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This Sunday will be crewing aboard "Antares" for the last race of the Berkeley (San Francisco Bay) midwinter series unless we win our division and do the Champions Race in March.

Antares is an early 70's vintage Islander 30 owned by friend and boat neighbor Larry Telford. Larry's been racing the SF Bay since before he bought the boat (new) and I have learned a ton from him.

Why race? I do not think you can improve your sailing skills any better way. Everything becomes important when you race. Inches and fractions of inches matter in trim and steering. You learn to visualize the relationship of your boat to the wind, the course and other boats. Calling when to tack or jib and seeing set and drift all gets tuned up. The feedback of your decisions is quick and because you sail with others it is sometimes brutal but can also be a great learning experience.

Antares has no instruments so you learn to see and feel and trust your instincts. This appeals to me because sailing at its best is a tactile sensory feedback experience that electronics can block. In fact my worst sailing experience involved my head in my chart plotter thus missing a cross current that took me into a fixed nav marker! I still blush in humiliation at the thought.

So go race and get over the fact that you do not know enough. Lots of skippers are looking for crew and will train. Some will just yell at you and if that does not work then find another boat. Racing compresses and concentrates learning like nothing else and if it appeals to you - it is fun!
 

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Craig -

Great write-up, dude. Sailing with CharlieCobra a month ago in some stiff wind - right through the middle of a regatta pre-race got my blood pumping for racing. I think we'll try a couple this summer on our C27. We were actually fast!

Even so, I want to crew a couple of races on OPB to see how it's done. I've still got a lot to learn.

But I agree, from what I've seen it's a tremendous learning experience - and it's a helluvalotta fun.
 

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Any day on the water SAILING, is better than a day at work! Or any day on snow doing ear to ear arcs is better than a day working...........hmmmmmmmm.........maybe there is a pattern here somewhere!?!?!?!!?

marty
 
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