Teamwork in the 49erFX
The 49er European Championships are due to kick off in Weymouth on the 13th May 2019 and we are looking forward to watching some world class sailing!
The 49er & 49erFX are the “formula 1” boats of sailing, the 49erFX is the women’s double handed skiff class in the Olympics which requires strength, endurance, tactical skill and teamwork! Steph Orton and her helm Megan Brickwood are hoping to position in the Top 20 at this year’s European Championships and believe by working as a team effectively they can achieve this!
British sailor Steph Orton has given us some insights into the team life as a 49erFX sailor.
What are the different team roles in the 49erFX?
You have a helm and a crew, both have different roles in the boat to optimise pace and performance… the helm steers the boats and communicates ‘the bigger picture’ of the race (wind, waves and tactical plan), whilst the crew is in charge of the sail position and boat setup to maximise speed as well as communicating ‘the immediate effects’ of the race (where the boat is heading, positioning in the fleet).
“It’s like one person steering a car whilst the other person is changing the gears”.
Communication and teamwork is key in an FX team, in and out of the boat. As well as on the water, we have to work together to manage our ‘Olympic Campaign’. Teamwork cannot occur without complete trust in each other’s roles and decisions in order to execute effectively.
As well as working within a team together, we also work with the whole of the British Sailing Team, our coach and other FX training partners.
How do you ensure you work well together as a team?
We manage and review our goals on a regular basis and openly communicate to ensure we are both working towards the same thing. The most important aspect of ensuring we work well together is by building a friendship in order to understand each other and bring out one another’s strengths.
What’s the best part of being in a team together?
The best part of working as a team is being able to share the experiences and live the dream with your friend. This creates a bond and sense of achievement that only you and your teammate can understand. We are both goal driven people living in an intense environment, therefore being able to enjoy the journey with each other is key!
We wish Steph and Megan the best of luck at the 49er Europeans along with the rest of their team mates in the British Sailing Team!