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he made the call

Mike Danielson, injured tactician from Blue in the ‘You Make The Call” video below and one of sailing’s biggest cheerleaders, gives us his own call, and the lessons he learned from it.  Add your opinion in the thread

I take responsibility on a number of levels here. While we had a bail out plan up to 12 seconds before the start, the other boat came up to below our line after having a WL situation with another boat, and then they laid on a matching course below us, opening the door wide for a boat-end start.

My biggest mistake was not learning from his erratic movement with the other boat and not anticipating possible aggravated movement from him later. BBR is definitely a cruisers’ regatta and while it is meant to be laid back, there are always folks that know just enough to be dangerous, and they are often pushing to show they’re real racers. I’ve been racing for my entire life and I should know this kind of thing will happen; I should be looking out for erratic drivers, giving my own developing helmsperson extra time and information to deal with the head-to-wind, take-him-to-the-moon type, that are looking to prove a point. I saw the signs of him coming up aggressively, and even though he did not warn us, I should have anticipated it.

For those watching the video, remember that it’s a fisheye lens on a gimbal; it exaggerates angles depending on where the subject is. When Camelot turns up, we turn up as well, but they turn up a lot faster, luffing their jib in the process, just before first contact. And for others of you who haven’t read any of the accounts; NO, you never try to find off a semi truck. My legs were broken when I was knocked off my feet, sliding down the aft deck with my lower legs getting over the rail at just the wrong time. The end of Camelot’s hip check squashed them.

Rules are there for a reason, and perceptions of time and opportunity change quite a bit with experience. The biggest lesson for me? You must ALWAYS know your own crew and skipper’s abilities, and you must always try to stay ahead mentally of your competition – especially when they are carrying kayaks on deck. There are lots of reasons to be ‘on guard’ when racing big boats with and against infrequent racers…and I should have been far more on my guard. A painful lesson that I hope everyone learns from. On a positive note, imagine how much more time I have to check out Sailing Anarchy now!

Thank you all for the many well wishes, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Vallarta YC over the next few weeks; first for WesMex and then the Olympiada. It really is one of the best racing venues anywhere in the world.
Best Regards,

Mike

 

April 11th, 2013

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