sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: The Coach has an OK Busman's Holiday
America's Cup: The Coach has an OK Busman's Holiday

'OK Dinghy’s racing off Takapuna'    Miranda Powrie

Emirates Team NZ Coach, Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, Rod Davis takes on the mighty NZ OK Dinghy fleet at the 50th National Championships, held at Napier in early January:

A couple of months ago I bought an OK dinghy. New Zealand has a long history in OK’s with Kiwi’s winning nearly a dozen world championships in the last 40 years. But winning or even finding the podium for the worlds or nationals for that matter, was not my motivation for getting an OK.

Greed was the biggest factor. I wanted to sail and race for myself, you know, just because it’s super fun thing to do.

Rod Davis  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©  
As a professional sailor and coach, I do regattas all over the world and spend months away from shores of New Zealand. Each one is fun in its own way but each has the pressure of winning as the overriding (and only) measure of achievement. I have yet to meet an owner, sponsor or boss that does not have the attitude that winning is the only thing. That is fine with me, as that is what we do: It's our responsibility to increase teams' chances of winning, by out-thinking and out-working our competition.

All good but....and here is the imperative point, only one team can win. So there will be disappointment aplenty for those who think winning is the only thing. This can lead to a pressure cooker situation for sailors, coaches and owners. It is the same in all top end sports: Rugby, football, cricket... Still it is great fun out thinking your competition, if you like (or can handle) stress.

At the 50th OK NZ nationals last week, the difference between the my professional world and the new, or (should I say) re-found sailing for myself world, could not be clearer. First - get the boat to the regatta yourself, and rig it. I could spend hours and hours just fussing with boats, so rigging it and tinkering with this and that suits me perfectly. Measuring the mast rake, and sanding the bottom brings enjoyment. Just messing with boats is part of the fun. Raise the sail, push your boat to the water and your off - just like we all used to do when we got hooked on sailing.

If you want lunch or water.....you better bring it. There are no coach boats to follow you around and wipe your nose. Same goes for current or weather information. You want it, you go get it.

Rod Davis, Newport 1977 age: 21years old - four years after he last sailed a centreboarder -    
I reckon it builds a stronger bond between the competitors, or maybe is just an OK sailors bond, but everyone is happy to help each other. Rake information, sharing weather forecasts, little ideas about how to improve this or that- makes the boat park a very different and friendlier world to the Olympic or America’s Cup one.

At the end of the day, after you pull your boat up the ramp, wash it off, bail it out and put it away the debrief starts. In the professional world debriefing starts with crew work videos, then goes into what that coaches saw and improvements to implement for tomorrow. In the OK Dinghy world, a debrief starts with an ice cold beer, chats on how get the best out of the boat and the occasional sea story. The debrief goes on for a couple of beers, the stories get better and better.

The Nationals first day was in 20-25 knots of wind. As I looked up wind a few times, the thought come to me, 'I just hope I finish this day without capsizing,..... too many times'. Not a great start (I couldn’t start a lawnmower the first day!) and was mid fleet at mark one. By the time I got to the first gybe mark there were two boats capsized trying to gybe around it. My turn, I keep repeating the three pieces of advice the vets gave me. Make sure you going fast into the gybe, vang off at last second and back on right away, overturn the boat (don’t come out on a low course) Oh, be brave - DON'T chicken out & be sure to duck! I survived it, NICE...but I did manage a capsize later on in the race.

The last time I raced a centreboard boat, I was 17 and the Laser had just been introduced. Been decades of Stars and Solings racing but they can’t capsize. The learning curve is steep but manageable. That just makes it more entertaining. It will be months before I am truly up to speed but the challenge of getting there is my goal, not getting instant results.

I had modest goals for the Nationals: Do the basics well (starting, tactics, & boat handling) and finish in the top half. Sometimes the 'sailor' didn’t carry out to the 'coaches' game plan, as in boat handling and too many capsizes. Hell I capsized twice sailing home one day. In fairness, one of the death rolls on the way home was trying find where the edge is between board up, vane off, boom out and by the lee. As the mast hit the water, I thought: make a note- the edge is somewhere less aggressive than these settings. By the end of the regatta I was going better down wind, competitive. Maybe, even a click better than some.

Another difference in my two worlds is: Money coming in the door vs Money going out the door. If the money is going out the door I am determined to maximize the fun factor. In that quest I could not ask for any more from my experience thus far. Most fun I had racing sail boats in the last decade!

I imagine there are lots of people like me, so the future of the OK class in NZ looks a lot better than just OK.


by Rod Davis

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=105662

11:50 AM Thu 17 Jan 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

17 Jan 2013  NZ Laser Nationals: Day 1, Race 1 and tomorrow is another day
17 Jan 2013  Hartley 16 National: Holdts galore on Day 1
15 Jan 2013  Classic fleet comes together for two major regattas in Auckland
14 Jan 2013  Strong winds hit Starling North Islands at Wellington
13 Jan 2013  Images of the Waitemata: 18ft skiffs training for the JJ Giltinan - 2
13 Jan 2013  Images of the Waitemata: 18ft skiffs training for the JJ Giltinan
13 Jan 2013  Bay of Islands Sailing Week: Regatta Ramblings No 6
11 Jan 2013  P Class: Strong winds play havoc with Tanner and Tauranga Cups
11 Jan 2013  Auckland Anniversary Regatta: Radio controlled yachts on at two venues
07 Jan 2013  2013 Tall Ships and Classics: Video from Ocean Photography
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Rod Davis - why I left Team NZ *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,




















America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland




2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
















Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,










Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia   
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing   
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third   
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer   
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT