If you look at the leader board you will see that many times it is not necessarily the best helmsman, or fastest boat at the top, it is the boat that is working best as a team. When everyone on the boat knows their position and how to communicate, the boat just goes faster. A couple of years ago, I got to race with a great skipper and crew in one of our regattas. Although the group had not raced together much, everyone onboard knew their role and position and we ended the ragatta with a first in a very competitive division.
This becomes even more important when the boat is doing difficult maneuvers such as spinnaker sets, douses, jibes or headsail changes. A friend that sails Flying Scotts has been sailing with his wife for more than 20 years, yet they still have the steps for each spinnaker move (set, douse and jibe) written down on a laminated card. And for each move they communicate the steps of the move - so bowman will call pole up, and the helm will repeat to ensure that the communication was heard. Not only does great communication make for faster racing, but it makes for a better marriage. I have been on some of your boats and suggested something similar.
One of the boats that won the summer series has mapped out
the role for each maneuver and is willing to share with all of you. And although every boat and crew is different, the concept of mapping out roles and order for key maneuvers will work on any boat. This is outlined by position, but it can also be done in the order of each maneuver.
With Transgrape coming up,you should have some longer legs that will allow you to use this guide to talk through roles, positions and what you can do to make your boat sail faster. Sail fast and have fun.