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What is considered running a "Good Program"?


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Curious on thoughts around running a "good program"....

1. The Boat: Is it reasonable to assume anyone who is putting effort into a "good program" maintains their boat to a suitable level? Lines refreshed, sails competitive, bottom in good shape? How about the boat type? OD vs. a mismatched PHRF toy?

2. The Crew: If the owner puts the effort in to have a good boat, is the expectation to have good crew? I'm not necessarily talking about pros, but crew than can or have done all positions bow to stern and have some small boat history such as high school or college. Roll tacks, boat weight placement, and sail trim are second nature instead of walking around the rum party in a Mount Gay hat introducing yourself as the "Guy Trimmer".

Chicken and Egg discussion or perhaps good boats begat good crew? 

 

 

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'Good' is always subjective.

Depends on the goals YOU set out, don't let outsiders define it.

Can be measured in silver won, laughs had or beer drunk.

Rare to excel in all categories at the same time, though.

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2 minutes ago, Matagi said:

'Good' is always subjective.

Depends on the goals YOU set out, don't let outsiders define it.

Can be measured in silver won, laughs had or beer drunk.

Rare to excel in all categories at the same time, though.

Well put. Your last statement is definitely true. 

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Overall, it depends on your goals.

It is nice to be on a well prepped boat with all the fancy stuff BUT it is also good to be on a beater that has potential to kick butt.

Owners need to proclaim early on what type of program they plan to run and advise any expectations up front.

I also thing that it is important to have at least one JR. sailor on board for EVERY race.

Sail Safe!! 

 

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The smart-ass answer is a good program achieves 75-80% of its goals,  a great program achieves 95+% of its goals, while a mediocre program achieves 50% or less of it's goals. Kind of like employees....

As others have said, the context/criteria are provioded by what the specific goals are...

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2 minutes ago, JoeO said:

The smart-ass answer is a good program achieves 75-80% of its goals,  a great program achieves 95+% of its goals, while a mediocre program achieves 50% or less of it's goals. Kind of like employees....

As others have said, the context/criteria are provioded by what the specific goals are...

Why do so many "beer" programs proclaim they are hard core racers then and surprised when they don't do well?! Beers on the dock in the morning or between races. Old rags, full fuel tanks, ect...

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50 minutes ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Why do so many "beer" programs proclaim they are hard core racers then and surprised when they don't do well?! Beers on the dock in the morning or between races. Old rags, full fuel tanks, ect...

This gets back to the matter of having honest goals. For some, spending a day on the water with their buddies is the win and this is fine but that is not always the same thing as doing well on the race course

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2 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Curious on thoughts around running a "good program"....

1. The Boat: Is it reasonable to assume anyone who is putting effort into a "good program" maintains their boat to a suitable level? Lines refreshed, sails competitive, bottom in good shape? How about the boat type? OD vs. a mismatched PHRF toy?

2. The Crew: If the owner puts the effort in to have a good boat, is the expectation to have good crew? I'm not necessarily talking about pros, but crew than can or have done all positions bow to stern and have some small boat history such as high school or college. Roll tacks, boat weight placement, and sail trim are second nature instead of walking around the rum party in a Mount Gay hat introducing yourself as the "Guy Trimmer".

Chicken and Egg discussion or perhaps good boats begat good crew? 

 

 

At club level the best program is the team who has the most fun 

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5 minutes ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Not sure some would agree. At the club level the egos are sometimes the biggest, misguided as they might be. Lot's of Wednesday Night experts! 

We've got a few like this in Mass Bay. Boats that think they're better than they are just because they've been racing against and beating the same people for the last 30 years. The really good boats in my area are a good balance of boat prep and good crews who go out and do their thing. They're quiet about it, they're humble in victory and gracious in defeat. They sail with skippers that trust them to do their jobs, and they trust the skippers/owners to bring a boat that isn't falling apart. 

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Having fun and achieving goals are the most important factors for a club program IMHO.

