The Importance of Good Crew

Nick Craig writes

“For me, the crew at the Endeavour is more important than anything else and makes the difference between winning & not.

It is no accident that most of the events I’ve won have been with the same four crews – Toby Lewis, Fiona Clark, James Stewart & Keith Bedborough. They are all amazingly talented sailors and teamwork in a boat takes time to build – I’ve sailed with each of these crews for at least seven years.

While they’re four very different individuals, what is common to them all is an intense desire to win – and at their respective peaks – exceptionally high levels of fitness. That intensity and desire to win is key – as after eight races at the Endeavour Championships – no matter how fit a crew is it will hurt a lot. So they’ve got to be incredibly competitive to keep driving through that pain and also put up with me at the back of a boat! I’m very competitive when I sail wanting to get every last inch out the boat so having a crew with the same mindset is key.

Without doubt, I would have won zero Endeavours without the services of these fine crews. Their fitness & desire to win means their hiking is excellent & unflinching which has been a key ingredient in giving me good upwind speed in breeze. Their kite work & downwind body movement is spot on giving me good downwind pace and I can barely remember a time in 14 years of competing in the Endeavour when we’ve lost places due to issues with kite hoists or drops, which can be very tricky in an unfamiliar boat.

They have also given great tactical input at key times to broaden my perspective and make sure I’m not missing windshifts, sailing through the start line and where other boats are, all of which are critical but easy to miss with the high pace at which the Endeavour is sailed at.

It’s high time one of these amazing crews won Yachtsman of the Year!”