Checklist - Prepare for yacht race day
Checklist - Prepare for yacht race day

Want to have a great day on the water? There are a few things you should do to make sure you and your crew are well prepared.

Confirm Meeting Place and Time

It may seem obvious but ensuring everyone knows what time they’re supposed to arrive, and where, can save a lot of hassle trying to track down your crew when you’re ready to leave the dock.

If you’re using MySail to schedule your races, it provides a simple place to share event location and boat call, or meeting time, as well as send a group message to all of your crew before race day.

Check the Weather

Check the weather forecast before heading down for a race to ensure you have the proposer clothing, gear and sail choice aboard for the day.

If it’s going to be a very hot day you may want to bring along some extra water, or for a windy and wet day you’ll want to make sure crew bring their wet weather gear along.

Knowing what wind, weather and wave conditions to expect on the water will also help you make a solid game plan for the race.

Read the Sailing Instructions

For the skipper, navigator and tactician, reading the sailing instructions (SI’s) is crucial as they will need to know the course and will be making the decisions on the water.

However, it’s a good idea to get all crew to review the sailing instructions before a race for a few reasons:

  1. There will be a whole crew of people who can help remember instructions if the skipper is unsure about something (this is especially important if the skipper, navigator and tactician is 1 person);
  2. Crew will understand course, what marks to look out for and the race rules, minimising the number of questions to the back of the boat;
  3. It’s a great way for less experienced crew to learn about how a race works, and to ensure they understand what is happening while on the race course.

Assign Crew Roles

Assigning crew positions before race day helps crew to plan and prepare for their role. If they are going to do a position that they are less familiar with, this gives them an opportunity to brush up on what they’ll need to do.

If required, this can also include who is going to bring the lunch, who’s responsible for water or drinks, etc.

Create and Share your Pre-race Job List

Another thing you can do to make race day go smoothly is to create and share your pre-race job list.

This might be the standard yacht set-up you do every week, but if something was broken, changed, taken off the yacht, etc. you may have additional jobs to do before leaving the dock.

Preparing and sending this to crew before the race will help them get straight into their job when they arrive on race day.