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Old 21-07-2016, 10:56   #1
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Racing Crew

Iíve seen people here on CF suggest that newcomers volunteer for a race crew. How exactly do you do this sort of thing? I assume a certain level of experience is required?


As you can see, I'm not afraid to ask the dumb questions.
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Old 21-07-2016, 11:32   #2
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Re: Racing Crew

Sometimes no experience required for local races. Most marinas where there are races starting from have a posterboard inside the facility. Those often have "need crew" postings. Also, yacht clubs near those marinas may have them too. Either may have a list of when races occur. Hang around on those days/ nights before they leave the dock and ask around.
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Old 21-07-2016, 14:50   #3
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Re: Racing Crew

You might tell us where you are located, mate. It would help us help you.

Jim
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Old 21-07-2016, 15:20   #4
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Re: Racing Crew

There are postings on bulletin boards, as already suggested. And lots more online, such as via Facebook for example, or even www.forums.sailinganarchy.com
Also, if you're in an area with lots of sailing & racing, then walking the docks prior to boats heading out to race, or doing the same at Yacht Clubs, etc. will often land you a ride.

Mostly all that you need is a good attitude, willingness to learn, & being up for doing some of the "dirty jobs". Okay, that & having a good kit of sailing gear. And with this, it'll help if you look for boats with bigger crews, to start. As on such boats, there's room for newbies, even ones with zero sailing background. You'll get put to work grinding winches, & acting as human ballast, as you learn/are taught more about racing. And pretty soon you'll have other jobs. Especially in laid back racing series, like Wed. night Beer Cans.
Plus, you'll meet a lot of folks (& perspective rides) at the parties after the races. Which are also a reasonable place to look for rides to begin with, even before your first gig racing.

A couple of other good sources of help when looking to race, is to frequent the local sail lofts. As sail makers generally know of lots of boats that could use spare hands. And they often act as informal placement agencies. Ditto on some local chandleries, & rig shops.
As the saying goes "Win Friends & Influence People".

Ah, & of course, it's wise to study on sailing & racing. That, & start keeping a log of things which transpired during each day on the water: Weather, what you learned, various things about the race, what sails were used when & why... More's better. And it's something that pro's do, as it's a tool guys use to get to said level of the sport.

Also, look up the forms to document sea time that are used to show your time on the water which is put toward your qualifications for liscensing. As in skipper's liscences of various levels. And then kindly ask the skipper's of boats that you sail on to sign off on them. Such will show folks that you're serious about sailing (when you approach them right), & even if you aren't looking for such a liscense right now, you may be in 5yrs, & then such documentation will be invaluable.

Good luck!


PS: Folks who show up with beer, & or, snacks/food do tend to be popular
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Old 21-07-2016, 15:25   #5
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Re: Racing Crew

I used to think the advice to "walk the docks on race day" was hokey. Like, who in their right mind would take a complete newb on their boat like that?! Well, before I started racing my boat, I did exactly that. People are looking for crew all the time, if nothing else than for "rail meat" so no experience necessary. Please do show up with your own PFD, foulies (if need be), proper boat shoes and gloves. A six pack is nice, if you have a cooler where you can keep it in the car; otherwise, it's not really necessary to bring with you to the boat. The less you lug around, the more "professional" you look. Just put yourself out there
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Old 21-07-2016, 19:24   #6
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Re: Racing Crew

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Originally Posted by m2244 View Post
Iíve seen people here on CF suggest that newcomers volunteer for a race crew. How exactly do you do this sort of thing? I assume a certain level of experience is required?


As you can see, I'm not afraid to ask the dumb questions.
Seriously no experience is necessary, though a six pack of beer is always welcome (cans not bottles).

Pretty much spot on for all of the above. But I would start with the local yacht clubs, they are generally the first stop, and any body of water with more than five sailboats will generally have one. If for no other reason than as the spot to drink beer after racing.
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Old 21-07-2016, 19:44   #7
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Re: Racing Crew

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
I used to think the advice to "walk the docks on race day" was hokey. Like, who in their right mind would take a complete newb on their boat like that?! Well, before I started racing my boat, I did exactly that. People are looking for crew all the time, if nothing else than for "rail meat" so no experience necessary. Please do show up with your own PFD, foulies (if need be), proper boat shoes and gloves. A six pack is nice, if you have a cooler where you can keep it in the car; otherwise, it's not really necessary to bring with you to the boat.
Wait, what?? That was a great post until the finish!!
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Old 21-07-2016, 20:29   #8
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Re: Racing Crew

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Wait, what?? That was a great post until the finish!!

+1....the six pack is for after racing while sailing off the course back to the dock!!!


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Old 21-07-2016, 20:32   #9
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Re: Racing Crew

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You might tell us where you are located, mate. It would help us help you.

Jim
My comm skills are lacking!

I'm in Vermont, slightly limited on ocean. About the only game in town is Lake Champlain, have my eye on a couple of lakes in NH as well. We are also thinking about flying somewhere like BVI and renting a boat for our first real sailing excursion. I would like to get a healthy dose of experience prior to that.
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Old 21-07-2016, 20:33   #10
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Re: Racing Crew

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Seriously no experience is necessary, though a six pack of beer is always welcome (cans not bottles).
Too easy.
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Old 22-07-2016, 00:01   #11
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Re: Racing Crew

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Wait, what?? That was a great post until the finish!!
I hear ya, but it really just depends. Serious racers don't want the extra weight
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Old 22-07-2016, 01:48   #12
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Re: Racing Crew

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
I hear ya, but it really just depends. Serious racers don't want the extra weight
Serious racers don't take on inexperienced crew at the last minute. Wednesday evening "beer can" racers do take on such folks, and they better bring beer!

Jim
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