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Coach’s Corner

Sailboat Planner  –  Sailboat racing can often give you the urge to sail somewhere else, somewhere exotic, and most importantly, somewhere with different COMPETITION!  Yes, I’m talking about a place were you don’t know that sailor rounding the leeward mark with you, or when you reach shore and check the results, and you see big names from different countries all over the world.

Sounds great! Now how do I get there?  How do I get my boat there?  And then there’s the minor detail of—dare I ask?—how much is it going to cost? Eeeek! I have always stated that a sailor has two jobs they could always count on if they found themselves on hard on times: a shepherd (I’ll discuss this in a future article), and a discount world travel planner.  This is where someone might come in and say, “I need to see the world on the strictest budget imaginable, and also carry large awkward items to some of the most barren of all places,” to which the sailor/travel planner would reply, “Not a problem.  Where would you like to go first?”

 

See, every sailor knows that this sport is not cheap.  We have all been stuck on the side of the road with a 12-boat trailer and no gas, stayed in hotels were you could pay by the hour, and had a food budget of five dollars a day. And who would have guessed?  That’s all part of the sport!
    When the average Joe hears that you are a sailor, you get one of two reactions:  1) You are a drunk.  2) You are rich.

Sometimes you can combine the two a little bit, but for the most part, sailors who compete on an international level are NEITHER (mostly because you cannot afford a 12-euro beer on a 5-dollar budget)! Regardless of stereotypes, here are a few tips to make travel easy and, of course, CHEAP:

Plan ahead: 

Yes, I’ll say it again: preparation is what makes or breaks a sailboat racer’s career.  Flights are cheaper when you book early. So is registration.

Don’t try to be the Puff Daddy of sailing:
 When you have a choice between the minivan that can hold seven sailors or the (extremely cool-looking) convertible that holds two, remember that the more sailors, the more people to split the cost.  Plus, it’s hard to rooftop a Laser with no roof.

Make friends:
Be nice to everyone.  They might let you stay at their house, and maybe even FEED YOU!

Fund-raise:
There are all kinds of fun ways to do this.  Make it enjoyable for all, don’t get greedy and, whether it’s five cents or five thousand, always be very grateful.  That nickel could be the difference between a flight home, and having to hitchhike.

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So go online, get the most up-to-date race calendars for the race boats in which you want to compete, and start planning, making arrangements and getting the good deals.  And, of course, don’t forget to practise sailing in the meantime! 

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