Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Your Head Out of the Boat!

One point Dave Perry emphasized at the seminar that really stuck with me is the importance of the driver not doing the strategy. His point was that to effectively do strategy, you must have your head out of the boat. The helmsman, by definition, needs to be zeroed in on the boat and not the boats around him.

This has hurt us many times in races, and I think it’s an advantage that C.B. and Towney have on us. They simply have some seasoned veterans on board that give them a leg up.

Now, while I may have the most racing experience on board, I would prefer to remain driver and not strategist. Two reasons:

  1. Driving an Alberg takes finesse that develops over time. I have a lot of Alberg helm time, and I enjoy that advantage!

  2. I really like driving. It’s a thrill to me, and while I like strategy, on the whole I like driving more.

I am confident that we can develop our team into solid strategists. To that end, I’d like to create lots of communication about strategy—both pre and post race. I also think the “LinGin Book Club” could be a great place to make this happen.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sailing Education

As we all know, there’s a lot to learn in sailing!

In that regard, I read books, subscribe to magazines and even attend workshops to learn more about this sport that I love.

I’d like to get anyone that’s interested more involved with these learning opportunities. Here are a couple recommendations that I have:

1. Subscribe to the Speed & Smarts newsletter. I can hook you up for 15% off, $34/yr. It has no ads, is well laid out, and does not assume too much racing knowledge. If you have trouble finding time for books, or getting through whole books in a reasonable time (as I do), this could be a godsend. It covers one topic per issue and is usually 15 pages long.

2. Buy a good sailing book. The North U books are great, as are the books by Dave Perry. I highly recommend both.

3. I’d like to gauge interest in a regular crew meeting, the “LinGin Book Club”. Perhaps a breakfast or a lunch once a week or every other week. We would select a chapter from a book (or perhaps a Speed & Smarts issue) to discuss each meeting.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sailing Rules: A LinGin Focus in 2006

I attended a Dave Perry rules seminar this winter at SSA. He’s quite a character; very easy going and very funny. I had a blast and would definitely recommend taking any opportunity to see him that you get. (This was an SSA members-only event, or I would have invited everyone.)

Rules are something I’d really like to emphasize this season. At the outset, they look and sound overwhelming, but went you break them down, they’re not too bad. I think the best way for us to learn them is use the racing situations we see on the course.

In that regard, David (my son) and I are going to build a mini-magnetic boat set for us to use on LinGin to diagram different situations that we can discuss on the way to and/or from races. I’ll bring the 2005-2008 rules with us, and we can work through the basic ones.

Also, I highly recommend considering a membership in US Sailing ( It’s our national organizing body, and a very important part of our sport. When you join you get a copy of the current rules.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Magical T-Bar

So the 2006 Sailing Season is nearly upon us, and while basically nothing has been done to LinGin in the off season, I’ve thought a lot about what needs to be done, and I’m really looking forward to the season.

Glen and I get together every Friday for breakfast, and we’ve had some good discussions about this season. I’d like to get everyone involved.

I read an article in Sailing World about “the T-bar”. This is a simple concept to help one develop an awareness of what his strengths and weakness are. It looks like this:

Hopefully, you see the gray “T” (hence the name T-bar). The strengths and weaknesses are ordering in descending severity. So the weakness a the top of the list is your worst weakness, and the one at the bottom your least troublesome weakness. Got it?

The key to leveraging the T-bar is to spend the most time practicing your worst weakness. It’s human nature to enjoy spending time doing that which you are good at, and to avoid doing that which you struggle with. However, your biggest gains for the smallest time investment will come from practicing that area in which you have the most to improve.

My challenge to you is to help me develop as an accurate T-bar for the LinGin crew as possible. Please post comments to this blog entry and I’ll add/modify the list as we come to agreement on this.

Then we can work on those items, and rock the fleet this summer!