What is (are) your name(s), and where do you sail?
Mike Easton. We sail mostly in New England, but really all over.
How long have you been sailing F18s?
ME: 8 years
Did you do anything special to prepare for the 2013 F18 Americas Championship?
ME: Gearing up to the event we put in a bunch of gym time to make sure fitness during the event wasn’t going to be an issue. Once we got to the regatta site, we looked over all our rigging and replaced any lines, blocks, or rigging that looked suspicious and might result in a breakdown during the event.
What do you think was the biggest factor in your success in Sarasota?
ME: Teamwork and sailing consistently – not trying to win every race (although that would have been nice).
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?
ME: Lots of training and racing in all sorts of conditions. We kept working the boat to go as fast as possible no matter what. We also communicated constantly and made sure that at least one person on the boat was paying attention to all the wind shifts and puffs that were on the course.
What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?
ME: Realizing that we had just won the event when the RC called off the final race.
Every event has difficult moments. What was yours, and how did you overcome that setback?
ME: Good question, we had a few of them. Our most difficult moment was probably the entire first day. After getting some good starts and having good speed, we couldn’t figure out the puffs and shifts and started to get a little frustrated. We kept hanging in there, passing boats where we could, and reminding ourselves that its the beginning of a long regatta and not to do anything stupid.
If you could get a redo for one sailing mistake during the week, what would it be? what would you do differently?
ME: I’d take back my tack to try and cross Gunnar when we were winning the race and leading him out to the left-hand side of the course. I got impatient that we were approaching the layline and thought we could tack and cross, but i screwed up the tack and ended up fouling Gunnar, having to spin, and loosing the lead. If i could do it again, i’d have been more patient and conservative and waited for Gunnar to tack first.
For new teams just getting into F18 sailing, what would be your biggest piece of advice?
ME: 3 pieces of advice:
1. Buy our boat! (it’s for sale)
2. Sail as much as possible
3. Ask anyone that is better than you lots of questions to figure out how to go faster and make less mistakes.