>Solving the Puzzle

>So, here’s another difference between Olympic Sailing and most other one design regattas you might sail in. Lots of sailors will spend time trying to understand local conditions, wind and current before heading to their next event, and for that big event of the year (your worlds, your North Americans, etc) you might even go a step further, use a weather service, maybe go and sail there a few times to get comfortable.

But what surprises many people who spend a little time with our team, is the lengths we go to to figure out exactly where each race circle will be located at the Games next year. We know we’ll race in Weymouth, and we know generally where each course will be. But what we spend a lot of time on these days is our effort to figure out exactly where on the chart the courses might be. In most locations, moving a course even one mile east, west, north or south can mean different conditions, different current movements, different wind shifts.

This is something that all the top national teams are doing, without any doubt. It’s standard operating procedure now, but not for every sailor. Every day, we are trying to pinpoint exactly where the east, west, and south courses will be located in Weymouth Bay. And once we feel strongly we know where the course will be, we’re logging tons of data on what can be expected.

It’s yet another example of how Olympic Sailing, while having many of the same traits as the other types of one-design sailing people do, is also different in the level of focus and scrutiny the sailors and coaches put on the details. Details are everything in Olympic Sailing. Races are won or lost in the margins, in the last little bit of information gathered. I’ll estimate that in Olympic Class sailing, the top 30-40 sailors in each class are doing 85% of things the same way. But it’s that final 15% that separates being “in the top group” and being at the “top of the top group.” Success lies in the margins, in the details, and if we can figure things like the exact location of a race course, it’s a potential advantage for our sailors.

That’s all for today! Big day on the water. 470s, Lasers, Radials and match racing are all on tap today.

Sail fast,

Dean Brenner
Chairman, Olympic Sailing Committee

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