This was supposed to be one post, but it got so big it turned into five! Which says one of two things:
- There's a lot that you can do before a sailing race to get yourself set up to do well; or
- I badly need an editor
Or both - I'm not sure.
It's pretty well known that we are creatures of habit. Apparently, huge parts of our lives are decided by our habits - we react to situations in a habitual way, with a large percentage of our decisions made subconsciously.
And sailing is no different. The point of gaining experience is to find new, better ways to perform. But all too often we revert to habits. We make decisions based on the way we normally do things, rather than implementing the knowledge we've accumulated to make better decisions.
This also applies to how we prepare for things: we tend to prepare habitually. We tend to set up our boats in pretty much the same way, doing things in the same order and in the same amount of time. This is good if you have a good system in place, but it is less good if your preparation has generally been less than perfect.
Mine, it has to be said, is frequently...well...let's call it "sub-optimal".
But, having said that, there are some things I do habitually which I think help me perform well. I thought I'd share my "things to do before sailing" list, and I hope some of you might add to my routine so I can add some more useful habits to the list.
Things to do Before Sailing
These are the subjects I want to touch on. I'm not going to cover each one comprehensively (because that would mean even more posts...), but rather throw out some ideas as to some of the things I like to do that I think set me up to do as well as I can.
- How I check the weather before racing
- How I check the tide before racing
- One thing I always do before sailing (no matter how late I am)
- Some thoughts on setting up the boat before sailing
- Things to do when sailing to the race area
I'll post something short on each one over the next five days, and hopefully there's something there that will help you improve your results. And feel free to throw out some suggestions that I can add to the list...