The Galen Freeman One Design regatta and Catalina 22 Region 3 Championship is this weekend! Our hearts go out to Galen and his family in the loss of Carolyn, his wife of 50 years. Galen is planning a Celebration of Life service at the Marina following the Regatta on Sunday.
With the Regatta this weekend and the upcoming Double Double race in June, I wanted to give an abbreviation of my “Why Race” article.
Why Race? You may have heard, “any time two sailors are headed the same direction, you have a sailboat race because one or both of them are tweaking their sails trying to get a speed advantage.” (Guilty) But the answer goes a little deeper than “we race because it is in our nature.” Organized sailboat racing adds value to sailors who participate. Not everyone needs to be a hard core racer. But, I encourage everyone to at least make racing a part of your sailing mix. If you do, you will get more out of your time on the water. Here are a few of my reasons. I hope some will strike a chord with you.
- Racing is a great way to get acquainted with a lot of different kinds of sailboats. Just about every make and model of sailboat has been raced at one time or another. The skippers of each are proud of their vessel and are eager to tell of their virtues. But, we also know about their warts and don't mind sharing that information as well. Volunteer to crew on a boat you are interested in and find out first-hand.
- Racing reinforces navigation and right of way rules. Racing puts you close together. It forces you to practice the rules of the road. That may sound intimidating but making right of way rules second nature is a critical safety skill.
- Racing provides a social platform for interacting with like-minded people. For the most part, sailors are an interactive bunch. Whether it is bragging rights after a race or a discussion about wind (or the lack of wind), we seem to have plenty of interesting things to talk about.
- Racing provides a hobby for the gadget or mechanical minded. If this is you, there are limitless go fast projects and gadgets to occupy your time and imagination.
- Racing provides a platform to invest in others. You could be crew helping out a new skipper or a skipper teaching new crew. Maybe you help drop a mast or make a repair. We have some great examples of this in our club!
- Racing incentivizes you to build your sailing skills. Every new skill you learn will pay off on race day. Sail trim, rudder control, crew position, timing wind shifts. All these skills and more are instantly rewarded when you improve them on the race course.
- Racing sailors sail longer. Dr. Cully Cobb was a racing sailor at Harbor Island Yacht Club. He raced and won into his 90s. He is noted as saying, “Racing sailors sail better, racing sailors, sail longer”. He said he went out, even when he didn’t feel like it because he knew he had crew and competition waiting on him.
If you are ready to give it a try, come check out the competition on the lake this weekend or slip out to the lake on Wednesday Night. AND, get a boat and a partner and join in on the Double Double Race June 15 on the same day as the Luau.
Let’s go sailing!