Monday, May 13, 2013

33 Ways to Prepare for a Laser Regatta

It's our Laser district championship in Wickford, Rhode Island this weekend. A two-day event and the first real regatta I've sailed since the Fat Boys Regatta in Bristol last October.

I'm not sure what to expect. Either my advanced age or my lack of fitness or my general wimpiness or all of the above were factors in my pathetic racing season last year. The Fat Boys was actually the first only regatta all year in which I completed all the races.

So I have five days left to get ready for Wickford. That should be enough right?

But I need to make some decisions, in the limited time I have available, on how best to prepare for the regatta. There are hotshots coming from as far south as Virginia, and last year's district champion, so I have to be at my best.

Here are 33 things I could do to prepare for the regatta. Which ones do you think are worth doing?

  1. Do several long runs to build up my stamina.
  2. Go for a long bike ride to build up my stamina.
  3. Meditate on Rule 5.

  4. Check all the bits of string on my boat and replace the ones that have frayed the most.
  5. Refinish my foils.
  6. Polish my bottom.

  7. Get my car serviced so it doesn't break down on the way to the regatta.
  8. Attend to all the rust on my trailer so it doesn't fall to pieces on the way to the regatta.
  9. Find out where the regatta is and put it in my GPS so I don't get lost on the way to the regatta.

  10. Put Ben Ainslie's book under my pillow.
  11. Read a chapter or two of Ben Ainslie's book.
  12. Hypnotize myself into believing I am Ben Ainslie.

  13. Buy Tillerwoman some flowers to let her know how much I appreciate her letting me go sailing all weekend.
  14. Take Tillerwoman out to lunch  to let her know how much I appreciate her letting me go sailing all weekend.
  15. Tell Tillerwoman how much I appreciate her.

  16. Mow the lawn because it needs doing.
  17. Mulch the shrubs because it needs doing.
  18. Write a blog post every day because... hmm... I have no idea why.

  19. Buy more Powerade.
  20. Buy more beer.
  21. Buy more rum.

  22. Visualize that race last winter when I led the Newport frostbite fleet round the first mark.
  23. Visualize that race at the Fat Boys where I was almost second.
  24. Visualize drinking rum after sailing.

  25. Go sailing a couple of times this week.
  26. Sit on my hiking bench a couple of times this week.
  27. Do some yoga.

  28. Buy one of those fancy Zhik wetsuits with hiking pads. They are so expensive they must make you go faster, right?
  29. Buy a new wind indicator so I know which way the wind is blowing.
  30. Buy more Advil.

  31. Pre-register for the regatta so I actually have to show up.
  32. Set some objectives for the regatta.
  33. Decide to have fun at the regatta.

So what do you think?

If I could only do, say, seven to ten of the above, which ones do you think I should choose?

And what have I missed?


Keep Reaching said...

Simple - do number 33 and then see where it leads you in how much emphasis or neglect you should give to each of the others - for instance, how much fun will you have if you neglect 13 - 15?

JP said...

Change your name on the regatta entrance form to Tom Slingsby - if it doesn't work by subconscious encouragement it will surely spook the opposition.

Buy a GoPro Hero 3 camera so watch the race all over again and discover why you were almost second

Attach a go-faster stripe to your boat - they work, right?

Try and work out what 35. means and do that (it might be that some of the others counts as fun too)

Jon Deutsch said...

'hotshots' might be overstating it a bit. Unless of course you're trying to psyc out your opponents this week too.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

What have you missed, Skipper? I think you need to pick out just the right hat.

George A said...

Nrs 6, 20 & 21. Tillerwoman is probably relieved that you'll be out from under foot the entire weekend.

Tillerman said...

OK. Only one hotshot coming a long way. Some dude who won the 2102 District 12 Championship I think? Who knows who else will come? I hear Robert Scheidt is sailing a Laser again.

Tillerman said...

Great point Doc. I was planning on wearing my incredibly ancient incredibly faded slightly mouldy orange East End Series hat because it's only about 17 years old and hasn't actually fallen to pieces yet.

But I could wear one of my (incredibly rare in the US) Minorca Sailing hats - only awarded to weekly series winners at Minorca Sailing.

Or my incredibly prestigious North Sails hat only awarded to people who were top three in a regatta using a North sail in 2008 (and which was the subject of much discussion on this blog in 2009. North Rocks.)

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Tillerman said...

Really? I haven't even looked at my bottom for about 3 years.

