Think Three Steps Ahead

Nick Turney reflects on a challenging, shifty day of racing on the Farr 400 in Key West.
Sailing World


Nick Turney

A good way to describe today aboard _Spaceman Spiff _would be, “Think three steps ahead.” It was a great day for yacht racing; the conditions offered some challenging tactical sailing, with a passing front and a tidal change halfway through the day. You really had to be on your game.

On Spaceman, we just couldn’t get lucky. Lanes were hard to find, and we couldn’t get in phase at those key moments of the race. On days like today, you need to be three shifts ahead, planning your next three moves so you can place the boat properly on the racecourse against your competition. By doing this, you have a plan in place so when something unlucky occurs—like you get tacked on and lose your lane—you know what needs to happen and you can be proactive, instead of reactive, to the situation. We had some very strong moments and made lots of gains, but also had some very dumb moments that resulted in many losses.

All in all, I can honestly say I learned a lot today about tuning the rig and trimming the sails on the Farr 400. The boat is new, and the sail development is an ongoing process. But I think we made leaps and bounds towards what needs to happen to really make this boat go fast. We’re all still having a great time sailing the boat, and we’re very excited to participate and watch this class grow.


Cheers from Key West!

_ Access SW‘s complete coverage of Quantum Key West 2012. _