ph. Andrea Francolinii
Sailing Growth and Progress — Sometimes, as sailors, we might find ourselves hesitating when faced with the more challenging aspects of our sailing.
It’s human nature to favour the familiar, to shy away from the demanding… But it’s these tougher aspects that often provide the best opportunities for growth and progress.
While we often fool ourselves into thinking otherwise, it’s not the flashiest gear that makes the fastest sailor. It’s the smart strategies, the little tweaks, the understanding of the wind, your boat, and the water beneath it.
So today, I want to share five quick tips that can help you tap into your boat’s potential speed, without breaking the bank…
1. Mastering the Moves
The best sailors are like expert dancers — they know every move, every step, every rhythm. A mere 15 minutes daily focusing on your weakest manoeuvre can make a significant difference. It’s a small investment of time that can pay off big in improved performance.
— Dedicate 15 minutes each time you get on the water to practising your trickiest manoeuvre.
— Consider using a waterproof Go Pro to record your practice. Review the footage to identify where you can improve.
— Keep practising until you’ve mastered all manoeuvres. Not just tacks and gybes, but your low-speed skills and 720 turns too!
2. Mark the Spot — Sailing Growth and Progress
Speed relies heavily on knowing the optimal settings for a broad array of conditions. Make sure to mark all your controls — halyards, sheets, vang, outhaul, etc. It’s an ongoing process, but one that can enhance both your sail trim and handling skills.
— Familiarise yourself with the best settings for different conditions.
— Make clear, easy-to-read marks on all controls.
— Continually refine your markings as you get more experience.
3. Keep It Shipshape — Sailing Growth and Progress
A well-maintained boat not only performs better, but it also helps boost the crew’s morale. Don’t let a substandard boat be the excuse for a disappointing performance.
— Regularly check your boat and make sure everything is in good working order.
— Pay attention to the condition of your foils, sails, and rigging.
— Keep your boat clean and in good shape — consider a fresh coat of paint or a vinyl wrap if needed.
4. Do Something Different — Sailing Growth and Progress
Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut. Step out of your comfort zone by sailing with different people, in different boats, or at different places, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can improve.
— Try sailing with a new crew or in a different class of boat.
— Sail in different locations to experience varying conditions.
— Seek feedback and learn from more experienced sailors.
5. Post-Race Analysis — Sailing Growth and Progress
Critically analysing your performance in each race can help you understand what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to repeat successful strategies, avoid making the same mistakes, and shorten the learning curve.
— After each race, take time to review and analyse your performance, identifying successful strategies and mistakes for future reference.
— Use this analysis to improve team communication and overall performance.
Want a step-by-step guide to improving your performance?
In Road To Gold, Hamish Willcox and I examine every aspect of your racing, start to finish. Over 12 in-depth modules, we show you exactly where to focus your efforts in order to climb the leaderboard in the shortest time possible.
It’s not just about going faster — it’s about becoming a better sailor. It’s the little things that separate the good from the great, and with the RTG blueprint in your arsenal, you’re well on your way to the latter.
For Future RTG Members
Road To Gold isn’t just a program — it’s a compass that tells you which direction you should be heading. Check out the full details here — it might just be the key to unlocking new levels of speed and skill in your sailing.
Andy Rice — Co-Creator, RoadToGold.net