Tillerman said...

LOL. I like your first suggestion.

What is #35?

JP said...

Doh! Keyboard kludge. Meant 33 i.e. work out what is fun. If its running and having a beer, then do so

Doug said...

A good list constrained by time. Try this:

Take Tillerwoman out to lunch to let her know how much I appreciate her letting me go sailing all weekend.

Visualize that race last winter when I led the Newport frostbite fleet round the first mark.

Sit on my hiking bench a couple of times this week.

Decide to have fun at the regatta.

Tillerman said...

Wait. You led the Newport frostbite fleet in one race too?

And what? Tillerwoman let you go sailing all weekend? What is going on?

Clay said...

Orange Coffee Pot Regatta slash District 10 Champs June 1-2 at Surf City YC. ACCs the following weekend at Little Egg Harbor YC. You should come to those events too!

O Docker said...

The key to success in any competition is preparation.

If you already know you're not going to finish well, you should start working right now on your excuses.

Injury is a time-honored and respectable excuse for mediocre performance and gains some sympathy from your fellow competitors as well. You don't have to actually be injured - appearing so is enough. Those elbow and knee bandages are great for projecting the image of the wounded warrior, but a convincing limp and some hobbling about and wincing while rigging the boat will help you do poorly with panache. Those who are really good at this can get people who did better in the race to buy the beers afterwards.

Don't be discouraged by not having trained this season. Just learn how to lose like a pro.

Tillerman said...

Excellent advice O Docker.

I did go out and practice this today. I felt a strange tweak in one hip after a tack so I practiced lying on my back in the cockpit and looking hurt for about a minute while the sail luffed. I figure that would be long enough for all the fleet to pass me on Saturday.

I'm ready!

Anonymous said...

Choose your knitting!

You need to ensure it is something interesting enough to start a conversation with visiting sailors when they are standing around discussing things like windshifts and how biased the line is. It confuses them. And gives you something to do if conditions are against you. And gives you an excuse for if you sail badly ("Sailing? I'm only really here for some 'alone time' with this hat I'm knitting")

Tillerman said...

How could I forget the knitting?

Tillerman said...

Thanks for the suggestions Clay. When I lived in New Jersey, the Orange Coffee Pot was one of my favorite regattas and I did the District 10 Champs several times at various locations on the shore (and once at Lake Hopatcong. )

But that first weekend in June is when two clubs in New Hampshire hold back-to-back one day regattas on Lakes Sunapee and Mascoma. Ever since I moved to Rhode Island 6 years ago I've been promising myself I will do them but never got round to it yet. This will be the year! Or at least I will drive up and do one of them.

In fact I've kind of decided that this will be the year I will go and do a number of regattas around New England that I've never got around to doing before. Support my local district and all that.

I haven't thought of an excuse for not doing the ACCs yet.

John in PDX said...

Do the dishes.

Anonymous said...

It's too late for physical preparation, it'll need to be mental.

Put aside Sir Ben's book and get a hold a copy of Dave Perry's Winning in One Designs. He's American but I forgive him, I'm sure you will too.

You'll need a few hours, a few beers/rums and a quiet place to absorb his wise words. There's nothing like sitting out in the long grass, don't cut it.

Then take your Laser out to lunch, replace all the strings on your car, fit new Zhik hiking pads to your trailer and polish Tillerwoman's bottom.

Make regatta preparation fun too.


Clay said...

I understand. Just wanted to help spread the word! Have fun in New Hampshire.

Tillerman said...

Thanks R. It was probably a wise move for you to stay anonymous - Tillerwoman reads this blog now.

Tillerman said...

We have a new invention called a "dishwasher".

John in PDX said...

I won't tell Tillerwoman you said that

Dallas Dude said...

Perhaps become aware of the process of preparing and how it affects you.

What about the naps? (-;

Tillerman said...

I am very aware now of how the process of preparing affects me. It exhausts me just to look at that list of 33 items plus all the extra suggestions you all are making. It's overwhelming.

So far I have done..
#15, #16 and #31. (Actually I had done #31 before writing the post.) And made a start on one or two of the others.

I don't even have time for naps.

I will never be ready!!!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with regatta preperation, but I thought it was pretty interesting. Heard on TV: Canada could have been the greatest nation on earth because it could have had French cuisine, British culture and American technology. Instead Canada has American culture, British cuisine and French technology. I liked that one. --susie

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