Pro Tune-up Tips for your Best Race Week Ever

Sailing Legend Andreas Josenhans
Brian Todd | Race Officer

The pros from Helly Hansen Chester Race Week have curated three timed checklists to help put boats, skippers and crews in winning form.

Special thanks to special advisor Andreas Josenhans and Principal/One Design Race Officer, Brian Todd for curating this list.


  • Commit now: Register now so you and your crew can focus on effective preparations
  • Vacation time: Get sufficient vacation time from your boss (at least August 16-19)
  • Accommodation: Secure accommodation in the Chester/South Shore area
  • Mooring/berthing: Secure a mooring in Chester
  • Valid handicap: Confirm you have a valid PHRF handicap from your local governing body
  • Confirm crew: Recruit and confirm crew and alternates for boat tuning, delivery and regatta
  • Crew uniform: Consider ordering team shirts, hats or other identifying uniform
  • Crew comms: Set up a crew group-text to stay coordinated and on time, all the time
  • Inspect sails: Have North Sails in Halifax or Lunenburg inspect/repair your sails
  • Wash spinnakers: Fresh water wash and dry all spinnakers
  • Inspect halyards: Inspect all halyards and, if necessary, make repairs
  • Safety tune the rig: Record all turnbuckle settings with caliper measurements
  • Know the rig’s performance tunings: Most modern rigs have specific settings for optimal performance at each wind speed, so learn yours and record the caliper settings for quick and accurate pre-race turnbuckle adjustments as conditions change


  • Launch & haul: Organize launch and haul if you are trailering to Chester (check out deep discount offered at Shore South Marine)
  • Update charts: Update your chart plotter software and/or paper charts
  • Locate marks: Locate all relevant navigational marks physically, enter marks in chart plotter
  • Repair kit: Stock emergency repair supplies appropriate to your boat and its condition
  • Practice: Practice boat handling a few evenings before you leave for Chester
  • Safety equipment: Make sure your boat and crew are equipped and ready to comply with relevant federal or class safety equipment requirements – get it all onboard


  • Lose weight: Remove all unnecessary stuff to lighten the boat – be ruthless but safe
  • Warm up locally: Warm up with the race that’s right for you (detail on CYC calendar)
  • Practice locally: Practice boat handling and boat speed work off Chester
  • Shuttle driver: Identify a dedicated driver if commuting from Halifax
  • Clean your bottom: Clean the bottom of your boat to go faster
  • Follow a daily regimen: pre-race crew meeting, post-race debrief, crews attend 9 am “The Morning After” coaching sessions
  • Mid-regatta bottom wash: Bring your diving/bottom wash gear for the Thursday mid-regatta (at least) hull wash to stay as fast as possible
  • Build playlists: Refresh your music selection for the boat’s music system
  • Learn from Andreas, others: Come to Andreas Josenhans’ famous “The Morning After” coaching seminars.