What is (are) your name(s), and where do you sail?
Ravi Parent, I sail in Sarasota, FL on the Sarasota Bay.
How long have you been sailing F18s?
RP: I have been sailing F18’s for 3 years now, starting in the middle of my freshman year in high school.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the 2013 F18 Americas Championship?
RP: I trained twice a week in multihulls, F18s and F16s, and two additional days in monohulls in order to perfect boat-handling maneuvers and learn the wind patterns of the bay. I also train 6 days a week in order to keep myself in peak physical condition which proved helpful on the windy days. Over the summer I traveled to three high caliber multihull regattas in order to gain big line starting experience, battle against other top teams, and re-learn wind patterns in different venues.
What do you think was the biggest factor in your success in Sarasota?
RP: My time spent consistently practicing in the boat prior to the event was the biggest factor in my success in Sarasota. I mastered fast boat-handling techniques and limited my mistakes in the boat which helped me hold consistently fast boatspeed on all parts of the course.
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?
RP: I had prepared in all these conditions prior to the event. I gained big wind and wave experience in regattas over the summer and was comfortable in these conditions. I knew what needed to be done on the race course and took each race one at a time. I was in a disadvantage on the windy days as I was a light team, but I focused on my strengths during the races, upwind and downwind angle rather than speed, and used these to my advantage. I positioned myself on the start and around other boats in a way that took full advantage of these strengths.
What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?
RP: My most memorable regatta moment was winning the final race of the regatta. The actual winning of the race wasn’t the most significant part for me, but actually the combination of all the right moves my teammate and I made during that race. Our decisions during the race displayed the results of our persistent training and showed that all our hard work paid off when we were able to nail the start, maintain fast boatspeed, and call the correct shifts on the course. Winning this race showed me that hard work truly does pay of and that I am capable of achieving my desired results through all this hard work and preparation.
Every event has difficult moments. What was yours, and how did you overcome that setback?
RP: My difficult moments occurred on the windiest day of the regatta, Wednesday. I was a light team and knew I would not have a boatspeed advantage on this day. In order to overcome this setback I chose to take each race, even each leg of the race, one moment at a time and focus on how I can make the best of each situation on the race course for my ability in the boat. I pushed as hard as I could and maintained decent race results, kept a positive attitude, and reminded myself that there were many more races left in the regatta for us to regain positions on the scoreboard.
If you could get a redo for one sailing mistake during the week, what would it be? what would you do differently?
RP: I would have started more conservatively during race 3 of the regatta. Unfortunately I was scored OCS during this race which I had actually won and if I had started more conservatively and made sure I was not over early at the start I would have had the same chance to win the race and would not have used one of my race discards, placing my points closer to that of the competitors in third place on the final day of racing.
For new teams just getting into F18 sailing, what would be your biggest piece of advice?
RP: Spend as much time as you can perfecting your boat-handling and boatspeed before events. It is important to perfect these aspects of racing so you can forget about them while you are actually on the race course. If you are able to maintain fast boatspeed and limit boat-handling errors, you will be able to devote more time and energy to analyzing the wind conditions and predicting shifts.