|some awkward faces at the top mark....|
We approached this summer's racing, CORK included, with the mentality that a regatta and a finishing position are only as valuable as the insight they give you into your next training block. In other words, scores don't matter as much as lessons learned, so with that in mind here are the top three lessons we learned in Canada.
1) Be ready to make that shift.
~With extremely variable wind conditions we were changing the rig tune and settings between almost every race. With only around 10 minutes between our finish and the next start we had to discipline ourselves to cross the finish line, take down the kite, and then turn up wind to check our rig setting and make the appropriate changes. There is no rest for the well tuned skiff team. While we were mostly successful in dialing in the rig tune the other shift that is just as if not more important to make when sailing in varying wind conditions is the mental shift, and that is something we are still working on and will keep in mind while training. Setting up your mind to sail in 18 knots, even though it just finished a race in 10, takes just as much deliberate effort as setting up your boat.
2) Race from the start.
|cursing along with the green kite|
3) Take care of what gets you there.
~You cannot compete in a regatta if you and your equipment cannot make it to the regatta. To that end, check your tire pressure and get an oil change. Our trusty (actually not so trust, at this point) regatta-mobile for the East Coast, a Honda CRV with 230,000 miles on it, strongly objected to the concept of towing a two boat trailer from New York to Ontario and back. Just over the Canadian boarder she completely ran out of oil and we saw our competition prospects flash before our eyes. The car, lovingly referred to as the Millennium Falcon, made it and is now officially retired from all towing, but the incident was a reminder that even if the vehicle is not a racing machine, like our boats, it still requires love, attention, and routine maintenance.
There are many more regattas and many more lessons to come for us so stay tuned!