We are all used to being beaten every week by Peter Shope, Steve Kirkpatrick and, when he shows up, Ed Adams. So what do they do that we mortals do not?

First, they work harder. Despite their advancing age (ahem, Ed), these guys hike harder than everybody else. To quote an old word-of-wisdom column, the harder you hike the faster you go. If you are not hiking flat out, be sure your boat is powered up. Ease those controls in the lulls.

Second, they never give up. I can’t tell you how many times I thought these guys were buried after a bad start or a foul to find them passing me downwind or on the last beat. Keep your head in the game all the way around the track.

Third, they’re wick’d smaaat. They know what to do in a southwesterly, which is why on the first beat you will find them coming out of the left corner more often that not.

So what did I do? I hiked hard, I exploited opportunities to pass boats downwind by staying in pressure without chasing too much, and I kept my eye on the left side even when I didn’t hit the corner.