Sailing gives us many things – freedom, challenges, excitement, frustrations, the occasional bout of fear (and sea sickness!) and most importantly, a sense of teamwork and the opportunity of building strong relationships with our key partners.
Sailing from Port Hamble Marina, we set off to the famous Solent sailing area in our 37ft yachts. The morning session was spent on coaching from our professional skippers who demonstrated the equipment on board, covered the basic principles of sailing as well as delivering a safety briefing. We were then given tasks to work on as a team so that we were fully involved in the running of the boat – from hoisting the sails, steering, crew and rope work! With encouragement, it was now down to us to get hands on…
Once we completed the initial training, the sailing yachts were pitted against each other around a set course to put our skills, knowledge and communication to the test in a mini regatta.
After two wet and very windy races we dropped the anchors and enjoyed a pit stop for lunch before the final, ultimate race to put our newly-found sailing manoeuvres to the test. Once the six yachts took their places, the teams ensured they were prepared for the ‘Jibe’ and ‘Tacking’ commands from the skippers and ready to run (or hold on for dear life!) to the opposite side of the boat to take their ‘hiking’ positions.
With the boats in full swing it was a close call between the winning team receiving their ‘yacht’ trophies and the losing team receiving their ‘dummies guide to sailing’.
So what have we learnt from our sailing day? .
Yacht racing is an effective way of developing relationships in business as well as providing an exhilarating and memorable day away from the office.
Sailing is a fun and rewarding way to get to know your colleagues better, as within hours (or even minutes) of sailing, you’re working together to undertake a series of missions.
Sailing is a true team activity with total interdependence on your team-mates, multiple roles, challenging task demands and constantly changing conditions; it’s a great way to learn and experiment with ways to improve team performance.