Have only sailed two or three times.
Have sailed a bit, but not raced.
Have raced a little as crew.
Have raced most of a season as crew.
Have skippered a little.
Have skippered a lot.
Before the Season
Offer to help work on the boat - on land or afloat
Read books on:
fundamentals - Joyce; Chapman
magazines - Sail
rules - (Join US Sailing)
tactics -Gary Jobson
parts of boat & sails
running and standing rigging
tactics & techniques
Boat work - old everything (& bring a change); cover hair; gloves; wet feet
Pleasure sailing - sturdy comfortable; layers; soft soled shoes; jacket/wet gear
bathing suit (makes good underwear for overnight stays); nice for dinner
Racing - layers for hot to cold; wet gear & boots; pack light, but enough:
a nice change for the harbor
Stepping Aboard a new boat
Stow your gear.
Check out the following:
where halyards lead - grab and pull to find each end
sheet layouts and leads
ask for safety tour - life jackets; raft; harness; horn; flares, etc.
Going Racing - In the Harbor
Help bend on sails
Help rig sheets & guys
Check your watch against the Race Committee clock
Reread race instructions
Check weather report
Stow food & drink
Going to the Starting Line
Hoist & check sails; check spinnaker packing
Check leads for conditions
Review actual weather against forecast
Check wind direction and guess likely course(s)
Review days objectives & competition
Plan start and first leg strategy
Determine your assigned position
Stow all chatter not directly related to boat performance
In the Starting Area
Double check wind and current
Read RC flags/get course
Assess starting line; preferred end; reference marks for midpoint;
Time the length of the line
Watch any prior classes to test your strategy
Check wind frequently for oscillations
Speak to confirm commands or identify threats; otherwise be quiet
Perform on your station; keep it shipshape at all times
Anticipate next action (tack, mark rounding, chute set/takedown, gybe)
Watch competition (report changes if asked or a major change happens)
Watch for weather changes (shifts, strength, current lines, fog, storms)
Be aware of boat speed and performance
Keep all non-race chatter stowed
Congratulate helm/skipper for a) winning; b) finishing
Thank crew - nice job.
Immediately start stowing gear - arrive in harbor shipshape and Bristol fashion
Stow personal gear, change clothes brush hair, etc. before or just at dockside
As soon as docked, Break out beverages & snacks
Toast the crew and the ship
Talk about what went right & what could be done better - lessons learned
Confirm next race date and crew list
(For the truly driven, go home and write down as much as you can about the race: winds, course, tactics, sails, good moves, bad moves, lessons learned.)