Little goals that are easily checked off to reach a long term vision are important and make everyone feel valued with a clear intent.

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2 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Why do so many "beer" programs proclaim they are hard core racers then and surprised when they don't do well?! Beers on the dock in the morning or between races. Old rags, full fuel tanks, ect...

This is an example of behaviors not matched to the goals, compounded by a failure to objectively assess performance against the goals.

We've all met the posers, dressed out of he pages of an old Team 1 Newport catalog, loud of mouth, short of knowledge, bereft of humility.  I just smile, nod my head at them, and walk on by, carrying my old Line 7 duffel bag, stuffed with dividers, protratctor, hand-bearing compass (analog) , coupla paper charts, waxed twine, spare hydraulic oil...

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Like others have said, a good program defines itself by meeting its listed goals. For me, a good program would include having fun with a competent crew who are enjoyable to be around, reasonably meticulous boat and equipment prep., always learning/striving for improvement, and some success on the racecourse.

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16 minutes ago, JoeO said:

This is an example of behaviors not matched to the goals, compounded by a failure to objectively assess performance against the goals.

We've all met the posers, dressed out of he pages of an old Team 1 Newport catalog, loud of mouth, short of knowledge, bereft of humility.  I just smile, nod my head at them, and walk on by, carrying my old Line 7 duffel bag, stuffed with dividers, protratctor, hand-bearing compass (analog) , coupla paper charts, waxed twine, spare hydraulic oil...

There has to be an old Mount Gay hat in there somewhere. You have been around long enough to have one from the old days when they were legitimately cool (<2000)!

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13 minutes ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

There has to be an old Mount Gay hat in there somewhere. You have been around long enough to have one from the old days when they were legitimately cool (<2000)!

Yes, but I didn't inhale...er, I mean only worn while mowing the lawn. Or ice-fishing, yeah, that's it.

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31 minutes ago, maxstaylock said:

Bringing the same number of people back to the dock, as what left in the morning.  The ability to reuse the boat gets bonus points.

Yah 

And no blood stains on deck and sails 

Remember to count their fingers as they head to the bar after the race 

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Pretty simple formula.

Winning and having fun doing it.

The problem with that formula is that it means, by definition, 90% of the entrants in a race are failures. Winning is the objective of the race but, for an amateur team, it should not be the sole objective of the hobby. 

I find it just as fun and rewarding to finish mid fleet in the Etchells Worlds as to win my division in a Friday Night Race.

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1 minute ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

The problem with that formula is that it means, by definition, 90% of the entrants in a race are failures. Winning is the objective of the race but, for an amateur team, it should not be the sole objective of the hobby. 

I find it just as fun and rewarding to finish mid fleet in the Etchells Worlds as to win my division in a Friday Night Race.

Two motivations to participate in a regatta 

trophy hunting 

Or celebration of sail 

nothing wrong with a celebration of sail 

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58 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

The problem with that formula is that it means, by definition, 90% of the entrants in a race are failures. Winning is the objective of the race but, for an amateur team, it should not be the sole objective of the hobby. 

I find it just as fun and rewarding to finish mid fleet in the Etchells Worlds as to win my division in a Friday Night Race.

Agreed......I was part of a serious program a while ago (almost 30 yrs).  It wasn’t until the boat was put up for sale (much more recently) that I actually looked at all the results listed in the ad......and realized we did pretty well.....results were not the main motivation, having fun, hanging out with some great guys in some pretty cool places, results were icing on the cake, never the main reason!

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

Two motivations to participate in a regatta 

trophy hunting 

Or celebration of sail 

nothing wrong with a celebration of sail 

They are not mutually exclusive.

By way of example, our program (which I would consider a "good program") has done Antigua Sailing Week three times as a winter getaway. We only won our division one of those three times. 

Do I consider the two times we didn't win to be failures? What a stupid question. They were all a fucking blast.

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8 hours ago, Matagi said:

'Good' is always subjective.

