Interviews with the Lead Pack- Tyler Burd

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

Tyler Burd, New England

How long have you been sailing F18s?

TB:  6 years in F18s, and 10 years total in cats (H16, F18HT, and N20)

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

TB:  Crossfit! I did not feel in good enough shape after the 2012 Worlds in Long Beach, so I started doing more weight lifting and cardio to prepare for this event.

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

TB:  Time in the boat.

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?

TB:  We have gotten a lot better at tuning the boat for the conditions, and also recognizing when we are not tuned correctly. I think this helped keep our boatspeed high throughout the course of the event, and allowed us to focus more on tactics and strategy.

What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?

TB:  On day 2, a boat pitchpoled directly in front of us during a run leg, and our only option was to drive down below them as they pitchpoled. Somehow we survived the bear-away, but their mast and sail came down directly on top of me (I was on the wire trimming the kite). Their rig came down pretty slow, so I was able to grab the mast and push it away. We ducked, and sailed under their mainsail and just kept going!

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

TB:  On day 1, the new spinnaker halyard I made was slipping out of the cleat. Very frustrating as I had to wrap the halyard around the cleat itself every time I set the kite and unwrap it every time I doused it. I fixed the halyard the next morning by thickening it at the cleating section, but the bigger frustration was that it was not perfect at the start of the event. Lesson learned to check and double check the equipment before the start on a event.

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

TB:  At one start we were overpowered, but trying to hold our lane and poke out into clear air. Instead of living with being overpowered for a few minutes, I crouched in and pulled the mast rotater and added some cunningham. This threw us out of sync and slowed us down just enough for the boat upwind to roll us. We ended up having to tack away and duck some boats. Overall it was a big loss.

Next time, I will live in the overpowered state until we are for sure in clear air before I make any small adjustments to the rotator or cunningham.

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

TB:  Fitness. If you are in good shape, then you can focus on sailing the boat instead of feeling tired (especially as a crew).

Bob Merrick (right)  and Tyler Burd, Sixth place overall at the 2013 Americas Championship

Bob Merrick (right) and Tyler Burd, Sixth place overall at the 2013 Americas Championship