By Kim Couranz – originally published on SpinSheet Magazine – December 2015
How did you get into sailing small boats—and more specifically, how were you introduced to racing small boats? [more specifically you can read an article written by Carol Cronin: How to Start Racing Snipe Right]
Successful junior programs around the Chesapeake Bay introduce young sailors to sailing skills and racing strategy. But for those who don’t grow up in a junior program, once they learn basic sailing, if they’re interested in taking the leap into racing, how do they learn how it all happens?
I ask this because, a few years ago, I got lost while running in a race in a state park in the middle of nowhere in the east Tennessee mountains. (Really, there’s a connection, stay with me here!) Finally I backtracked to the proper course, but my “detour” meant I missed a time cutoff and couldn’t go out for the final nine miles of the race. I DNFed (did not finish)—my first DNF, at least in a running race, ever.
So I have some unfinished business there, which I hope to rectify next fall. As we do with our sailing skills, if we identify an area in our skills we need to develop, we practice it; for example, if boat handling is rough, practicing tacks and gybes. So for my running, I realize that I need to practice my on-land navigation skills using a trail map and a compass (no GPS allowed for my Tennessee adventure).