In all the sailing and cruising classes I’ve taught over the years, from learn to sail to live-aboard passagemaking, I routinely get asked one question from eager students upon graduation, “What should I do next?” My answer, no matter what course they’ve just finished, is always, “Go racing!”
Sailboat racing is an amazingly great way for newer or inexperienced sailors to get time on the water and to increase confidence aboard. Getting out with experienced sailors and racing around the buoys will teach you a lot about sail trim, boat handling, right of way rules, sailing in heavy and light air, seeing the wind on the water and many other useful skills that also apply to cruising. Sure, it may be a little intimidating at first, so find a local sailing club, school or organization that hosts informal racing that stresses camaraderie and fun over winning. Because that is really what it is all about anyway. Oh, and always offer to bring the beer!
Enjoy this week’s edition.