What do you need to know? I have done it three times so far, at the helm
and as crew.
Is it your boat? Are you skippering yourselves?
If so, remember that Dent Passage
, where most of the races will start and finish, can get a good current
on and can take you across the line quickly. ( though in the cruiser class you will be in the last boats to start and the race committee often remind people of this via the VHF).
If you haven't raced much, Play some online games and get to know the racing
rules and tactics. Its really important as you will be in close quarters with other boats and they will be expecting you to know your obligations.
On the Island, its all fun and games at night and on the lay days. Get involved with the other boats and crews you will meet. Exchange ideas and sledges.
Have a look on your chart/plotter for Overfalls, they will slow you down or speed you up depending on the location. Not that there are lots, but they exist.
The main rule
of thumb if you are new to racing is to "stick with the pack".If you go way out to the other side of the course by yourself, chances are it will backfire, as the Gun Boats would have already headed in the best direction. (thats nut-shelling it somewhat)
Before the series starts, spend a few hours practicing making your tacks faster. Practice using the whisker pole and changing courses etc.
Oh and empty your water
and holding tanks- every kilo counts when chasing that tin cup!! Have plenty of diesel
but you would only need enough to motor
for three hours at the outside- very outside but that allows for some other time issue. So dont overfill. Its easy enough to get fuel
at the fuel
wharf on the day you leave.
No making lunch halfway round. Have the sanga's pre-made so no one is below unless they are going to the head
. There is nothing worse than approaching a mark or needing to tack when someone isn't ready due to them "fluffing" around.
REALLY important. DONT drive DUI on the golf carts on the island. They are registered vehicles and the Police DO breath tests ( go figure). But there are lots of stories of nasty drunk accidents to be fair.
Enjoy and keep us posted . :-D