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Match Racing: Leadership or Team Work?

  
  
  
  

Olympic Match Racing from Match Race Center on Vimeo.

This is a great video showcasing match racing and it graphically demonstrates why I like the sport so much.  It's "sailing on steroids" and requires better team work than any other racing format.  Because the races are so short, and the battle can be decided in the first four minutes, a team that's not completely in sync will get it's doors blown off.

When you hear skippers talking to the media after a match race, you realize that winning isn't about leadership. Without fail, the helmsperson will mention her team as the primary factor in the victory. 

Fund-raising for the campaign, building the team, preparing the boat, organizing practices, and setting goals for the events leading to the Olympics require as much leadership as any other endeavor.  But execution on the water depends far less on "real-time" leadership than it does on cohesiveness and a steady flow of information between highly skilled individuals, each in clearly defined roles.

I've heard some skippers say "I don't know why I'm doing the talking... all I do is drive!"