Thursday, 19 April 2007

Cutting through the crap with Cayard

Looking around the different keel configurations at Unveiling Day a couple of Sundays ago, it was striking just how different the bulb and winglet packages were. Horizontal winglets, angled winglets, winglets on the back, winglets in the middle.

Someone I was standing next to passed on a Russell Coutts anecdote, where the Great One is said to have offered this advice to a designer when Russell was asked where he would like the winglets to be stuck. "Mate, whatever makes you happy, just put them where you want because it makes no difference to me." Or words to that effect.

I was reminded of this when reading an interview with Paul Cayard on the official AC website, written by my young colleague on the AC Info Team, Paco Tormo. Paco asked this question and found Cayard on top philosophical form.

"Besides the budget, what are the main differences between a winning team and a losing team?"

Cayard: The difference is when to make a decision. If a team has been chasing after something for a year and a half and still nothing has come from it then it must be forgotten. Whether it is a decision about the boat, the crew or whatever, there is often a tendency to keep discussing and worrying about something, wasting energy when you just have to make a decision. One of my philosophies is that if two things are so similar that it makes it hard to decide then you should just pick one, because it doesn’t matter. It is important not to waste any more time on it because there is probably something else that will make much more difference, where you really need the time. If you get it wrong in that case you can lose a lot, but if two things are going to have a similar outcome, it’s not worth wasting any more time on it, since in the end it will be the same anyway.

Sounds obvious when you hear it put like that, doesn't it!

Click here for the rest of the Paul Cayard interview...

Phew!!! A whole blog post without any mention of the weather! Doh!

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