Ian and the Melges – Part Two

Coach Ian Moriarty, who can most often be found coaching on a J World J/80 or J/70 is racing in the Melges 24 World Championship in Miami, Florida.  From there he will scamper across the state to lead our first Davis Island J/70 Winter Series program in Tampa.  The challenges and successes he’s having at the Melges event will surely have him tuned up for the first Davis Island Series event.  We still have a few spots open for our J/88 race down the reed (aka Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race) and for our third Davis Island series event (February.)  Let us know if you can join in the fun.

KB:  Alright Ian, you have been racing for two days now.  What are the big takeaways?

Day 2
Day 2

IM:  There are a few big things that come to mind.  First, find a specific challenge and fix it.  For us we decided, based on day one, we wanted to improve our starts. So on day two we made that a priority.

First we developed a strategy. What end would we attempt to start on? And what if our plan to find our hole doesn’t work out?  We made use of the “magic box”(velocitek prostart), as always, to give us distance to the line. But we also developed a stream of information that was constant from 2 minutes on. Time? Distance from the line? Early? Late? The position of boats around us? Room to head up or bear away?

Of all 3 of the starts we matched the time to the distance in the last 30 seconds and had better holes to get the boat moving.

KB:  Nice work.  In all of these big fleet events having a solid start is crucial to being able to survive the first beat.  So what are you working on today?

IM:  After a good start how can we escape and improve our finishing positions?  We have some ideas, I’ll let you know how they go at the end of today.

KB:  That’s a very Trumpian response.  I’ll be waiting in suspense:)  So how is the crew communication on the boat?  You’ve been sailing with the group for a while, but sometimes the test of a big event can stress even strong team bonds?

IM:  That is big takeaway number two.  Be open to constructive criticism.

We can simply be content with how we sail or race and hold steady in our neighborhood of competitors, or we can look inwardly at where we lost boat lengths on the course. To do this you have to be willing to hear it from someone else and admit it to your self with out taking offense. As a team this is not a point of conflict but an opportunity to learn. It is important to have a team you’ve sailed with long enough that this process goes smoothly.

KB:  I wonder what is harder?  To give constructive criticism or receive it.  So it sounds like you are developing some good team dynamics that are leading to improving results.  If you had to boil down one thing in that area that is leading to better decisions and better outcomes, what would it be?

IM:  Trust your skipper and trust your crew.  When there are tough decisions to be made and someone has an idea it’s better to trust them and commit to it than to spend too much time discussing it.  Admitidly, We need to adhere to this more often. In the moments we trust each other we excel, when we do not and rather have a conflict we struggle.

Trust the plan, commit to it, hike hard, call puffs, call waves, watch the compass, and the plan is more likely to succeed.

KB:  Perfect words to wrap with.  Good luck, sail fast and have fun.

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