Opus Racing Team

Dream Big. Little dreams are for little people. The first step to winning is to just show up
Goal: To compete and finish the SwiftSure and VanIsle 360 races, with an eye towards eventual competition in the Vic-Maui race.
Proposal: Formation of a dedicated and serious team to race a C&C 43 sloop in club, local, and other races after a period of organized, directed, and focused training.
Proposed organization: Two cohorts, “A”, and “B”. “A” are the dedicated, core team, made up of people who have agreed to, and followed through on, a commitment to regular training. “B” are people who, for any reason other than dire emergencies, are unable to commit to the training schedule.

Race crew is the “A” cohort, enhanced by whatever number of “B” cohorts are needed and have the applicable skills necessary. Minimum crew for Opus in the VanIsle and SwiftSure races are 6 people aboard broken into two watches of three people. Better to have 8 people aboard for two watches of 4 people each. Short-form races, such as club races, may be done with a single watch of fewer people.

A person on the “A” cohort may be demoted to the “B” cohort if they have missed more than ____ practice sessions other than for dire reasons.

People will train for a particular position. Once _all_ people in the cohort have proven competency at their current position, formal cross-training to other positions will be provided. For example, if you are a “sail trimmer”, you will continue to be given only sail trimming responsibility until the cohort is showing race-ready competency. After that you will be given opportunity to cross train into another position. However, all positions will be expected to provide muscle power assistance where and as needed.

Expected positions are:

Helm/Navigator (2 positions / watch). While one helms, the other navigates. Switch every 30 minutes.

Trimmer/Grinder May be assisted by the off-helm helm/navigator

Foredeck May be combined with Trimmer and may call on any other crew for assistance

Additional positions:

Skipper Overall responsibility for safety of crew and vessel… and paperwork – Currently and likely will continue to be held by owner of the boat)

Tactician May be skipper as well




It is expected that training will be held weekly or bi-weekly once COVID allows. In addition, there will be long-duration training such as overnight or multi-day cruises to allow the crew to become accustomed to watch schedules and night operations.

Training will be focused and directed. For instance several weeks may be devoted to simply learning to efficiently raise and lower sails, or gybing or tacking the boat, or packing a sail, or starts, or emergency procedures, which means a lot of boring repetition of the same task because that’s how you get good at it.

You will be expected to actively try to learn more about your position through outside study, and you can expect quizzes during training regarding race rules so that we _all_ know the rules.

Equipment provided:

Opus is a 43-foot C&C “Custom” which has already twice won SwiftSure, placed in both the VanIsle 360, and Southern Straits races. She has crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice and is capable of ocean racing. She has an 11-sail inventory including 2 spinnakers, several head sails, 2 mains, many of which are Quantum racing sails. She carries 30 gallons of diesel fuel and 50 gallons of water and is a bit more comfortable than a purpose-built racing boat but is also more austere than many cruising boats.

She is currently going through refit and upgrade so will be equipped with AIS Class B+ Transceiver, Radar, B&G chart plotter, wireless connections to iPads, etc.

Pertinent data:
LOA: 43 ft/13.11 m LWL: 35 ft/10.57 m
Beam: 13.83 ft/4.22 m Draft: 8.1 ft/2.47 m
Displacement: 23,000 lbs
Equipment you will be expected to provide:

A race-worthy PFD suitable for the race in which we participate, generally including a harness suitable for use with jacklines.

A tether for securing yourself to the boat

A headlamp with red or blue light

Other personal sailing gear such as gloves, boat shoes, foulies, etc.

Financial Contribution: Except for personal expenses and food, it is expected that the yacht will pay for race expenses. Your contribution is your time and energy, although financial contributions will be gratefully accepted. Food bills may be split among the crew on a race – that hasn’t been decided yet.
Contact opus@kevinklop.ca

After every practice session and or race will be a debrief while things are still fresh in our minds. Debriefs may last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. _ALL_ suggestions for improvement are welcome. However, if they are critical of a person, remember to criticize the actions taken, not the person themself.

Quite frankly, Opus is a more capable boat than I am a racer. I will be right there along with you learning. I intend to bring in sailing and racing coaches to help me to get better.

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