May 9

Getting Ready


Getting ready can mean many things. For some it could be as simple as putting on your shoes and coat and heading to the shop. For others it would involve going through the fridge and the cupboards and making a list. Then checking the bank account, making sure you’ve got the wallet and the shopping bags in the car. And don’t forget your face mask. The difference in results isn’t always that great on any one trip but over time it can grow.

They are less stressed and enjoy a genuine feeling of preparedness.


The first individual forgets things and has to return for things forgotten. They face trips made in vain due to not having a mask or not enough cash in the account. Extra costs for fuel and to buy new bags and masks add up. Getting ready, for the latter person, provides some peace of mind. They are less stressed and enjoy a genuine feeling of preparedness. The ability to sleep at night knowing that all that could be done has been done.

Sailing is a world where getting ready takes on a whole new meaning. As with anything, there are a wide range of situations and getting ready varies for each. Let’s look at the Friday evening club racing event. Getting ready involves assigning each crew member with a specific set of tasks. Usually centered around the specific station or spot on the boat. A hierarchy ensures clear communication especially under the sometimes stressful racing conditions. Captain makes the call. That said, crew need to make instant decisions based on the conditions of the moment. Crews that sail together for long periods get to know how each will react to various situations. Practice and experience will change the meaning of getting ready. So many things become second nature. The danger then creeps in as complacency. New techniques go unnoticed and opportunities are missed. All in the name of doing things the same way they are always done. Changing wind, temperature, tide all work to keep even the experienced crews on their toes. Getting ready no longer involves deciding roles and responsibilities. Crews can then focus on conditions specific to the evening. It follows that he who gets ready best is most likely to win. This is not always the case. A gust of wind at the wrong time from the wrong direction and the race is lost.

Getting ready is about controlling everything that we can. There are always variables that we can’t control. We need to be diligent in ensuring that fatalist attitudes don’t creep in.



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