‘Only one boat wins the race, but everyone can learn something that will give them a chance of doing better in the next race.’
Winning may be the object of the sailboat racing game, but as Dr. Stuart Walker reminds us, it’s not the object of playing the game. The reason why most of us play the game is because we love sailing and we like the challenge of trying to perform our best.
Most sailors want to feel that a sailboat race is enjoyable and worthwhile even when they finish in the middle or back of the pack. In my experience, the best way to do this is to focus on learning. I call this the ‘no-lose approach’ because even when you’re not winning you can be learning and becoming a better sailor.
It’s pretty evident when I travel around the country that the strongest fleets and classes are the ones that have a group focus on education. By working hard to elevate the ability of every sailor, a fleet becomes happier and healthier.
It was in this spirit that I started Speed & Smarts in 1994 and have continued to this day. The goal of the newsletter (and our new Strategy and Tactics seminars) is to help sailors make progress up the learning curve – if you can do that you will always feel like a winner.