The geographically influenced left shift along the shore of Goat Island will certainly go into my notebook. But the larger lesson, we decided over our post-race beverages, was to not be too hasty to execute the game plan. In some J/24 Fleet 50 races, you must pick a side and commit to it. But last night wasn’t like that. The beat was more open, the changes from side to side more fluid. We came off the middle of the line in a very solid position, with much of the fleet bunched to leeward of us. We had a good lane on starboard tack and we should’ve been more patient. We were in a good position to protect the right side of the course, which we thought was favored. By sticking with the fleet, we could hedge our bets and take advantage of our solid start. By bailing out to the right and leaving the pack behind, we effectively neutralized our start and went all-in on our pre-race prediction. Trusting yourself, and your game plan, is one thing, but being able to do so smartly, while minimizing the inevitable mistakes, is much better.