Friday, November 13, 2015

The Best Racing Advice in Six Words

If you only had six words to pass on some advice about sailboat racing to a new racer, what would they be?

For example, the first answer that springs to my mind when faced with this question would be the somewhat cynical...

"Win the start. Extend your lead."

But I am sure you can do much better than that.

Please leave your answer in the comments to this post.

This post was inspired by the post The Best Cruising Advice in Six Words on Windtraveler the excellent cruising blog about that "estrogen-rich family" Brittany, Scott, Isla, Haven and Mira. (The estrogen quote is theirs, not mine.)

That post was inspired by a recent New York Times contest calling for parenting advice in "six words or less" which was, itself, inspired by the book The Best Advice in Six Words: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More.

Is that what they call a "meme?" Whatever they call it, please participate, and leave your answer in the comments.

Racing advice in six words.

First thing that comes into your head.


This challenge is a little reminiscent of the group writing projects we used to run on this blog.

For example in 2008 I asked people to write blog posts or articles on the theme of Best Sailing Innovation Ever which received 25 entries.

A couple of years later we turned that one on its head and had a group writing project on Worst Sailing Innovation Ever which had 28 entries.

Wurst - Worst. Get it?

Some of our group writing projects have had even more entries than that.

But today's challenge is a lot easier than writing a whole article.

Just six words.

Six words of racing advice.

How hard is that?

Please leave your answer in the comments.

Your name - or nom de plume - would be nice too.

"Nom de plume" is French for "name of pen."  Some stupid name you make up if you don't people to know who you are and, really, who could blame you.

Where was I?

Where am I?

Oh yes. Six words of racing advice.

Submit more than one idea if you feel like it.

In the comments to this post.


I don't know what I will do with all the answers.

Probably put them all in a separate post.

Maybe organize them into categories.

Perhaps use some of the best ideas as jumping off points to write some of my own blog posts, full of insane rambling and half-remembered reminiscences about races in which I used - or failed to use - your advice.

I'm not in this video but it does cover a situation which is pretty typical of my own racing career.

I really do need your advice.


Damian said...

Great - this is right up my street. How about this:

"'Never', wait...I mean, 'Always...'"

What!? I've used up my six words already?

Tillerman said...

I like it Damian.

It definitely earns the right to have a second shot!

Anonymous said...

Headed? Tack. Lifted? Gybe. Crossing? Cross.

Or, a simpler and more sentence-like version:
Tack on headers, gybe on lifts.

Team racing advice:
Extend when winning, condense when losing.


Damian said...

You're too soft on me, Tillerman.

I like J's ones - I was thinking along those lines. How about:

'Sail flat, sail percentages, stay calm'

Or, depending on how new they are to sailing:

'Always remember to pack dry underpants'

Tillerman said...

All good. Keep 'em coming.

Tweezerman said...

"Slow! Upside Down, On Your Side."

Anonymous said...

Relax; it's just a sailboat race!


Jeremiah Blatz said...

I like wavedancer's. My cynical one would be:

Don't make any mistakes. That's it!

Advice I hope to one day be able to contemplate trying to follow.

Unknown said...

Chip away, never, ever, give up

Buff Staysail said...

Wear shades, retire early, drink beer

Anonymous said...

Sails suck, they don't push it.

Steve from Indented Head

Anonymous said...

Don't drop the mainsheet you idiot

Steve's daughter from Indented Head

Unknown said...

I can do that in 4; Start ahead. Sail faster.
A simplistic mantra I always try to refer back to when getting bogged down with inconsequential detail. Certainly something to focus on when you have limited practice time. Good starts and good speed are hard to beat.

Unknown said...

sail luffless, crampless, heelless, crowdless, helmless

Bigdog said...

Do Not Pinch, ever.

Unknown said...

Pinchless is a better word than crampless. Thanks.

Unknown said...

When in doubt, ease it out.

Tillerman said...

Great stuff. I like them all. Here are a few more which were posted on this blog's Facebook page. (I don't really approve of a 10 year-old having her own Facebook page but she insisted.)

David - Keep the mast pointing up, dude.

Brittany - Blow the vang before you broach.

Marc - Sail fast, stay in phase, persevere.

Antolin - Easy, clean air, go to mark.

Jimkatz said...

Swim well; wear the pfd anyhow

Atmo (Mrs. me) said...

Atmo sez: "Love the waves, and the wind."

gdhagger said...

stay upright, and don't hit anything

Tillerman said...

You guys make it all sound very easy. I think I can throw all my Stuart Walker and Dave Perry books away now.

Baydog said...

You have my car keys, right?

Anonymous said...

Start clean and work the fleet

Tillerman said...

24 comments! We must do this more often.

MJ said...

Race as often as you can.

Dallas Dude said...

Never leave your wingman.

Tillerman said...

Lots of great advice. Any more on such topics as tactics, strategy, boat preparation, mental fitness, sailing gear etc. etc. ?

Anonymous said...

Try and Sail a Shorter Course

This is pinched from a published author (whose name I cant remember)
The idea is that you pick the correct windshifts and tides
His other instructions were
Sail Faster
Slow the Opposition
Easy, isn't it

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