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Hail to the Bow

January 19, 2016

In addition to great racing, Quantum Key West Race Week is full of great information and seminars. A team of pros from Quantum Racing and Bella Mente lead a post-racing talk focusing on one of the most important people on the boat – the Bowman. Here are a few re-cap tips courtesy of Key West Race Week's blog.

Tom Burnham, Pitman on Quantum Racing leads the Hail to the Bow talk at the 2016 Key West Race Week.

The role of the bow person is multi-dimensional; the person on the pointy-end of the boat is expected to be fast, efficient, and has to make sure sails go up and down quickly, spinnaker sets are done effortlessly, and most importantly without any mistakes…ever.

On Monday afternoon, after racing three races in some big breeze on Day 1 of Quantum Key West Race Week, Tom Burnham, Pitman-Quantum Racing joined by bowman Greg Gendell on Quantum Racing, and Doogie Couvreux, bowman on Bella Mente shared some tips and tricks to make the bow maneuvers fast and flawless.

Here are just a few tips that they shared. When seconds count, every little bit matters! 

  • Communication is Key — Cannot emphasize this point enough.

  • Pre-start – Think of time versus boat lengths.

  • Think Ahead – Look up from the bow, and anticipate the tactical and strategic decisions that are coming next. Don’t wait to be told what to do next!

  • Setup the sails in the same spot (home base) in the same way for consistency.

  • Check, Double-check and Triple-check the settings, setup, and be ready to make last-minute changes. Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

Doogie and a buddy designed an opening sail pre-feeder that is very unique, and “it works.” They developed 4 prototypes, tested it for a year, and it will work on anything from a Melges 32 to a Bella Mente, and all boats in-between. It is adjustable, can be hooked onto the headstay.

Stay safe, think ahead, communicate and triple-check for flawless performance on the bow!

Source: Key West Race Week.

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