Got trouble holding your tongue?

Paul Brotherton has some practical advice
Q: I sail a 420 with my mate. We’re pretty good, and finished top ten at the Nationals. But we either do really well or really badly. The problem is that if we start badly we tend to argue and give up. I believe we can win the Youth Champs, but I’m afraid of a bad start to the regatta ruining any chance we might have. A: This is a hugely common problem in any two-person boat. Without being too dismissive, it’s as simple as this: Learn to try as hard when you’re at the back of the fleet as when you are at the front.... or stop believing you can win anything worthwhile! The standard and depth of ability at the top national and international regattas means it’s impossible for anyone to arrive at the windward mark first every race. So the winners of the regattas are the ones who maintain focus and ignore the distractions, such as their current poor position or a mistake made earlier in the race. Toughness is a very important quality. Toughness to take the knocks. The sort of toughness that allows you to keep looking for attacking options when you have just lost 20 places going round a crowded leeward mark. Not the toughness that gets you stamping your feet or yelling at your team mate. Winners of regattas, in my experience, are defined by their ability to dig deep when the chips are down and maintain one hundred percent concentration throughout. Sailors who can only sail well when they are winning will only ever win in undemanding classes or regattas. The 420 is very demanding and there are no easy championships. Try some of the following practical solutions. 1. Before going to your next open meeting arrange a get-together with your team mate.