Planning for success: Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup

8th November 2013

Whether dealing with a win or a loss, learning from past experiences is always key in understanding how you plan for future events and knowing how to avoid the pitfalls as well as building on successes.

Great Britain’s team manager for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup in 2012, Nigel King, has hailed the RYA’s involvement in working with the teams through the selection process and in the build-up to the BDCC, and believes it was one of the key factors to GBR’s success.

And with the RYA now urging interested parties to register their interest in the BDCC Owners Meeting which will take place at the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), London, on Monday 25th November, King highlights the importance of early planning to put all of the RYA teams in the best possible position come the starting gun on the 20th July 2014.

“Whenever an owner enters an event it is always for a date far in the distance, so it’s easy for preparation to be left to slip over the winter and start planning when the season begins,” said King.

“Running a competitive selection trial, early in the year with a clear notice of race, respected and experienced selection committee plus the carrot of being selected to be a GBR representative team is not only a great opportunity for the owners and teams but it also gives a great competitive edge to your early season sailing. The benefit is not only the event itself but you also have a much better chance of turning up for that event prepared to perform and with an understanding of what is required to perform.”

King, who led GBR Red’s three boat team to a famous victory in the Solent at the 2012 event, has once again been selected by the Royal Yachting Association as the perfect candidate to guide GBR in their defence of the prestigious trophy at the 2014 event.

“The 2012 success was down to the selectors doing a great job of picking teams that all had the potential to perform through a wide range of courses and conditions. Once the teams are selected the managers role is to help facilitate all the other key components that goes into an event like the Commodores’ Cup, allowing the sailors to concentrate on what they came to do.

“Once the teams are selected the team manager/coach will be able to work with the teams with input from the selectors to come up with a training plan to make sure the sailors arrive at the event as prepared as possible. During the event there is a huge amount of shared information, planning and logistics that can go into helping the teams perform to the highest level.”

Team GBR Red, which was made up of Dignity (Mills 39), Eaujet (Archambault 35) and Keronimo (Ker 40), sealed the title in impressive style with a 63-point victory over second-placed GBR White in the biennial event, which is known for its tough mix of inshore and offshore racing conditions.

“For most big boat sailors team racing is not a normal concept and although you could not use team racing rules there was a lot that the boats could do to help each other every day. All of the GBR boats last year worked hard to work with their other team members to share information and support their other team members, to get the best out of their boats. There was a real air of shared responsibility to every member of their teams in 2012 and they worked hard to support each other.”

King goes on to identify the key attributes which the selection committee will be looking for, and more importantly what he feels will make for a winning team in 2014.

“As always you need committed owners, supported by solid sailing teams in well-prepared boats. Because of the nature of the event, it is very important that the boats work hard to do the basics well and be competitive across the wind range and for a variety of courses - inshore, costal and offshore."

The Commodores' Cup, which started in 1992, is an international three-boat team event using the IRC Rating system and is open to boats rated between 1.020 and 1.230, with only one boat rated above 1.150.

The RYA is urging interested parties to register their interest in the BDCC Owners Meeting at RORC on Monday 25th November as soon as possible.