Depends on the goals YOU set out, don't let outsiders define it.

Can be measured in silver won, laughs had or beer drunk.

Rare to excel in all categories at the same time, though.

You can have two out of three:  Fast, Cheap and Sound.  The cheap part seems to be the hardest.

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6 hours ago, slug zitski said:

At club level the best program is the team who has the most fun 

At any level. Fuck, in a very short time we’re all going to be six feet under ...

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18 minutes ago, Svanen said:

At any level. Fuck, in a very short time we’re all going to be six feet under ...

Speak for yourself, the lifelines on my boat look pretty suspect.

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One of my favorite programs growing up was "I Dream of Jeannie".  Barbara Eden was a hottie.  I am also a fan of "Cheers" :D

Kidding aside, talented well practiced crew (that actually enjoy each other's company) with a well maintained boat tends to lead to a good sailing program.

 

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6 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Not sure some would agree. At the club level the egos are sometimes the biggest, misguided as they might be. Lot's of Wednesday Night experts! 

True, but they're probably not the crew that's having fun 

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11 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Why do so many "beer" programs proclaim they are hard core racers then and surprised when they don't do well?! Beers on the dock in the morning or between races. Old rags, full fuel tanks, ect...

Dunning Kruger effect. They don't know what they don't know.  My experience is there's often a bunch near the top of the fleet that act like they are the top of the fleet as well.  

Doesn't matter what the skill or discipline is, the difference between good, great, and exceptional is the ability to find those small things that make a big difference.    The magic sauce if you like.  

image.png.52fa9facd38086dc5d0f33d38906cd2c.png

For my part, a good program will apply best practice to achieve most of, if not nearly all the things in the long tail.  A great program has done all the things in the long tail and knows how to find the magic sauce, though doesn't yet have all the answers.  On top of everything else, an exceptional program has the magic sauce finding thing down pat.

Lots of people talking about having fun etc...  to me, good teamwork and dynamics should be "best practice" when it comes to sailboat racing.  Unfortunately, whether on a sailboat or any organisation, achieving that magic dynamic between people is quite rare.  At a club level, I'd dare suggest there are more captain blighs ruling the roost than should be.  That's not how you get the best out of people.  Especially volunteers out to support you with your own ambitions.

Much of the magic sauce in sailing is tacit knowledge.  That is to say, it's not knowledge that easily described or explained.  You can only learn that knowledge through practice and experience.  You can accelerate that learning through structured "experiments", structured practice.  that is to say, it's hard to run a great program without structured practice.

on the crew thing, my experience is they don't need to be rockstars.  I've had a guy with me for 7 years who didn't know anything about boats when he started.  He is a really awesome crew in that we sometimes don't even need to talk much (or at all) to get things done.  They just happen.  Good skippers will tend to have good crew gravitate to them because the crew feel enriched after their day on the water for having been out with the team.

TL;DR version:  if you want to run a good program, get all the basic things right (including good team dynamics). from there, the step to having a great program rests in your team's ability to learn.  Enjoying yourself while you're out there is a baseline requirement for achieving that.

*shrug*

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1. Program of races put out well in advance. No chasing ppl the night before

2. Core crew (say 7 of the 10 the same for all races) 

3. Any floaters know their place & listen to the established hierarchy on boat. 

4. Owner who likes to push & doesn’t whinge when a kite blows up 

5. Owner has a good inventory of sails & happy to upgrade within reason 

6. Boat is ready to go within 30 mins of you showing up. Sure a tidy up & set up but no going for fuel or chandlery on race day. Good owners attract good crew who are happy to put in after the race or a couple of hours during the week to get it ready for next weekend. 

7. No big ego’s unless they have SERIOUS race results, not club level wins 

8. Beers & off water socialising with the ability to leave any mistakes on the water. ie stay friends get over it & move on 

almost got 10, fuck it; 

9. Hookers

10. Cocaine 

 

 

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Definitely depends on the fleet.  In Melges for example that level prep will get you DFL or near DLF.  In Lake Oakeefenoakee PHRF fleet it might get you a pickle dish.  One thing is true for both scenarios: crews today EXPECT to get paid, whether they're worth it or not.  They figure you're the sugga daddy receiving the hardware, you owe it to them.

