3 Reasons for Sailing Fitness:
If you’re an intermediate-level sailor looking to improve, you may not have considered fitness as an important part of your plans. Being fit will help you sail faster, sail smarter, and be safer around the water.
1. Better Boat Speed
In all but the lightest winds, better fitness …. will get you around the course faster. Michael Blackburn – from “Sailing Fitness and Training”
OK, Michael Blackburn is a former Olympic sailor and fitness specialist, but even if you take your aspirations down a notch, fitness still makes a difference:
“I worked with the rowing machine for two months before the regatta. Bill Draheim, multiple class champion and 2nd place finisher at the MC Midwinters
Bill is not a big guy, but he sails the boat fast. One reason is that he trims the mainsail hard in moderate to heavy breeze and can hold it for long periods. If a perennial champion like Bill trains for an event, why shouldn’t you?
Do you sheet the mainsail hard enough?
2. Better Decisions
A fitter person who isn’t breathing as heavily will always make a better decision than the unfit bloke who’s puffing. Tom Slingsby – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Laser Class and current holder of the Americas Cup representing OTUSA
You’ve probably experienced it: you’re on the last beat of a windy race and in a good position, but some difficult situation arises, and your brain has turned to mush. So you blow the decision and all of a sudden you’ve lost three boats.
Safety is frequently a matter of being capable of handling the unexpected. Experienced sailors know that, in extreme situations, the difference between safety and tragedy can be a matter of physical strength and endurance. Harry Legum, Annapolis Sailing Fitness
Although some of us may have said we’d prefer to die on our sailboats, we’d probably prefer it to be from some more benign cause than an accident we didn’t have the strength to survive.