Long Distance racing Skill Set - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Long Distance racing Skill Set

So the Trans Superior and Chicago-Mac races have peaked my interest, along with the other races on the Great lakes. I am wondering what the skill set is for a crew member for these longer races as opposed to the shorter club type races. Anyone do both, one or the other?

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-14-2011
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Concentration and focus over days, not just hours. When you're on deck, you're racing. Great racers are always 'on'. Personal organization. A good sense of humor, and not at other's expense. No complaining. Ever. Be proactive when things need to get done, even if it means making everyone some coffee.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-14-2011
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Be able to be upbeat on 2 hours sleep
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-15-2011
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Being able to carry out many duties helps: grinder, trimmer, rail meat, etc.. Doing what needs to be done.

Helmsmen, tacticians and bowmen tend to be somewhat specialized.

Others

Sleeping on sail bags
Accepting reasonable risks
Feel for the boat
Willingness to provide for the beer fund
Cooks are highly praised , especially if they are good
Inability to vomit

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-15-2011
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+1 to all that has been said.
You are always ON.
Don't get grumpy/complain.
Don't be late for your watch, be a little early.
Bringing something hot to drink ondeck at 0300 for your mates instantly makes you a rockstar.

The first 2 days you probably won't sleep. Way too noisy. After that you'll probably settle in to exhaustion mode, and be able to sleep anywhere. I would not recommend sleeping on sailbags w/ sails in them. 1 - its bad for the sails, 2 - you'll be thrown off them in the middle of your sleepy time when they need to do a change.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-15-2011
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On “short” races, everybody has a specific job to perform. Once you go to a watch system (usually starting with overnight races) the effective crew size drops to half (or less) and you will be called upon to perform other tasks outside of your “specialty”. The longer the race, the more you will be called upon to do. For example, helming can become fatiguing in difficult sea conditions so become a proficient helmsman in all conditions and times of day or night. Same thing goes for spinnaker trimming. Be able to tack and gybe shorthanded. You may be called upon to do other functions as “cook”, “systems”, “DC”, “Radio/SSB operations”, “navigation/weather” etc. The more functions you can perform competently, the better chances you will have on getting onboard an offshore racer. Of course, everybody has to start somewhere, so seek out opportunities, usually with the more non-competitive cruising type boats or sailing clubs like Club Nautique. When you do, look for skippers who are good and competent themselves and have the patience and skills to teach a “newbe”. Yacht club membership is an invaluable resource in this arena.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-16-2011
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Having good crews is not as important as having a good captain with good leadership skills. A lousy captain can demoralize the crews in a few hours. A great leader can make crews work harder and contribute more. Racing skills is totally different from leadership skills. In fact leadership skills is hard to come by.



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post #8 of 11 Old 08-16-2011
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+1 on everything above.

For me, the most important (and easy) thing was, love it. If you nail that, most everything else follows.

I actually prefer the long distance stuff to the inshore match stuff. Though exhausting, it was the best time I've ever had on a boat.


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post #9 of 11 Old 08-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
+1 on everything above.

For me, the most important (and easy) thing was, love it. If you nail that, most everything else follows.

I actually prefer the long distance stuff to the inshore match stuff. Though exhausting, it was the best time I've ever had on a boat.
Really? I like both. Short races don't always give you the time you need to recover from a screwup. It's either "get it right the first time" or go home. Sometimes I'm not up for always being "ON" and the short race gives me the excitement without days of killing myself.

That said, I like short "course" races that incorporate many points of sail, not so much the windward/leeward stuff, around 2 bouys. And I do like the distance stuff too.

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Really? I like both. Short races don't always give you the time you need to recover from a screwup. It's either "get it right the first time" or go home. Sometimes I'm not up for always being "ON" and the short race gives me the excitement without days of killing myself.

That said, I like short "course" races that incorporate many points of sail, not so much the windward/leeward stuff, around 2 bouys. And I do like the distance stuff too.
I like both. I just like the offshore stuff way more. I think it's because I need that time to recover from all my screwups.

That and the long distance stuff just brings in far more of the overall sailing skill set than the short stuff.

Hey, when are you going to crank your new 30 around the GR course? Let's see what she's got!!!

BTW, I humiliated a Pearson 28 on the lake a couple of weekends ago. I loved watching them all keep looking back as we closed in on them. We were just about to overtake them when my wife blew the tack. I, of course, was very introspective about my past fails and kept the cursing and verbal abuse to a bare minimum.


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