Fly’s Corner: Don’t get left behind

Published on July 4th, 2019

Oakcliff Sailing boat captain Alexander ‘Firefly’ Lulewicz reflects on the progression of the sport:

Just like any sport, sailing is evolving quickly with modern technology. With heavier loads, lighter weight, and optimized designs, the boats are faster, more agile, and inherently more dangerous.

As the industry shifts from displacement boats to planing and even foiling boats, crew fitness and agility are increasingly important.

Having a well-balanced mix of cardio, strength, and a varied diet is a good place to start. It’s a common misconception that cardio and strength don’t mix, but the 49er sailors, Nacra 17 sailors, and big boat grinders beg to differ.

No matter what position you’re doing on a Farr 40, at some point during the sail you most likely will be pulling a rope. Pulling motions are always back, bicep, and shoulder intensive movements. Making sure these muscle groups are well-conditioned will allow for faster and more active trimming on any boat. Don’t let lack of athleticism be the reason you lose a race or worse, don’t even get on the boat to begin with.

Although sailing mostly involves pulling muscles, it’s important not to forget to train the less used pushing muscle groups too. A well-balanced muscle plan will help with posture, injury prevention, and will allow you to safely twist and turn into the precarious positions that racing often puts you in.

Staying in shape will not only improve your sailing, but will help you live a longer, healthier life. Good luck to all the competitors in the 2019 Marblehead to Halifax Race on July 7.

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