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Old 10-04-2008
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ireland
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duckduckgoose is on a distinguished road
Lucky you getting out in an etchell!

I've been turned into a racer to the core and as the season is drawing to a close, I've noticed a couple of things. Surprisingly they weren't always apparent to me, but that may have been down to lack of maturity.

1. Shouting at the crew is not personal. Shouting at other boats is not personal. Having a heated row over the racing rules is not personal. Someone other than the skipper getting involved in the altercation is pushing the personal border. The skipper, or anyone else, swearing makes it personal and rude.

Lesson: If you're not the skipper, keep your mouth shut.

2. I can be full of great ideas. I'm good at spotting wind and excellent at starts. I have also developed nerves of steel. My skipper is a bit on the nervous side. He's excellent down wind, one of the best I've ever seen. But upwind he's lacking. I know I'm full of great ideas at times. So are the rest of the crew. However, I am not the helm, it's not my boat, nor is it my call to make. Once the race is over and everyone has calmed down, we tend to talk about the race and how we could have done it better. Sometimes I make a quiet suggestion. It's not lost on the skipper that I had thought of it at the time but had kept my mouth shut. Despite what you may think, they tend to be grateful of this. It's an ego thing.
In response to a suggestion lately, the skipper said "God you're full of great ideas!". I said in jest "ah sure I always am!". The co-owner who trims the main then said "Yeah, but nobody would listen anyway!".

3. Enigmas exist in every fleet. They cheat, they play dirty, they flaunt the rules and protest you if you came within 6 feet of a mark you rounded. Just leave them be, they make it more interesting!

4. It's not always in your best interest to protest a boat, even if you have been wronged.
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Old 10-15-2008
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thedinghysailor is on a distinguished road
My advice: keep at it! It's great that you have broken down your season and identified the different parts of racing and their level of importance. If you continue, you may find that your opinion on the weight you give each aspect changes. You'll also start thinking about new ideas and components of a race. As you conquer one, you'll develop another.

Good luck!
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