Before you watch this video I feel somehow I ought to stress that this is NOT very healthy or at all ideal and we in no way recommend any of the measures as methods for losing weight for sailing or any other reason. However, anyone who has ever raced in a class where there is a weight limit and has experience of losing weight for sailing, will identify with this video and recognise some of the differing methods many sailors employ when they are faced with the reality of losing a few pounds in a short timeframe, or simply not sailing.
The video, where Sam Greenfield attempts to lose 3kg in order to be part of a team on a Mumm 3, reminded me of a few personal experiences. One event stood out in particular, racing in the SB20 (then the SB3) in Lake Garda, Italy. The SB's maximum weight is 270kg and I have often found myself either as part of a three-man crew, and underweight (my usual weight is 59-60kg) or a four-man crew, which is fine if there are two girls (as we tend to weigh less then men), but when trying to put together a four-person team that includes three boys... well things get tougher.
We spent a few months losing weight, and I was missing nice food (especially bread!) and mostly living on salads or vegetarian stirfrys. I was down to a very skinny (for me) 57.5kg, but as we weighed in the night before the event, we found we were over, not by tons but by enough... that evening wasn't fun. I went to bed early, with no food or drink, and the next morning I weighed in lighter than I have ever done at 56.5kg. The boys went for the night on alcohol and early morning run option and between us we did it! I have to say the breakfast after the weigh in was one of the best meals I have ever eaten!
When it comes to losing weight for sailing, or any other reason, I much prefer to lose it over a period of time, and have learned over the years that 58kg is really my healthy minimum, and 59kg my ideal weight... fortunately I haven't had to endure a day like Sam's, but plenty of sailors do!