Rant over

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13 hours ago, SCANAS said:

1. Program of races put out well in advance. No chasing ppl the night before

2. Core crew (say 7 of the 10 the same for all races) 

3. Any floaters know their place & listen to the established hierarchy on boat. 

4. Owner who likes to push & doesn’t whinge when a kite blows up 

5. Owner has a good inventory of sails & happy to upgrade within reason 

6. Boat is ready to go within 30 mins of you showing up. Sure a tidy up & set up but no going for fuel or chandlery on race day. Good owners attract good crew who are happy to put in after the race or a couple of hours during the week to get it ready for next weekend. 

7. No big ego’s unless they have SERIOUS race results, not club level wins 

8. Beers & off water socialising with the ability to leave any mistakes on the water. ie stay friends get over it & move on 

almost got 10, fuck it; 

9. Hookers

10. Cocaine 

 

 

Well 2 outta 10 aint bad.  Last two especially.

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48 minutes ago, JimBowie said:

Definitely depends on the fleet.  In Melges for example that level prep will get you DFL or near DLF.  In Lake Oakeefenoakee PHRF fleet it might get you a pickle dish.  One thing is true for both scenarios: crews today EXPECT to get paid, whether they're worth it or not.  They figure you're the sugga daddy receiving the hardware, you owe it to them.

Rant over

The topic is what is considered running a “good program” not how to win OD. 

FWIW we have collected the owner plenty of IRC podiums inshore & offshore, can’t ask for much more from a bunch of weekend warrior mates racing mixed fleet. 

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Small egos, chuckles on the boat even if (especially if) we're deep, friendships, gelling on manouvers, minimal barking, the occasional pickle dish.

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51 minutes ago, SCANAS said:

The topic is what is considered running a “good program” not how to win OD. 

FWIW we have collected the owner plenty of IRC podiums inshore & offshore, can’t ask for much more from a bunch of weekend warrior mates racing mixed fleet. 

OD was assumed. Unless you are racing mixed matched 90 footers, anything under 50 foot should be OD or it's a waist of a Saturday! Best man wins, the best rating or best conditions for the day for that rating.

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You can run a good program without "winning" provided you can identify your own personal big miss as an owner/sailor, and establishing goals, budget, and crew bench that are aligned with your resources and sailing style.  Reasonable balance can be pretty fun, if not competitive.

Typically the disconnect I've seen between owner/programs and their teams are major misalignments of one or more of the following; skills, budget, expectations, or sailing style/ego.  I've been on both sides of this equation, sometimes as part of the problem.

Oh, and if your shit breaks down constantly, ignore all that; you have to be willing to at least pay attention enough to make the boat safe to reasonably go racing on.  This happens more often than you'd think.  No amount of beer fixes "oh we've blown another weekend 'cause the boat broke down again."  Don't be that person.

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You know you are running a good program when sitting in the bar drinking a few Bellinis with the commodores twin granddaughters after winning the regatta as you usually do and you are  looking down at your boat seeing your crew cleaning up, putting the boat away, carrying your gear up to your car  and seeing those  smiles on their faces  while they are drinking the six pack of beer  and munching on the bag of chips you left them.

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1 hour ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

anything under 50 foot should be OD or it's a waist of a Saturday! 

This is a silly observation. Maybe you are fortunate enough in your neck of the woods to have several one design keelboat fleets from which to choose, but here in SF Bay (which is not exactly an obscure corner of the sailing world) there are very few competitive one design keelboats between 30 feet and 50 feet. The J/105 has a good one design fleet but is a lousy boat in every other respect. The Express 37 is a great boat and a good fleet, but it is an old design, and the fleet is certainly not going to grow. That is about it.

