Friday, July 07, 2006
Team work starts with communication. In order to execute perfect manevours everybody on the boat has to be able to communicate with short, precise, and cool commands. This is a little tricky when the racing gets thight and the team is international. At last weekends regatta we had an Italian bowman, Franco. While he was very capable, he was a little confused as we discussed most of the time in Turkish, and then switched to English from time to time, and then even some other times I tried to communicate with him in Italian! That's where the fun started.
One of the things that we had to tell Franco was when to take the spi pole out and get ready for the drop. To make the communication for this easier I asked Burcu (she speaks fluent Italian) what spi-pole is called in Italian: tangone. So, I thought when we were ready I tell him simply "tangone" and he starts with the procedure. So far, so good. But, during the hectic of the first race, and when we were approaching the downwind mark, I called to Franco: "stanza". He looked back at me, doing nothing. I called one more time: "stanza". He still didn't do anything. Now, we were really getting close to the mark, needed a very good rounding, and I was getting overly excited. I yelled my lungs out: "stanzzaaaa !!!"....now Burcu interfered as well, and finally Franco got going and the spi dropped just in time, as we rounded the mark.
We could only talk about the event, when racing was over and we were back in the marina. Suddenly, I realized that "stanza" did not mean spi-pole at all! I asked Burcu what the hell I was yelling at Franco. She said "room". We all started laughing. Especially from Franco's point of view, the situation was absurd. You go to a regatta with a bunch of guys you see for the first time in your life, and then in the middle of all the heat, the helmsmann starts to yell at you, "room, room, roooommm!"....the poor guy was really confused. He told Burcu that he even thought about yelling back at me his room number at the hotel !!!
Next day, things went just fine even though I still mixed up "stanza" and "tangone" from time to time...but now, Franco knew better.