Such small margins

Posted on: 7th Apr 2010

Some of our air races have been won or lost by 1-100 of a second. That makes my 0.83 sec Abu Dhabi loss to Paul Bonhomme seem like quite a big margin and in terms of how we think and plan, it is actually quite a chasm. At 185 mph or so, it’s a lead of about 65 metres .. sufficient fuselage lengths for a convincing victory.Paul lives near Cambridge and I am near Oxford and I see the University boat race last weekend was one of the most compelling ever. Oxford has won for the last few years but lost this year’s nail-biter by 4 seconds. That seems huge but not when you consider it was a 17.6 minute race. 1055 seconds to be precise so the loss was a 0.38% margin. That’s pretty small….my loss was by a massive 0.95% margin. Anyway, I hate rowing machines and can easily identify with the UK’s most famous Olympian Steve Redgrave when, after winning his 4th Gold Medal he famously commented; “If ever you see me getting into a boat again, you have my permission to shoot me”! Perversely, he trained for another 4 years and won a 5th Gold. Respect! Luckily, I am able to avoid those torture machines by playing a sensible sport which involves beating a small rubber ball repeatedly whilst running into walls.Now that we’ve had time to reflect on the last race, I can clearly see where I lost the Final. One’s strategy does need to be different for the last race and I had rehearsed my plan but, sadly, too much time was spent dealing with electrical trivia so I did not execute any plan other than….no penalties.Perth promises to be a very competitive race. The track looks good and most teams are podium capable. If the Breitling Team can repeat our performance of Abu Dhabi and get into the Final and if No 55 is there too, I plan to execute that Finals strategy and reverse the Oxford/Cambridge statistics!


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