Q and A with Wiley Wakeman
We sat down with 2013 National Champion Skipper, Wiley Wakeman, for a brief Q and A session (over email).
210 Class: Your team sure sailed a consistent event even though the conditions were demanding and the competition was tight. What were your keys to success?
WW: It has often been said that the person who makes the least mistakes wins. That mantra was the main driver behind our success. We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel or win races by a leg, which we may have done when we were younger. This time we just tried to get off the line with good speed, heading to the favored side of the course and staying a couple steps ahead with our tactical calls.
210 Class: What was your largest obstacle you overcame on the water?
WW: Because the three of us hadn’t sailed in a 210 together for two years, we didn’t have the same top gear we’ve had in past events. When were were sailing a couple years ago, we could rely on great speed to get us out of tough spots. Unfortunately, we didn’t have that this year. Instead, we really had to put a premium on the flawless crew work of Taylor Davis and Carter Noon who really carried the boat through the regatta.
210 Class: Stan Kosta finished 4pts behind your team. A close event with nine races….
WW: Stan sailed an amazing series and should be really proud. Speaking of having a top gear, the boys on Rock Bottom had their boat humming when the breeze got above 20. It’s not a great feeling to have when you watch another boat sail away from you, and Stan and Co. did that on more occasions than I would like to admit.
210 Class: How do you like the Falmouth venue?
WW: Current played a massive role in every race, from start, to picking a side and mark rounding. To some extent it made your decision making process easier, but it also became a question of to what extent you sought relief from the current, even if you were technically sailing away from the mark at times.
Racecourse conditions aside, Falmouth delivered three amazing days of sailing and the facilities and prepration done by the Jones Family were fantastic.
210 Class: The class had a smaller showing at this event. How would you describe 210 racing to a buddy at the bar or potential buyer?
WW: The 210 is a fantastic boat as it can be sailed by families just as easily as it can be sailed by friends. I grew up sailing with my dad (who consequently won Nationals in Falmouth 31 years ago), before getting the OK from him to let the kids take the boat for a weekend or two. I think the small showing this year was a fluke and expect to see a better turnout next year.
210 Class: Describe 210 sailing in two words:
WW: Good fun!
210 Class: We saw a lot of sailors with bow launchers this year. What are your thoughts on them?
WW: Not a fan, though I know a lot of the fleet uses them. Our success has a lot to do with minimizing errors (especially the big ones) and while the bow launcher can be convenient at times, I think that when things go wrong, they go terribly wrong. Spinnakers end up getting sucked under the boat and you have to send some to the bow (usually when its blowing and choppy) to sort things out. Doesn’t sound like a fun experience to me.
210 Class: Will you defend your title next year wherever nationals may be held?
WW: I will definitely try to. We’ll have to see how much time I get during my PhD program and whether I can round up the boys for another run. I really enjoy sailing against everyone in the fleet, so it would be a hard event to miss.
210 Class: What sailor do you most respect and admire?
WW: My grandmother as, despite winning the Adams Cup (US Women’s Keelboat Championship) four times in a row, she treated success as a fluke and was incredibly modest about her triumphs.
210 Class: Your crew sure had a few comments on the green team shorts….
WW: We were a bit worried at first, but once we got rave reviews from all the women who saw them, we decided they weren’t all that bad…
210 Class: Fall sailing plans?
WW: Will definitely try to get in a boat across the pond (England/UK).
210 Class: Your team is gracious both on and off the water. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.