Past weekend was spent at the club fulfilling my club hours obligations as cradle crew member. I had a chance to talk to a number of excellent sailors that I only get a chance to see twice a year. Usually during haul out and launch times. I managed to have some excellent racing tactics and overall strategy discussions as well as offer some of my own opinions and observations. The most interesting fact I guess I came away with this weekend was discussions of building crew. Many other solid teams (that these sailors were on) encountered many of the same issues that we face.
Revolving crew, how to train a crew, how to build and maintain the crew and keep them happy. Some of the conversations centred around certain teams that have been together for 10 years or so. One gentleman sailor discussed how, for a few years now their crew has been sailing together without much of a word to each other during the races. Everyone knows and can anticipate the others actions and timing.
This is a fundamental building block of a good team. We can perform tacks and gybes now with a fewer words than before. Spinnaker hoists and douses still require a bit of me barking out timing so the crew gets the feel of the rounding. The words and barking exponentially increase as the traffic increases around the mark.
Overall we are slowly getting to know the timing of each others actions. We still have quite a bit of practice ahead to equal some of the other crews tempo and timing but we can get there with enough practice.
I also talked to another J24 owner at the club and I think we are going to fair the keels on our boats over the winter. I'm sure I am in for a great deal of learning and work undertaking this venture. Also had a quick peek at the boat and noticed some more wear and tear that needs addressing over the off-season. I will have to bring a pen and paper to mark down all the things that need doing. Think the list is starting to get fairly large.