Putting Together a Team-Building Sailing Mini Regatta Experience

Putting Together a Team-Building Sailing Mini Regatta Experience, Putting Together a Team-Building Sailing Mini Regatta Experience

It’s fun to put together match races for team building because sailing is the perfect analogy for demonstrating cross-training. Here’s an outline for what to cover with the inexperienced crew, roles to assign, basic parts of the boat the new crew will need to know, and commands to practice. After that; discuss the weather, set a course, and race! Two out of three short matches is a good goal rather than one prolonged match with only one “winner.” This also allows everyone to swap jobs to experience different roles on the boat.

Cover with our new crew:

·         Safety equipment – location of and use (Federal Requirement: review this every charter) 

  • PFD’s
  • Type IV throwable device
  • Sound producing device
  • Flares
  • Fire extinguishers
  • VHF radio
  • Boat’s name
  • Toilet operation

·         Pit maintenance (no loose cannons)   ·         Painter’s tape; name on each person’s back

Introduce Parts of the boat and their functions

  • Main Sail – drives boat into wind
  • Jib Sail – pulls boat off the wind
  • Wind Indicator – points AT wind source
  • Depth Indicator (maybe too many details – use as needed for crew jobs)
  • Main Sheet (1) – location
  • Jib Sheets (2) – location
  • Winches – thumbs toward body, control, preventing overrides
  • Helm

Message from the Race Committee Chair:

(Put name of organizer here!): “While it’s important to master your position on the boat, it’s equally as important to understand what’s going on in other domains and what you can do to make your teammates’ life easier and help the boat sail smoothly. Our boat today is an analogy representing your company, your business, even your life. Sail clean today, racers! See you at the post-race party!”

Crew Jobs

  • Main sheet trimmer
  • Driver
  • Tactician / lookout / breeze caller
  • Headsail trimmer – grinders
  • Boat captain/race skipper
  • Ballast
  • Radio operator
  • Cook / Steward / Drink fetcher


·         Challenge and reply – “Person Name” “trim the main.” Person says “trimming the main.”

 Trim means bring in          ·         Ease means let out

Basics to Cover

  • Apparent wind
  • Barging
  • Head, tack, clew
  • Gybing
  • Luff, leach, foot
  • Weather helm
  • Lifts / Headers
  • Luffing / Pinching
  • Stalling
  • Tacking
  • Tacking angle
  • Telltale

Racing Terms

  • Protest
  • Committee Boat
  • Regatta (series of races)
  • Starboard Tack v/s Port Tack
  • Leeward v/s Windward Tack
  • Room at the Mark
  • Overlap (bow past stern)
  • Windward Leg, Reaching Leg, Downwind Leg
  • Handicaps
  • Windward Mark
  • Leeward Mark
  • Lay Lines
  • Penalty

Briefing with today’s goals, strategy

Weather, course, sail settings, right-of-way, starts, technique.


Head out, and race!

Putting Together a Team-Building Sailing Mini Regatta Experience, Putting Together a Team-Building Sailing Mini Regatta Experience

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