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Thought for the day - Across the divide (from a sailing point of view)

Sunday is racing a GP14 day. I have the privilege to sail a world championship prepared boat at Frensham Pond. I guess it is the equivalent of sailing a factory prepared Britpop or Kantun in the IOM world. The layout of the GP is so well thought out with everything to hand in just the right place. The rig is setup nicely and the sails relatively new.

I am always amazed at the difference between sailing in a boat and sailing a boat from the shore. In one, the perspective of the world around you is always changing but in the other it is fixed. It is even more extreme when you enter the world of yachting when you move to completely different shore lines and require navigational equipment to keep track of where you are. However, having said that there is so much in common, the precision of rig set up, the ability to sail in high and low mode, getting the best start, fitness, preparation, the list goes on. Maybe I will extend this web site into the dinghy world.

At Frensham whichever way you sail, you have to contend with the vagaries of the wind. Frensham is surrounded by trees and can produce the most infuriating winds. Last week we were leading the race, fell into what I could only describe as a void in the wind and watched 2 boats sail around us. One has to be totally focussed for the entire race. Losing concentration and missing a shift or a puff will drop you places.

We know mastering Frensham is good for us. Frensham is a breeding ground of champions and has a unique honours board (multiple boards) of World, National and European champions including one Nick Craig who has won pretty much everything below Olympic level in single handed and 2 man boats including "Yachtsman of the Year" and the Endeavour Trophy (champion of champions) 8 times. A remarkable feat.

Now I have built this web site, I am aware that there is so much in common between the different forms of sailing that you could transpose. For example Setting yourself up for the day, checklists, practicing, rules, weather awareness.

With the season and major races rapidly approaching, now is a good time to revise what you should be aware of. "Racing an IOM" will give you everything you need to cover. Whether you own a factory boat or a top quality home build, focussing on the basics will improve your performance on the race course. If nothing else, look at the golden rules.

As a home builder, I am thinking about a small sticker to put on the boat, similar to what the bombers did in the war when they shot down other planes. 1 sticker for every factory boat beaten. Now there's a challenge. Hopefully I will need a lot of stickers.

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