Otherwise you are racing handicap.

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1 hour ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

OD was assumed. Unless you are racing mixed matched 90 footers, anything under 50 foot should be OD or it's a waist of a Saturday! Best man wins, the best rating or best conditions for the day for that rating.

C’dore has a TP52, good boat for our offshore races inc Sydney to Hobart but can’t get out most days due to depth round here. Our offshore races attract TP’s but they aren’t from around here.  
 

VX One, Finn & Etchell are probably the strongest inshore only fleets. 
 

The popular boats here are 35-40’ because you can race inshore & offshore & because everyone else has the same idea. Farr 40’s, Cookson 12, Sydney / BH 36’s-38’s-39’s-41s, HH42, MC38, X41, Numerous J’s, Bene 40’s & 40.7s & an assortment of other stuff. 
 

& here is why they are popular, this is a taste of the racing available within 600nm in either direction from us. Pretty decent I reckon! 
 

https://rolexsydneyhobart.com/

https://goldcoast.cycaracing.com/

https://abrw.com.au/

https://www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au/

https://www.brisbanetogladstone.com/

https://www.rqys.com.au/brisbane-to-keppel-tropical-yacht-race#intro

https://sailparadise.com.au/

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9 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

OD was assumed. Unless you are racing mixed matched 90 footers, anything under 50 foot should be OD or it's a waist of a Saturday! Best man wins, the best rating or best conditions for the day for that rating.

Try racing a 10,000€ Dragon against a 150,000€ Dragon with pro crew. Then come back and tell us about OD, best man wins etc... 

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15 hours ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

This is a silly observation. Maybe you are fortunate enough in your neck of the woods to have several one design keelboat fleets from which to choose, but here in SF Bay (which is not exactly an obscure corner of the sailing world) there are very few competitive one design keelboats between 30 feet and 50 feet. The J/105 has a good one design fleet but is a lousy boat in every other respect. The Express 37 is a great boat and a good fleet, but it is an old design, and the fleet is certainly not going to grow. That is about it.

Otherwise you are racing handicap.

I would rather race bathtubes OD than a Farr 400 handicap! We all know J/105's are slow pigs but it that is the local OD boat then that is what you race if you want to get better at winning. Racing PHRF is "fun" for Wed Nights or "Learn to Sail" programs. You learn how to rig a boat, which way the winches turn, and some other basic big boat things but you can't learn the last 20% which is the difference between sailing a raceboat and racing a sailboat!

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6 hours ago, 10thTonner said:

Try racing a 10,000€ Dragon against a 150,000€ Dragon with pro crew. Then come back and tell us about OD, best man wins etc... 

Comes down to boat prep. Your tired need to be full of air before you get on the race track or you are waiting your time and for that matter your crew's Saturday too.
As for an amateur crew racing against pros? This is a positive, you can only get better doing this.

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Good is whatever you expect the experience to be, was everything positive and expectable to you. Most what to finish a race with no one hurt and without any damage to the boat and if you beat most in your class thats good.

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The OP responses suggest that he or she already knows what their personal definition of a good program is. 

I'll mimic response #2     

I should go prep for another wasted Saturday.

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41 minutes ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

I would rather race bathtubes OD than a Farr 400 handicap! We all know J/105's are slow pigs but it that is the local OD boat then that is what you race if you want to get better at winning. Racing PHRF is "fun" for Wed Nights or "Learn to Sail" programs. You learn how to rig a boat, which way the winches turn, and some other basic big boat things but you can't learn the last 20% which is the difference between sailing a raceboat and racing a sailboat!

Sure, and that is why I often race on other people's J/105's and Knarrs. 

If you want to own a boat the choices aren't great.  If you have money to burn you could get a Knarr for the OD racing and an Alerion 38 for beercans and dolly sailing and a powerboat for local cruising. But if you don't have money to burn, and you want a single sailboat that want to race as well as go for a daysail with the wife and kids or the mistress and/or do some local cruising then you end up in a handicap fleet whether you like it or not. 

