Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday Night Racing - Giving Informal Instruction

Last Friday was a fun evening for sailing and racing on the Charles River - The breeze was up and down and a bit shifty.  I want to recommend that you use Friday night racing as a good opportunity for giving informal instruction to newer and less experienced sailors.  I raced with a young man named Matty.  He's got a Solo rating and has been sailing for a couple of weeks and had not a clue about racing sailboats.   I warned him in advance that a good part of the evening would be me giving him direct commands such as "trim, ease, weight to leeward, hike out now, centerboard up, centerboard down, tack, gybe, etc. He would learn more by doing than by me explaining.  On one race, approximately 45 seconds before the starting gun he started to ask about how the jib telltales work.  "Later" I said, "TRIM!".   He picked it up rather quickly. We had a great time. By the end of the night he was shifting his weight in and out, forward and back, while paying close attention to the jib's trim, and starting to "see" the puffs before they hit us.  I found an opportunity to give him a short lesson on telltales.  I think he learned a lot and enjoyed the whole experience. He asked me if he showed up next Friday night would he be likely to find a crew position. I said yes.

I think that what I described here is a small slice of the essence of CBI. I hope you agree and will join in by inviting more novices to crew on Friday right races too. I can tell you with complete certainty that Matty will be a great crew in the next couple of weeks and probably will be skippering his own Mercury by the end of the summer.

Charlie

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