Sunday, May 14, 2006

Evaluate Risk

The eighth of Dave Dellenbaugh's Top Ten Tactical Tips was "Evaluate Risk".

If you're considering making a move that you know to be high risk for high gain -- such as pulling off that perfect port tack pin end start or banging the corner -- then you need to evaluate whether the risk is worth it or not. If you are happy with your position in the race (or series) now, then it is probably not worth taking a big risk. Now is the time to sail conservatively and to consolidate your position. On the other hand if you have nothing to lose, why not roll the dice?

Do you follow this advice? What is the biggest risk you have taken in a sailboat race -- and was it worth it?


And here is the next tip.


5 comments:

OG said...

Take the risk if you have nothing to lose.

The biggest risk I have taken was banging the right hand side of the course during the final race of the Flying Eleven National Titles back in 97. Everyone else was going hard left, but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I know my Dad was stressing from the coach boat and I could practically see the tears rolling down his face... But then the shift came, and out of no where I was around the top mark in first place. But not by a little, by heaps!

That was a risk that paid off, however, it doesn't always happen like this!!! I have taken a few other risks that ended in total embarassment... But hey!!! You gotta try these things!!! It's all part of boat racing.

Question Tillerman - Are you going to the Laser Worlds in Korea this year??? If you are, then you will be racing against my Dad!

Tillerman said...

Great answer og.

I assume you mean the Masters Worlds in Korea - I certainly have no chance of qualifying for the Open Worlds -don't know about your Dad. Not sure if I'm going to do this one - definitely hope to be able to do the Masters Worlds in 2008 which I understand is just down the road from you.

OG said...

Yeah it's the Masters - No way he would qualify for the Opens!!! Yes, he will also be going to the one just down the road from me (a 16 hour drive) but also plans on trying to get to Portugal as well.

That's a risk in itself as well. Every time he hits the water because there is no gunartee that he is going to be able to walk when he returns the shore!

Tim said...

This is an interesting question.
The books I have read suggest that you should not take flyers because the chances of success are minimal.
The people that 'appear' to take flyers regularly and win through know something nobody else does. They have thought it through and worked out the advantages/diadvantages, probably before the race even began.

I have taken flyers before and only occasionally had success. The start line is where I often try something different from the crowd.
On one occassion on a fixed start line across a narrow river, in light airs race starting against the flood tide, I started in the tide and almost reached the windward mark first but just as I got within 10 yards the wind headed me and those who had started out of the tide on the leward bank (i.e. most of the fleet!) tacked across the tide and me to reach the mark first.

Fuff said...

As we race (occasionally) in an area that is buzzing with commercial shipping, there is always at least one risk, in deciding whether to cross the bows of a ship or not. Wind shifts are very common in this stretch of water, which can mean getting in wrong and losing SOG or getting into a bit of trouble from the race officers for playing chicken with shipping.

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