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Running a good program??

Simple, an owner/skipper willing to do what it takes to see that his/her crew go home successful because winning is fun.

No need for it to be any more or less complicated than that.

 

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5 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

Comes down to boat prep. Your tired need to be full of air before you get on the race track or you are waiting your time and for that matter your crew's Saturday too.
As for an amateur crew racing against pros? This is a positive, you can only get better doing this.

This

A lot of pros are just average sailors who get paid ... and they also tend to show up on time, and clean up after themselves on the boat.

That aside, PHRF is a social even so if you have a lot of emotion invested in how serious a PHRF competitor you are, then I hope you're getting some jollies out of it.

A "good program" depends on your goals. To win a lot? Then establish a program of making contact with the owners/skippers of winning boats, finagle your way aboard, learn the ropes, bring the concensus brand of beer, stay and clean up the boat after ward. Show up 5 min early next time the boat is going out. Before long you'll have your choice of top rides.

As an owner? First of all, a boat on which everything works as it should. Rebuild those winches, buy some decent goddam handles too! Clutches/jammers rebuilt, get the boats' basic plant working well too. Dead engine and/or dead batteries are not hallmarks of "a good program." Refrigeration? Then learn -all- the crew functions well enough, or bring aboard a super competent crew boss, so that you can get everybody on board trained to do their jobs and at least one other job SAFELY and effectively.  Keep a stock of good beer... that means beer -they- like. Keep a stock of gloves and windbreakers on board. Get crew T-shirts, don't have them out too frivolously but give them to the semi-regulars. Big morale builder there. Recruit somebody that can bring good cookies, and somebody that can tell jokes. And, of course you should be a good enough skipper to not be careening from one near-disaster to another. If you can win once in a while, all the better.

But that's just me, I've played the "serious competition" game and have nothing to prove any more. Now I just want to sail for fun, that means sailing well, not having to duct-tape body parts back together, and spending time with friends or people with whom I would like to be friends.

FB- Doug

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On 2/4/2021 at 5:08 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

This is a silly observation. Maybe you are fortunate enough in your neck of the woods to have several one design keelboat fleets from which to choose, but here in SF Bay (which is not exactly an obscure corner of the sailing world) there are very few competitive one design keelboats between 30 feet and 50 feet. The J/105 has a good one design fleet but is a lousy boat in every other respect. The Express 37 is a great boat and a good fleet, but it is an old design, and the fleet is certainly not going to grow. That is about it.

Otherwise you are racing handicap.

Beyond silly.  The sailing fixtaion with one design racing is nosensical and frankly bad for the sport. The same owners who laugh off PHRF because some boat gets an extra 6 second per mile then go race in a one design fleet where they routinely lose by 30 second per mile to identical boats.   Sure, the top 10-20% of the fleet is sometime close (but not nearly as often as you want to think) but for the balance of the fleet, its not even close.   Don't get me wrong, One design is fantastic but the same people will turn up at the top regardless of the format.   That boat that is "impossible to beat" under handicap racing is typically also very well sailed.    

Next time you look at one deign results, take a minute and calculate in your head the PHRF sec/mile adjustment that even a mid fleet boat would need to win.   Odds are you will be shocked.  

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Assemble a great crew with NO MISSING or WEAK links. Team members that show up on time and are ready to compete. I especially appreciated quiet boats where everyone knew their jobs and where a tactician could make a last-second change of gate call and no one panicked. Adjustments are made and if things go south, everyone on the crew knows how to best recover from the error. No one blames anyone else and a post-race debrief is filled with "What went right" as well as "what could we have done better".  I have been very blessed to have been a part of some amazing teams and many thanks to all of the generous owners for taking great care of me and the rest of the crew. Thanks as well to all of you great sailors for helping me learn when I was young. 

