It goes without saying that racing a sailboat takes skill and dedication/. You have to go through rigorous testing and courses to ensure you know your stuff, can manage during an emergency, as well as know how to navigate the waters. Though, becoming a sailboat racer is another challenge that requires the same dedication to learning. Plus, it shows as a great personal test to yourself as it combines the lessons from your required courses as well as having the winning title being used as motivation.
During an average day, any sailor should know how to do the basics: check and assess the weather and water conditions, changing the sails, tack, and find out quick second solutions to a variety of problems. Listed below are a few tips that will help any newbie to start the process of becoming a great sailboat racer – and help make the transition less daunting.
Search and Pick the Perfect Race
While this is a given, you should always ask around and research which type of race will be the best pick for yourself. Some races are more mellow while other have an intensive competitive aspect to it, as well as the opportunity to win a prize of some kind. Though, first time races should decide on a race that is dedicated to having fun and learning rather than one that is meant for the professionals. No matter if you win, come in between, or lose, use the races like these as a new learning experience under your belt.
Find a Plus One With Experience
It will always help to have an additional pair of hands on deck, and it makes it even better if you can find an experienced racer to join you. This is one of the best ways to take that dreaded edge off and increase the safety for yourself as well as your boat. While you can always lean on that person for advice and help, it’ll help to think of them as a crew member, so you aren’t too reliant.
Join a Class
No matter if your boat is decked out with an incredible spinnaker and no matter how many times you’ve used it – consider doing your first few races without it as you never know what could happen to you never want to be stuck in a situation due to being too reliant on a feature.
Have a Deep Understanding of the Rules
While this is only of the few sports that don’t require you to learn every rule to be successful, it will help to have a solid understating of most, if not all of the rules either way. Though learning these rules don’t require expensive textbook or classes. If anything, picking up one of the many books that are dedicated to the rules of sailboat racing can easily help you update yourself on what you should know.
While this may seem completely out of the ordinary, what is meant is after the race begins and you happen to be in any place, other than first, play a one-sided game of tag and follow your fellow racers. In a sense, mimic what they are doing if you ever get confused and use them as a guide on how to stay on the path!