Sailing: Don’t take it too seriously

Published on May 20th, 2015

by Don Finkle, RCR Yachts
All that has been said and written about the need for more fun in sailboat racing got me to thinking about my own situation. The premise of having more fun is hard to argue with, but I decided to divide the topic into two parts, fun and enjoyment, and applied my own definitions to the words.

Enjoyment for me covers a variety of positive outcomes that we experience while racing. These are things that are pleasurable such as good competition, doing well, learning, meeting new people, seeing new places, playing with the boat and its gear, teaching new crew, traveling to some of my favorite sailing areas, sailing fast, just being on the water, and so forth. All of that is nice and I can look back and say that I have enjoyed those things on a regular basis.

But what about fun?

This is where my own sailing could be better at times. I look at fun as a more light-hearted sort of enjoyment, where you really let your emotions go. Once in a while just goofing off is therapeutic. When you are truly having fun, other things don’t much matter, and whatever happened that day at work is long gone from your consciousness. The results are less important, goof-ups on the boat are more a source of good natured ribbing than cause for critique, and the banter on the boat may not even have anything to do with sailing.

We submit that there should be more pure fun on board, especially when the racing is not (or should not be) serious. We are willing to bet that the crew will be more excited about coming back next week and may even bring the drinks.

One way to spoil the fun for all is when someone takes a fun race too seriously. Yes, I have been there myself at times. As they say, there is a time to take it seriously, and a time to let it go. More often we should try letting it go and see what happens.

Source: RCR Yachts Racers’ News

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