Thursday, July 26, 2007


Oh no! Not that guy again. I'm getting soooo tired of seeing his transom...

There's this guy. About my age. Good Laser sailor. I've known him for years and after we moved to this area he was one of the first to welcome me to the local fleet.

We've raced in a few regattas together this season. And every single time he finishes in front of me. Not by much. A place or three. A few points maybe. And it's driving me crazy.

My main motivation for trying harder and for racing better is to beat this guy. I'm consumed by it. I measure my performance against him. If I beat him I think I've had a good race. As the season progresses and my regatta finishes creep closer to his I think I'm improving.

The logical side of my brain tells me it's crazy to measure myself against one other sailor. He might have a bad day. On any given day he might be unwell, or worrying about his work, or have an equipment breakdown. But if I beat him I will be all puffed up with pride and think I have become a better sailor.

Logically I should measure my performance against the whole fleet. I should be setting myself targets to be in the top 30%, the top 10% of the fleet. Not to beat just one guy.

But the emotional irrational side of me can't help it. I have to beat this guy. What's he doing differently from me? Does he have better equipment? Does he rig his boat differently? Does he hike harder? How does he trim his sail downwind? Desperately I have to find out how he's beating me every weekend and I have to, I just have to find a way to get past him.

Am I crazy? Or are you like me? Is there one boat that is always just ahead of you in the races? Are you focused on beating it? Or do you see the bigger picture?

Another regatta this weekend. He'll be there. That guy. I know he will. This weekend I'm going to beat him. Just watch me.


Tim Coleman said...

Oh yes! he races E10220. Knows the waters really well, has raced pretty much all his life on this stretch of water. He has good days and bad days, On his good days its hard to beat him. I'm sure that I have a quicker boat but the edge is marginal. When I'm on form I can be faster but in larger fleets he seems to be able to pull that something extra out that makes all the difference where as I seem to do the exact opposite. It makes club racing good even when the fleet is down to 3 boats and recently 2 other boats have joined in and are making the racing more interesting. It does bring out the best in us, I think we are all improving.

Pat said...

Tuning partner? So both of you could go faster?

Baydog said...

A different guy than I was expecting

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