Thursday, August 18, 2005

My Way or the Highway

In Summer series race number 7, just as we were waiting for our final crew member to arrive, our competition (the other J24 at the club) arrived at the dock and asked if we wanted to swap a crew member for the race. Excellent opportunity for some of the crew (all of which are new to racing) to watch and learn I thought. I was fortunate to learn a number of things from this exercise. The lesson that stood out the most is; every crew and skipper has a different way to execute each task on the boat during a race.

Last week we were fortunate enough to have a different foredeck crew who was skipper and tactitian in his own right and had been racing for years. He had a different way to handle spinnaker, gybe and tacks. Each technique had its merits and was different from what I was practicing. I will be implementing some of the techniques on Gray Jay from each of the visiting crew. I think the proper tact to take when confronted with a technique that is different form your current practice is to carefully review each and every technique being presented, weigh it against your current methods and evaluate whether it is the right choice for you and your crew. but above all stay open welcome to critisism and alternative solutions. Don't be afraid to venture outside your safety zone and experiment with new ways of approaching a task. There is always something to learn from watching someone else, whether it is how to do, or not to do a specific task it is still valuable information.

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