Andy David’s Words of Wisdom from Fall Frosbiting, 2013

Posted February 19, 2014

Fall 2013

It surely was not beautiful weather for sailing on Sundays this fall.  Light air and cold temps were the rule, except for the last day when I was unable to sail.  I seemed to be off the pace in terms of speed, which put a great importance on boat to boat tactics.  Ken (Charles) was so fast!

My key learning years in sailboat racing were sailing in high school, college, and in J24’s right after college.  All of those give the experience in boat to boat tactics, seeing the same situation happen 100’s of times, and learning the probability of success of each move.   These are the things that can help in short course frostbite sailing, especially when you don’t have the best speed.  Some key tenants that I followed this fall were the following.

Don’t fight for winning an end of the starting line.  The probability of a bad start is too high, and I proved this the last day that I sailed.
Never round outside someone at the leeward mark.  There are very few circumstances where this works, so why take the chance.
Don’t capsize!  Since boat speed is not the most important thing, no reason to live on the edge with a chance of losing it all.
If coming to the windward mark on port tack, don’t try to sneak in there if it is close.  The probability of losing lots of boats is high.
If you round the last leeward mark in the top 3, protect tightly.

Sailing against Bill (Brangiforte) for years has been great.  I have learned a great deal, and it is just fun to be on the water with him.  He is always pushing to learn.  Our styles are completely different.  I think that if we could figure out how to bring our styles together, the result would be winning every race, big or small.  Bill never gives up, and stays the course.  I have seen him work his way up through fleets so many times, and he does that through calculated strategies, patience, and staying away from the mess.  He does not hit a corner to make up the difference, but does it through hard work.

One area that I need to work on is being able to hold my position when I don’t have a lane, something that Bill and Scott do very well.  When I have a bad start, I always bail out and head the wrong way, as I have a difficult time staying right behind someone or on someone’s hip.  Also, when rounding the leeward mark close to someone ahead, I usually end up tacking away, even when I know it is not the right thing.  I am looking for input on this one.

I am looking forward to getting on the water this spring…now only a few weeks away.


See you soon…

Andy David

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