Friday, July 07, 2006


Team work starts with communication. In order to execute perfect manevours everybody on the boat has to be able to communicate with short, precise, and cool commands. This is a little tricky when the racing gets thight and the team is international. At last weekends regatta we had an Italian bowman, Franco. While he was very capable, he was a little confused as we discussed most of the time in Turkish, and then switched to English from time to time, and then even some other times I tried to communicate with him in Italian! That's where the fun started.
One of the things that we had to tell Franco was when to take the spi pole out and get ready for the drop. To make the communication for this easier I asked Burcu (she speaks fluent Italian) what spi-pole is called in Italian: tangone. So, I thought when we were ready I tell him simply "tangone" and he starts with the procedure. So far, so good. But, during the hectic of the first race, and when we were approaching the downwind mark, I called to Franco: "stanza". He looked back at me, doing nothing. I called one more time: "stanza". He still didn't do anything. Now, we were really getting close to the mark, needed a very good rounding, and I was getting overly excited. I yelled my lungs out: "stanzzaaaa !!!" Burcu interfered as well, and finally Franco got going and the spi dropped just in time, as we rounded the mark.
We could only talk about the event, when racing was over and we were back in the marina. Suddenly, I realized that "stanza" did not mean spi-pole at all! I asked Burcu what the hell I was yelling at Franco. She said "room". We all started laughing. Especially from Franco's point of view, the situation was absurd. You go to a regatta with a bunch of guys you see for the first time in your life, and then in the middle of all the heat, the helmsmann starts to yell at you, "room, room, roooommm!"....the poor guy was really confused. He told Burcu that he even thought about yelling back at me his room number at the hotel !!!
Next day, things went just fine even though I still mixed up "stanza" and "tangone" from time to time...but now, Franco knew better.


Blogger Tillerman said...

That's so funny. Communication within a crew is hard enough even in one language.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes yes it's true.. english+turkish+italian...We call it as a ASURE !
It was great fun and great experiance for me. Now Franco has a new nick name... Stanzaaaaa :)


12:33 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

ged de koit up, I mean: get the kite up!
That´s what Lindsay Kennedy said to me in Weymouth at the FD Worlds 1974. I did not understand one word at first but later we got going. The Kiwi slang is so difficult to understand for a German but I got the hang of it. What suited me most and helped through my sailing career, when the crew (learned this from Lindsey) says to me: "Manfred, be concentrated!". I tend to be a fiddler of the strings but as a helmsman, one must only concentrate on the boat speed, waves, etc.
On another note Orkun, I read your blog with pleasure. It reminds me to my days of match racing. I read everything, tried a lot of things, organised events, practised, but mostly failed at events due to lack of constant crew and thus communication problems mostly from my side. I later decided to team up with a top German IMS crew only for Match Race Events and this paid at the end. Got the results. The crew liked the kind of format. They arranged themselves with 3,4 or 5 guys, whatever we needed and we communicated a lot via e-mail after the heat of things. BMW were sponsoring the big events in Germany on Dehler 34´s. Event ratings and rankings were unknown and it was all fun!

11:48 AM  

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