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A Regatta Routine

Summer is the season for youth championship regattas and this summer many of you will be participating in races, both locally and abroad.  While it is important to focus on your physical training and tactics, it is just as important to be mentally and logistically prepared. Having a checklist can help keep you organized and one of our sailors has graciously shared their checklist from the CISA 2019 Advanced Racing Clinic.  This list is by no means comprehensive and should be tailored to your own pre-race routine.


Before a Regatta

Six Months Before

  • Review Notice of Race

  • Shipping arrangements or boat charter

  • Flight reservations

  • Accomodations

  • Local transportation

  • Register for race

One Month Before

  • Inspect entire boat before shipping

  • Fix all major stuff

  • Funding applications

  • Confirm seat assignments

Enroute to Race

  • Review this checklist

  • Read past regatta notes

  • Review regatta history

Just Before Race

  • Read sailing instructions

  • Meet officials and jury

  • Establish time for team meetings

  • Find three local knowledge sources

  • McLube everything

  • Check entire boat, again

  • Complete work list

General Strategy

  • Identify the single most important issue or trend of the regatta

  • Look around every 15 seconds to stay mentally engaged

  • Take no rule risks and if protested, do turns

  • Always ask what we can do to improve our performance

  • Talk to other competitors, ask questions, look at and/or photograph their boats/sails

On Race Day

Race Day Morning

  • Stretch

  • Food and water for boat

  • Read Notice Board

  • Weather and local forecast

  • Frame of mind

  • Discuss what we know about the conditions anticipated today

  • What would be the ideal course sailed

  • Tally out

On the Water Before Start

  • Get a tuning partner to sail out with

  • Frame of mind

  • Discuss:  side, shifts, pressure, and current

  • Check current and discuss effects on starting and laylines

  • Continually sail upwind and down checking line, headings, pressure, and setup

  • Predetermine what changes you would make if not fast

  • Keep watching all marks

  • Get all RC signals/flags


  • Right after start speed input from crew

  • Equal or slower speed is unacceptable

  • Begin assessing which side is better

  • Driver notes heading and land sights, looks around every 15 seconds

  • Crew should always be looking around for pressure, layline distance, fleet orientation

  • Constantly discuss: next tack/jibe, shift, pressure, traffic, or layline

  • Discuss next leg:  winning side for shift or pressure; opposite side for current

  • Predetermine which tack or jibe you want to exit the next mark

  • Approach windward mark from low density side and below layline if behind

  • Anticipate and plan for clear lanes

  • Set boat up for next leg

After Racing

  • Tally in

  • Inspect boat

  • Make all repairs now

  • Debrief:  setup, tactics, boathandling, and communication

  • Check Notice Board

  • Ask the fast sailors what they are doing and look at their boats


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