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Kit Guide

What the Boat Whisperer was all about

By Steve Cockerill 30th September 2020
I flew back yesterday from a Boat Whisperer Talk at Port Edgar Marina; nearly at the end of this Winter Seasons Talks. It was a typical great welcome from a club that is passionate about dinghy racing. I can't believe I have been doing Boat Whisperer Talks for more than 8 years. At the intro to the talk I try to explain why I started them. It goes something like this - I would like to describe myself as a typical anorak (someone who is pretty nerdy and passionate about something). My passion is dinghy sailing. I have been very fortunate to have sailed and coached at all levels of the sport. I think that I have learned most about the skill set required to win at dinghy racing from club sailors as they showed me what Olympic sailors can't. The mistakes. I would find that I was seeing the same basic mistakes wherever I would coach, whether it was in Dudley or Bristol. I was keen to explain what I understood, but the difficulty was that sailors just love sailing when the sun is out, on their day off; they are not quite so tuned into thinking about their sailing. As a coach you get so little time with each sailor on the water that if I succeeded in getting one concept across to sailors in a day I was doing well. So I started to take video to clubs in the winter evenings to show them the concepts I was explaining. I chose the term 'The Boat Whisperer' as it portrayed the art of not fighting the boat but listening and understanding what it wanted to do. When I made the Boat Whisperer DVD's I thought that demands for the Talks would diminish so I could have some restful winter evenings; instead the reverse was true, the demand increased. What I find interesting is that about 15% of sailors have seen the Boat Whisperer DVD's (1 Upwind and 1 Downwind). Which means if we have sold over 11,000 - that there should be about another 60,000 copies yet to be bought :) The hero of the DVD is Laurence. I know that once he takes up Masters sailing that he will get very drunk. When I was in Terragal at the Masters Worlds, it took me half an hour to walk out of the boat park on the first morning as every Aussie wanted to talk about the DVD's and how they had helped them. One comment I remember went like this - "G'day mate, great DVD's. If it wasn't for them I would not have come to the Worlds. Is Laurence here?, I just wanted to buy him a beer as he has helped me take 5 minuets off my race time" When I am working in Cabarette this summer I hope to take some more footage and be able to create a couple of new DVD's. Perhaps freshen up the originals and add one on Tactics and Strategy and one on Rig Set up. Its not like I haven't been asked for them: Rooster Boat Whisperer DVD Set
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Buy a large outboard or this!, 9.27.2009
Reviewer: Bryce Palmer (Loughborough, Leicestershire)
OK, the bottom line is that Steve is obviously a very talented sailor and he could have left it at that. However, what separates him from others is that he's set about to find out more and more about this great sport and luckily, share it with us. He explains difficult concepts well and shows us how to turn difficulties to advantages (gybes in particular). This is a great set and at £30 is a wonderful investment. I bet that no matter what your class of boat and its age, short of putting a large outboard on your dinghy, money won't make your boat go any faster than you would by buying and studying this DVD - yes really. My only criticism of this wonderful series is that there isn't a DVD on tactics/strategy which I would love to see so come on Steve!

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