TRY YOUR BOAT-PRACTICE THE CREW One of the first things to bear in mind, is, that when once the race has started, there can be no " heaving to " to repair damages, or to make any alterations of importance, without the strong probability of putting yourself out of the race altogether ; it is therefore most unadvisable to come to the post, with the intention of starting for a race, without having previously tried your boat and her fittings thoroughly, upon all points of sailing, found her best trim both in smooth water and in a sea ; set and taken in your " running sails " with the wind right aft and on each quarter, and also practiced the crew at " tacking " and " reefing,' as it is generally im possible to foresee what weather there will be on the day of the race, and you may have to take in a reef in the middle of it. It is advisable when racing, to take some spare gear with you in the boat, in case of accidents of a slight nature, which might be repaired ; some spare rope, a spare block or two, a ball of spunyarn, and anything else which you think is at all likely to come in useful, and which can be easily stowed ; take one or two spare bailers in case you have to " carry on," for remember that every drop of loose water that you have in your boat, impedes her sailing and makes her cranker. Take also a pair of bin
oculars, they often come in useful for picking up the position of a mark boat, or buoy, which has to be rounded in the race, and which may be more or less masked, from being in a line with high land, or amongst shipping, or from any other cause ; and many a race has been lost from the leading boat not seeing, or mistaking a mark boat, and steering a course too far to leeward, and thus allowing "No. 2" to pass her and to win the race.