
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First Race on Saturday....Help!

I have agreed to crew on a J109 this Saturday for two club races. I have never crewed on a race boat before. I talked to the skipper/owner of the boat and told him that I know "how" to sail, have my own boat (never raced), but never been a crew on a race boat. He still took me aboard.

I am excited, but a little apprehensive. I know this will make me a better sailor, but I also want contribute instead of being just rail meat. I definitely don't want to F-Up.

First race is at 11 AM, and skipper wants to heading out from the dock at 9 AM. Second race is after first race. Looks like we won't be done racing until 3 ish, which means a full day on the boat. I have never gotten seasick (knock on wood), but this would be the wrong time to have my first bout of it. Debating whether or not to take a little anti-seasick stuff the night before. Since I have never taken any, don't know how my body will react.

What advice would others provide?

Thanks in advance.

DrB
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Old 05-21-2008
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That's great! Racing is a lot of fun and definitely a learning experience. I can't comment too much on seasickness but if you've never had a problem or come close to having a problem, you should be all right.

The only advice I have:
Bring a solid lunch you can eat in between the races. Should be easy to handle so you can eat it (possibly in a hurry). Sandwiches/wraps are good as are granola bars

Bring water that's in a container that's easy to drink out of (squeeze bottle or whatever). I usually freeze my water bottles the night before so they can be cold all day

A J109 is a fairly a big boat so there should be a fair number of crew I would ask what you can do or what they would like you to do on common maneuvers (tacks, gybes, spinnaker, etc). When you're heading (motoring?) out to the races is usually a good time to get a feel and talk to everyone

Bring your own gear foulies, life jacket, gloves are key too but don't overpack and have a suitcase etc

don't forget to ask the skipper what beverage he enjoys and bring him some

Good luck, enjoy!
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Last edited by merlin2375; 05-21-2008 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-21-2008
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I think you're well on the way to psyching yourself into a good case of mal-de-mer. Relax, it isn't like they'll keelhaul you if you screw up... and the fate of nations isn't riding on this race.
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Old 05-21-2008
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I know and agree, just

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I think you're well on the way to psyching yourself into a good case of mal-de-mer. Relax, it isn't like they'll keelhaul you if you screw up... and the fate of nations isn't riding on this race.
looking for hidden pearls of wisdom that others do. My main concern is not to piss off the skipper or other crew mates and get anyone hurt.

DrB
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Old 05-21-2008
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Bring foulies, PFD with harness, gloves, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a rigging knife.

Pack a lunch, some snacks and something to drink. Might want to bring a six-pack or two for after the race is over. Pack in a small backpack, so that the stuff can be stuffed down below easily without taking up too much space. Ginger snaps make a good snack and can help with seasickness.

Pack a spare set of clothes for after the racing, since you'll probably get soaked.

Keep your ears open and listen to the captain and crew. If you have a question about something or aren't sure what to do... ask and get it cleared up... sooner rather than later...
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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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Old 05-21-2008
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Just remember to stay relaxed, pay attention to what they "ask" you to do and have fun. During a race it is not uncommon for directions to take the form of yelling, don't worry it is just the heat of the moment.

I would not take something for possible sea sickness if you don't know how you will react. It could make you sleepy and over sleeping in the morning or being lethargic on the boat are sure ways to not get asked back.

Have fun.
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Old 05-21-2008
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Thanks for the Advice.

I am looking forward to it and the weather should be good on Saturday.

DrB
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Old 05-21-2008
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As a new crew, call the owner and ask what he might like you to bring for food or drinks. Bring the bare essentials to safely get through the day. Leave the spare clothes in your car.

You may, in fact, be railmeat. That's OK. Watch what the crew are doing and when they do it. Watch the water and learn to read the breeze. If you're assigned a position, it will probably be mast or pit. Ask at least twice what all of the lines are.

I seriously doubt they expect you to be a rockstar - so don't play the part of a rockstar. Get there on time, help rig the boat, do your job well with enthusiasm and stay until the boat is completely put away. And have fun.
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Old 05-21-2008
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I agree with nola,
call the skipper and ask what to bring, don't bring one item more, or one item less (except gloves, bring them even if he omits and even if you don't normally feel the need). Some of those guys are fanatic about weight - if he has 10 PFD's for 10 crew he doesn't want 15.
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Old 05-21-2008
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Gloves and a hat that doesn't come off, or if it does, you don't mind losing. Sunscreen is good, use it.
Food and water in addition to beer.
And last but not least.......... a thick skin.

Not sure how serious these guys are, but sometimes its better to ask questions before or after a race. Don't ask, "can I grab another beer?" when rounding a mark, dousing the genny, and setting the chute. Have fun, I'm hooked.

Last edited by zz4gta; 05-21-2008 at 04:39 PM.
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