Thursday, July 23, 2009

Woody Allen's Rule for Sailing Success

Woody Allen famously said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

In sailboat racing the corresponding sentiment should be, "Eighty percent of success at a regatta is finishing every race."

Nothing demonstrates this more than the results of the recent RS400 Racing Circuit event at Hayling Island Sailing Club in the UK. The report at Yachts and Yachting tells a sorry tale of challenging conditions, lap by lap attrition, a winner of one race being the only boat not to capsize, at least nine bent or broken masts, rescue services at full stretch towing disabled boats, multiple boats sailing to the wrong mark, boats sailing too many laps, only three boats showing up for the final race as the wind rose even more...

Which is where we came in. When the dust had settled and the scores tallied, the three race regatta with all races to count was won by... the only boat that finished every race. So next time you feel like packing in early or skipping a race just remember Woody Allen's rule for sailing success: finish every race.

Wait. Hayling Island SC. Isn't that where the Laser Masters Worlds will be next year? Yikes. Only 417 days to go. Better get some heavy air practice.

1 comment:

EscapeVelocity said...

I've won before by being the only boat not to capsize, in a small and fairly tippy fleet (Portsmouth handicap) in 20-25. I'm perfectly willing to race with a reef in if the situation calls for it.

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