But that's not all. Mondays are also for what Eric Twiname calls "race post mortem". Post mortem? Hey, I may be tired but I'm not actually deceased. Let's call it post race analysis. It's one of the twelve ways of learning that he suggests in his book Sail, Race and Win - the bible for anyone trying to coach themselves to improve at sailboat racing.
Over the years I've kept notes about my racing on and off. More often off than on. One of my resolutions this year is to keep a log after every day of racing and every day of practice. Here's what Twiname says ...
For the coaching-self the race begins when the boat has crossed the finish line. Mistakes were made, boats overtook. Why? Can the same problem be avoided the next time? Mentally re-running the race is a valuable way of making the most of it and learning from mistakes........ It is the most convenient way and easy way to improve.
So on Mondays I make notes of what went well and what mistakes I made. Things I need to practice in future. Even if I never refer back to the notes, the mere acts of sitting down for a time of reflection and writing down the conclusions are a way of solidifying the lessons learned from a day's racing.
In our frostbite fleet, the tradition is for the daily winner to speak at the post-race skippers' meeting on how he (or she) won the day. This can also provide valuable insights that are written down in the same logbook. What did he do that I didn't? Did he spot something about the wind or the current that I missed? Did he set his boat up differently? What are his boat-handling techniques in certain conditions?
I'm building up a long list of things to work on. But there's one significant area of racing skills that is emerging as a key priority for me to develop this year. I'll write about it later this week.