This weekend at NACRA 17 Nationals here in Oyster Bay, New York I have been sailing with Chris who is new to the boat and that gives me the ability to be teaching to learn and I am realizing I am learning much more than I expected here at Oakcliff Sailing.
The NACRA 17 is a pretty tender boat for a multihull. The curved blades and short rudders along with the sail plan mean that you have to be extremely deliberate in everything you do on the boat. Small mistakes can quickly become devastating at 20 knots. Because Chris has never been on the boat before this regatta, I have been learning to think as a crew and a helmsman at the same time and have been working to think of the crew actions earlier in a maneuver so I have enough time to tell Chris what to do before he has to do it. It is dynamic as I am teaching to learn while I am on the water.
Chris is an exceptional crew. His ability to quickly pick up the actions and adjust the speed of his actions from a slow 420 pace to the fast paced N17 waters is awesome. His strength and wisdom have given us some remarkable moments on the racecourse. We have been killing our starts and down wind (except when we flipped) we have been screaming. So teaching to learn has given us some great pieces and today we are going to work to put those pieces together and keep our pace throughout more of the racing.
While it can be frustrating to be deep in a fleet that you should be much higher in, this is a valuable opportunity for me as I will be spending a lot of time getting my full-time crew up to speed on the boat, timing and everything so that we can rock at the ISAF World Cup series next year and into the US Trials. Teaching to learn is valuable and will make me stronger and more able to be faster in my thinking and my actions on the boat and it is a great reminder on how long it has taken me to get to this point on the boat.
Overall this weekend has been great for me and I am excited for a couple more races today and moving back into my campaign after this regatta.