Why Race Sailboats?
As we shared last week, you can learn a lot by just going sailing. But we have to say, you can learn MORE and LEARN MORE FASTER if you add racing to your sailing activities.
Yes! Really! And you don’t even have to have that “competitive spirit.”
So why race?
- Learning by example
- Tiller time & “Deliberate practice”
- It’s on your calendar!
- It’s fun!
SAFETY: First and foremost to every sailing activity we do is safety, right? And I shudder when I hear someone say, “I’m going to practice by myself until I’m good enough to race.” Building your sailing skills alone is risky business. Why not sail on a race day with more boats, a Safety Boat on duty, and with other sail boats to follow as an example? Sounds safer to me.
LEARN BY EXAMPLE: One of the best ways we can use to learn more is by looking at what we are doing on our boat compared to what another boat near us is doing. Are they pointing closer to the wind? How are their sails trimmed compared to ours? Is there Vang on or eased? ETC! This learning process NEVER stops on the race course. To this day we are still always looking at the faster boats to try and pick up tips about what we could do to sail better. And after sailing, on the docks or in the bar your competitors will most always be willing to answer questions about “How did you do that? And “What can we do better?”
TILLER TIME & Deliberate Practice: How do you become a better sailor? Tiller time. Tiller time. Tiller time. And not just practice, practice, practice. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect! And compared to a day wandering around the lake wherever the breeze will take you, racing – “Deliberate Practice” – gives you goals to focus on and measurements of your progress, and practice of the skills you need to get from Point A (the start line or docks) to Point B (the windward mark or that island upwind across the sound).
ON THE CALENDAR: What are you doing next weekend? SAILING! How great is that? You have sailing SCHEDULED on your calendar once, twice, maybe even more times a month. Putting that sailing on your calendar takes you a long way towards being there.
FUN: Like any sport, half the fun is in the camaraderie and sharing of the day’s events, successes, failures, lessons learned. And better yet, what you learned on the race course will make for better sailing and more fun “at sea!”
So come on out! Let your fellow competitors know you’re here to learn. Ask for some help. Lay back at the start so you don’t “mix it up” too much at first and then follow them around the course. And then one day, you will use those same lessons to get the best mooring at “The Baths”.