Sea Scouts around the world compete in competitions that we call regattas every year. The regattas test a Sea Scout crew’s abilities in numerous forms including teamwork, application of knowledge, piloting and navigational skills, and even individual abilities such as sailing and the ability to climb a rope. In these regattas, crews must work together to do their best. Of course, to do this, a great deal of practice is required on the part of everyone who is going to compete.
Depending on how much practice they get, a crew can be good at certain things and not do so well at others. While one crew may have an affinity to doing one activity, another crew might be more skilled at doing another. The members of each crew are the same. While one member may be able to climb a rope faster than everyone else, another member might be better skilled with more intellectual based activities such as piloting or radio events. One of the main jobs of the quarterdeck of each crew during these regattas is to realize everyone’s abilities and place people in certain positions according to their own skill sets. Having someone in a position where they aren’t comfortable or where they aren’t skilled can be dangerous depending on the event, especially if they don’t get time to practice.
Practice makes perfect of course. It also keeps people safe. As I stated before, having someone in a position they aren’t used to can be dangerous. It’s always good to take safety precautions first when a member is trying out a position that can be harmful if done wrong. Say you have a Scout in Breeches Buoy who is a runner. If he steps in the endless whip or gets caught up in a line, that could be a problem for everyone. Of course, in regattas there are judges who make sure that the Scouts stay safe while they compete, but it’s still a very good idea to make sure that during practices, you make sure that not only yourself, but your crew is safe as well.
Attendance is key. If a regatta is coming up and you want to have the best team you can possibly have, try to get as many people who will be competing there to practice as you possibly can. The best is having everyone there. Practicing with the people who are competing is important because, say you know you’ll have a specific team for an event such as Floatilla, or Pull Boat, but you are short one person at the practice, so you just swap him/her out for someone else who won’t even be at the regatta. At the time it might work but the problem is that the crew will get used to that person and when you get to the regatta later on, they won’t be used to working with the person that wasn’t there. Not to mention that the person who wasn’t there won’t have as much practice either
Finally, the biggest key to a good regatta team is respect towards your crew and to other crews. You probably aren’t going to win every event and that’s okay. The most important part is that you respect those who do better than you and even take advice from them on how to get better. Every crew trains differently for regattas so it’s best to see what works for your crew and improve upon it as you go.