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C-SUITES & BOARDS

Lessons from yacht racing

Elite ocean racing crews grapple with multiple purposes, and draw upon gut feeling, technical knowledge, and attentiveness to others when making decisions in risky and dangerous situations. Elite ocean racing poses potential risk to life and limb because features inherent to competitive sailing, such as uncertain weather, complex tidal systems, and equipment failures, can lead to the boat capsizing, crew falling overboard or injury from heavy equipment.


Due to these risks, sailing crews must be self-reliant, demonstrate high concentration for sustained periods of time, and work together to make and implement decisions quickly. However, safety is only part of a crew’s motivation and responsibility. Elite ocean racing requires heavy investment and teams frequently operate as for-profit businesses. Therefore, winning and protecting the owner’s assets are also of paramount concern during a race.

"I have to say that after immersing myself and my team in the program for 4 months prior to the great race (we really connected ….and I found myself listening more than talking) …and working harder on my leadership skills than ever before.  We also removed a lot of white noise and distractions within our communication channels that usually get noisier with wild unpredictable weather and raised testosterone.


It successfully enhanced our performance and the results proved that ….it worked …. we won  our division in last year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. "

©2020 by Dr Elizabeth King

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