When the Rac­ing Ends

Sailing World - - Starting Line Five Things -

The un­writ­ten code of sail­boat rac­ing is that the party is as im­por­tant as the race it­self. Yes, it’s true: Our post-race gath­er­ings are es­sen­tial, whether in­side the club, un­der a tent, in the boat park or the near­est brick-and-mor­tar bar; these lo­ca­tions present a place to hunt for speed tips or tac­ti­cal as­sur­ances — as­suag­ing the “if only.” Yes, we’ve seen our share of par­ties, which mostly pro­vide the es­sen­tials: a place to gather, a light snack, and bar­tenders sling­ing the good stuff. One could ar­gue our par­ties are all the same these days, which, af­ter polling our Face­book au­di­ence, might not nec­es­sar­ily be a bad thing. Here’s what we dis­cov­ered from our 72 re­spon­dents, 48 per­cent of whom came from in­di­vid­u­als who clas­sify them­selves as skip­pers, and 52 per­cent as crew.

01 Race for the party

If you feel as though the party’s al­ways hop­ping, it’s be­cause 66 per­cent of sailors say they al­ways at­tend post­com­pe­ti­tion events, while an­other 37 per­cent go of­ten. “The Chicago-mac Race Rum Party is a great op­por­tu­nity to get to­gether with friends af­ter a long trek to the is­land to share tales from the race,” writes one re­spon­dent, claim­ing it as the best of the sea­son.

02 It’s so­cial. Duh.

Seventy-seven per­cent of re­spon­dents say that so­cial­iz­ing with other sailors is the pri­or­ity, and 66 per­cent say they pre­fer to do it with a bev­er­age in their hand. Ac­cord­ing to one skip­per from Florida, the Rolex In­ter­na­tional Women’s Keel­boat Cham­pi­onship throws a solid shindig: “The food, bev­er­ages and en­ter­tain­ment are al­ways top-notch. It’s re­ally cool to meet and get to know sailors from all over the na­tion.”

03 Suds or spir­its? Ev­ery­body wins.

Fifty-one per­cent tell us they head for the beer and wine of­fer­ings, while 41 per­cent pre­fer to keep bar­tenders busy with mixed drinks — no­tably rum, of course. One skip­per from Wis­con­sin writes: “The Mount Gay Rum is the best, and a great sup­porter of events. I re­cip­ro­cate by drink­ing and buy­ing only Mount Gay.”

04 Han­gin’ with the crew

A im­pres­sive 81 per­cent of sailors say they at­tend the par­ties with their crew or skip­per. Only 10 per­cent of sailors said they bring their sig­nif­i­cant other or kids to the par­ties. “Fi­gawi Race Week [in Nan­tucket] al­ways has the high­est en­ergy un­der the big tent,” says a crewmem­ber from Mas­sachusetts. The tent must be rock­ing, since 63 per­cent claim they love it when the dance floor gets ac­tive.

05 Stay thirsty for knowl­edge

Sailors yearn to learn, and 42 per­cent say they en­joy in­for­ma­tional ses­sions in the form of pro talks and pan­els. “It’d be great to see more pro­fes­sional- or race-leader-led dis­cus­sions at events,” says a skip­per from Rhode Is­land. “It’s a chance to share tips, eval­u­ate per­for­mance and talk about what worked

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