Asymmetrics - Survival sailing

Tim Robinson takes us through his approach to windy skiff racing
This week Tim Robinson takes us through surviving heavy airs in your asymmetric. Tim is a legend in skiff sailing circles, primarily for winning the JJ Giltinan Trophy, the first ever non-aussie to achieve such a result. He has also won a multitude of 14 and 49er events and is an experienced keelboat sailor too. In this article he primarily focuses on his experiences in 18 foot Skiffs, but the techniques he uses can be implemented on your asymmetric dinghy or sportsboat. It's mental out there... First let's talk about the mental approach. It all comes down to the enjoyment of it. Success breeds confidence. We got good at it and therefore enjoyed it and got confident, which admittedly was at odds with our light air performance. It's interesting how people tend to be good in wind and not in the light, and vice versa. They are very different skills. Rule one is: Go out and practice; the worst that’s going to happen is you'll go out and break gear, but you will get better. When you’re on the beach, and other people are wavering, you always go out. The worst thing is to wish for the race to be cancelled, you’ve got to be fully up for it. If you back off, whether in skiing, or any extreme sport, you'll end up in trouble. You've got to be committed. Rule two is: Tell the boat who is boss. Never let the boat take control of you. Even when we had a bad bear away, and it looked sketchy, we would never give up. No matter how bad it may seem, you can always save it, so never surrender to the boat. You’ve got to wrestle it. You can see when people are intimidated by the boat. You see the boat not flat, not steering through