sailing academy

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  • Julian

strategy & tactics - the key to a sailing mastermind


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sailing is learning how to try, analyze and optimize.

In my first post, I would like to show the difference between tactics and strategy, because it will later be of significant importance to our decision making. It is mostly a matter of time and how we dimension it. Strategy is a long-term approach to a goal that remains valid through time. Your strategy adapts to the external situation, which means we simplify or complement our decision-making with it. However, we should not forget that, despite strategy being a long-term action, it also should be re-analyzed as the race goes by, because the relevant parameters keep on changing (i.e. wind, opponents). When it comes to sailing, strategy should be developed universally, although further defined in accordance with the regatta we are attending, its venue and the specific race.  When we believe we can take advantage of a certain situation within the rules, our mind switches from strategy mode to tactics mode. Once we maneouvre accordingly and we benefit from that advantage, we should focus back on the strategy mode. Therefore, tactics are actions framed in a short-term procedure. When we find ourselves in specific situations, regardless of the context, we can always react the same way and be sure you will have an advantage thanks to it. For example, the "Curry Tack“. If we go down to the basis of strategy, the first question we need to answer is: "how do we win a race?“. In order to achieve that, we must act as a radar first:

I.) Constantly analyzing all the relevant parameters thanks to your senses II.) Prioritizing them through the race in your mind



If we use these two key factors, our mindset will be ready to approach the races in a fully aware and oriented way. We could look at it as a photo album, where the following types of pictures:


1. Strategical positioning

a. Advantageous

b. Disadvantageous

2.Tactical situations


While we create this photo album, there are several questions that should be asked: where and when did my situation become disadvantageous? What should I have done to keep it advantageous? The answers to these questions are the pictures we should stick to our album. When we ace the radar and the photo album we become the sailing mastermind. That is because our mind (I.) automatizes the decision-making and (II.) is able to predict the different scenarios we might encounter ahead. This is how we manage to make the right decisions with the information we have. Becoming such master will require from you curiosity, freewill to try all the options and courage to make mistakes. We should not forget this is a mental process we need to constantly train so that, when the regatta comes, we are ready to use it as easily as the technic.

Only this makes us unbeatable. Only this allows us to make less mistakes than our opponents. This is how we win a race.