Ultimate Sailing Success Comes From Teamwork


Ultimate Sailing Success Comes From Teamwork

Being Part Of a Crew

In a crewed boat there is great satisfaction from being part of a good crew.

It is often said that everyone secretly wants to be the skipper but there are also those that get more rewards from being part of a well-functioning team.

When you compete in a world-class event, great crew work is what makes the difference between two boats. Ninety per cent of the difference comes from boat handling and being the slickest at tacking, gybing, working the waves and calling the shifts.

Crew Responsibilities

While the helmsman concentrates on steering, the crew do everything else, so their importance cannot be underestimated.

A great crew arrive at the boat early, check and recheck equipment then set the boat up for the day’s racing. Talk will be about the forthcoming races, the weather, competitors to be aware of and what to expect out on the course.

Those teams that sit around in the clubhouse till the last minute discussing a range of subjects not related to the racing are setting themselves up to fail.

Every crew member needs to have a clear idea of what their job is. They must also know the tasks of their teammates. This ensures that they can fill in when an emergency arises or someone can’t be there.

To be successful, your team must have the desire to win in order to push themselves harder than their fellow competitors, even when they are dead tired.


Good communication onboard is essential and the larger the crew, the more important this becomes. In the case of a huge team, there is the need to have a spokesperson for each essential team. For example, bow, mast office, trimmers and tactics.

Too much-undisciplined chatter only serves to distract and causes the concentration of all crew members to suffer.

On a lot of boats, the downwind leg is seen as the chance to relax. Many places can be gained or advantage increased by working the waves and the shifts whilst those around you take it easy.


As well as the desire to win and personal optimism, another essential requirement is compatibility. That is followed by sailing knowledge and good physical condition.

Most other things to be successful in sailing can be taught, practiced or learned. You must though have the desire to achieve.

How often have we seen a team of champions not succeed because they couldn’t get along? Each crew member and their skill set needs to complement other team members

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