Set yourself up for the day
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln
What you need to know
Be ready for any weather
Use your transmitter cover
Have wet weather gear handy
Be warm comfortable and dry
Be confident of your boat settings having run through your checklists
Arrive early and observe wind patterns across the water
How do conditions relate to forecast?
Check for any physical movement restrictions on the shoreline
Study any sailing instructions
Be ready to change rigs quickly if conditions change
Have a flask of water handy. Staying hydrated will help you think clearly in later races
In the excitement of a series of races and wanting to do well in the competition, it is so easy to get distracted and forget small but important details. There are old friends to meet, the bacon sandwich and coffee to eat and drink, registration etc. Here is where your checklist comes into its own and if you follow it religiously, you will be the best prepared in the fleet come race time.
So what do you need to think about.
On your journey or before, you will have noted the weather forecast. Does the forecast bear any relation to what you see at the venue? Be ready for any weather. If the weather is sunny and warm in the morning, will it deteriorate, get cold or start raining. Make sure you have the right clothing to hand because being wet and/or cold will not help your concentration on the boat race. In addition, will you need your transmitter cover if rain is forecast although I use mine whatever the weather.
Be sure to arrive early and observe the wind patterns wind patterns across the water. Try and get a view from different sides of the lake and see if the wind is stronger on one side or the other, will there be a wind bend across the course. Are there any significant obstacles, e.g. trees, houses and how will they affect the wind. Observations now, will help you at the start and on the first beat.
Run through your checklists to make sure your boat settings are correct and you have done everything needed.
Check the layout of the racing area on shore and see if there are any physical movement restrictions on the shoreline.
Study any sailing instructions and know them by heart. Particularly note the starting procedures and mark locations.
Be ready to change rigs quickly if conditions dictate. Have your rig box nearby if the car is not close enough and have the replacement rig ready to fit.
When you rest your boat on the ground, have a towel handy to put under it and if it is sunny and hot, make sure to cover the boat or place it in a shady place so your fins don’t warp and the hull does not re-cure.
Finally, have a flask of water/tea/coffee handy and maybe an energy bar or banana. Model yacht racing requires total concentration and staying hydrated and nourished will help you think clearly in later races.
Remember - Perfect preparation will delivery near perfect performance.