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1 hour ago, DryArmour said:

Assemble a great crew with NO MISSING or WEAK links. Team members that show up on time and are ready to compete. I especially appreciated quiet boats where everyone knew their jobs and where a tactician could make a last-second change of gate call and no one panicked. Adjustments are made and if things go south, everyone on the crew knows how to best recover from the error. No one blames anyone else and a post-race debrief is filled with "What went right" as well as "what could we have done better".  I have been very blessed to have been a part of some amazing teams and many thanks to all of the generous owners for taking great care of me and the rest of the crew. Thanks as well to all of you great sailors for helping me learn when I was young. 

Sounds like you work as some kinda Human Resources seat warmer 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Delta Dog said:

Beyond silly.  The sailing fixtaion with one design racing is nosensical and frankly bad for the sport. The same owners who laugh off PHRF because some boat gets an extra 6 second per mile then go race in a one design fleet where they routinely lose by 30 second per mile to identical boats.   Sure, the top 10-20% of the fleet is sometime close (but not nearly as often as you want to think) but for the balance of the fleet, its not even close.   Don't get me wrong, One design is fantastic but the same people will turn up at the top regardless of the format.   That boat that is "impossible to beat" under handicap racing is typically also very well sailed.    

Next time you look at one deign results, take a minute and calculate in your head the PHRF sec/mile adjustment that even a mid fleet boat would need to win.   Odds are you will be shocked.  

What the Dog said.  Check out who's registered for the Melges 24 Worlds.  None less than Bora.  He of recent AC fame, Nacra 17 Olympic fame, former World Champ many times over.  There's precious few professional opportunities for his caliber in this Covid climate so he's back slumming in the 1D fleets he knows so well.  The other top 3-4 boats will push him a little, but the bottom 80% will never round a single mark ahead of him.  Ever.  For us mere mortals, and former demi-gods, slumming in the lowly PHRF fleets are only option for some "serious" competition.  Lol.

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Good program is subjective.  I've done a lifetime of racing on the family boat from childhood through young adulthood, as well as many other programs from novice to all star mostly professional crews.  Boats have ranged from dinghies up through 85 footers, from small local races to Mac races, Bermudas, Transatlantic, etc.  The most fun for me has been on boats with folks I've sailed with as amateurs, guys I've raced with for many years who like to sail hard but recognize handicap racing is a crap shoot.  Boats about 40ish feet with max crew of about 10, preferably fewer.  Stuff works, good sails, boat in good shape.  Don't sweat winning every race, but enjoy being out there with good folks, if ya don't win, so what.  It's a friggin sailboat race.

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12 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Sounds like you work as some kinda Human Resources seat warmer 

 

 

The boat managers (HR team organizers) for the teams I have been a part of were key to the success of their respective programs. 

SC 70 EVOLUTION
PYEWACKET
TAXI DANCER
PENDRAGON
AFTERBURNER
AIKANE X5

and others all shared that key piece of the puzzle. I wish I could take credit but I was not the HR guy, but I have a deep respect for all of those folks who were for those highly successful programs. 
 

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12 hours ago, bgytr said:

Good program is subjective.  I've done a lifetime of racing on the family boat from childhood through young adulthood, as well as many other programs from novice to all star mostly professional crews.  Boats have ranged from dinghies up through 85 footers, from small local races to Mac races, Bermudas, Transatlantic, etc.  The most fun for me has been on boats with folks I've sailed with as amateurs, guys I've raced with for many years who like to sail hard but recognize handicap racing is a crap shoot.  Boats about 40ish feet with max crew of about 10, preferably fewer.  Stuff works, good sails, boat in good shape.  Don't sweat winning every race, but enjoy being out there with good folks, if ya don't win, so what.  It's a friggin sailboat race.

Yah   

Couple years ago I did a long distance race in Europe on one of those.. chilled out  , cracking jokes while sailing with shipmates,  with an old   boat,  

we won by so much the the race committee sent an inspector over to speak with the crew about ....using the engine during the race !!! 

 

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