Interviews with the Lead Pack- Bob Merrick

What is (are) your name(s), and where do you sail?

Bob Merrick, New England

How long have you been sailing F18s?

BM:  I’ve been sailing F18’s for three years. Before F18’s I raced Hobie 16’s, and 470’s before that.

Did you do anything special to prepare for the 2013 F18 Americas Championship?

BM:  We did our normal summer regatta circuit. Other than that we replaced all the lines on the boat to make sure we didn’t have any breakdowns. I do crossfit to stay in shape.

What do you think was the biggest factor in your success in Sarasota?

BM:  I don’t think we have quite achieved success in the class yet, but we still have a good learning curve going.

The Americas Championship was a 17 race event with conditions from 5-25 knots. How did you manage to have success over such a broad range of conditions?

BM:  We have better speed over a broader range than we did last year. Also I finally managed to start well for an entire event.

What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?

BM:  Another boat flipped on top of us during one of the windy downwind legs. Tyler and I ended up with matching bruises on the right side of our back. Somehow we made it through without breaking anything.

Every event has difficult moments. What was yours, and how did you overcome that setback?

BM:  We sailed a throw-out in the first race of the regatta. What can you do? You just sail the next race.  We got a 4th in the second race and that helped our confidence a bit.

If you could get a redo for one sailing mistake during the week, what would it be? what would you do differently?

BM:  We had a great start in the first race and tacked out of pressure, immediately loosing about 15 boats.  That hurt.

For new teams just getting into F18 sailing, what would be your biggest piece of advice?

BM:  De-power earlier and more aggressively than you think going upwind, and push the boat harder than you think you can going downwind.

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Sixth overall at the Americas Championship, Bob Merrick (right) and Tyler Burd.

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