Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Today's race did not cover me in glory.
A decent start and then I stayed not very far behind the lead pack. But eventually the top 2 or 3 drew away to a signifiant lead, as they tend to do. I was mid fleet and holding my own.
Then on the last leg I decided to go left and a fellow who had been shadowing me went right. As we started getting closer to the finish I realised with horror that he had opened a lead of at least a minute on me. What to do? Nothing other than accept the inevitable and try to figure out how to avoid it next time.
What did I did wrong and what did he do right? I had out sailed him throughout the race, but in the last leg he went right and I went left - wrong. Was he lucky? Did he out smart me? I don't know what he was thinking but on analysing things after the race I know for sure that I was not thinking.
In retrospect it was obvious to go to right and pick up the tide which had started to turn by then and get a boost from it. And perhaps the pressure was better right, but whether it was or was not, the point is that I was not really thinking through the last leg - just reacting and going left because I saw the leaders do it on the prior time around that mark. That is a poor excuse for tactics. It may have worked for them before, but to blithely assume it was still good was stupid. To follow without concluding it was a good idea was stupid. I was concentrating on the boat handling and doing a decent time of it, but my head was clearly totally inside the boat.
So, lesson learned - never stop thinking. An error in judgement (or more precisely, no judgement) such as mine will far outweigh any slight improvement in speed through boat handling.