Tactician Responsibilities


Tactician Responsibilities – Now What. Being the Tactician on your boat carries with it a lot of responsibility. Depending on the size of the boat and the number of team members, the way you handle the job will vary greatly.

I have set out below some of the key methods and duties needed to be an effective Tactician.

  1. Only one person should be designated to be the Tactician.
  2. The Tactician must have the authority to call for manoeuvres. They must put together the boat’s strategy in advance.
  3. They must make sure that the boat stays in the vicinity of the bulk of the fleet. Flyers rarely pay off.
  4. The boat must be kept in clear air and the Tactician’s job is to continually plan what is ahead so you don’t sail into trouble.
  5. A good Tactician will anticipate and then communicate the next move. This means the crew can be prepared both physically and mentally.
  6. They must be ready with new ideas to improve boat speed, only making one adjustment at a time. This is only one of many tactician responsibilities.
  7.  Watch other boats in the fleet and compare the relative performances, only communicating the bare minimum.
  8. The Tactician’s job is to understand the Sailing Instructions and the course. They must have up-to-date knowledge of the rules.
  9. Early warnings are essential to avoid mistakes because crews don’t like surprises.
  10. They need to constantly monitor wind speed and direction.
  11. In a tight situation, a Tactician should ask the helmsperson to look at the other boats.
  12. Discuss tactical options with the team before and after the race. 
  13. The Tactician should helm the boat in various conditions so that they know how the boat handles.
  14. Always present options with clear recommendations.
  15.  Go with your first instinct.
  16. Wherever possible, give an explanation for a manoeuvre, as an example, “we are gybing to clear our air”.
  17. Avoid long silences that may convey that your mind has wandered or you are worried about what is going on in the race.
  18. Congratulate the crew when things go well because most teams respond favourably.
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