Take-Aways from Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week

By Doug Stewart, Quantum Sail Designer

Charleston offers big shifts, big puffs and a lot of current. Here are two important observations I made watching the J/70 fleet. On practice day, I noticed there were a lot of boats sailing by themselves; my recommendation is to take advantage of the organized races or at least buddy-up and speed test. Remember in a fleet of 80 you are probably going to be in bad air upwind so trust your settings from the practice day and know that you are going the same speed as everyone else.

On Friday, we were watching boats in around 30th to 35th place round the top mark. A big puff rolled down the course and this pack of boats took off. We could hear the hooting and hollering from the crews as the boats jumped on a plane. It got me thinking that no matter where you are on the course and no matter what place you are in, you are doing it for the enjoyment of it. Let the pros at the front of the pack stress out at the office. You may not beat them but you will probably have more fun!

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