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  Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Role of a tactician

GBR Challenge tactician Ado Stead
Stead is the eyes of the boat

The tactician is responsible for making the decisions on where we go around the course.

I am the eyes of the boat and the guy who says when we should tack or gybe and the helmsman reacts.

He needs to concentrate 100% on steering and driving the boat as fast as he can.

Meanwhile, I weigh up all the information that comes from the crew, the instruments and the navigator and react to what wind is doing and what is going to do.

The aim is to put the boat in the best possible position to beat the opposition.

You become a tactician at this level by making more good calls in the past than bad ones.

Confidence has a lot to do with it as does an analytical mind and a gut instinct of what might happen to the wind.

And, of course, you need to understand the boat and the crew's capabilities and be able to draw on all these qualities to put the boat in the best place to beat the opposition.

A lot of us have spent time sailing with each other before this campaign, often in groups of four or five - Jules Salter, the navigator, and myself for instance have sailed together for the past seven or eight years.

So we are all good at listening to each other and all respect each other and if someone has an opinion it is worth listening to.

When you are sailing an 80-foot, 25-ton boat there are times when it gets very tense and is split-second stuff and some decisions have to be sharp and to point.

But there are never any hard feelings. We are a very close team.

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Ado Stead
"I'm the eyes of the boat and the decision maker"
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