Giant Insights

Sailing & Racing with Giant Machines

There are lots of reasons why Giant Machines is great (the satisfying work we do, our work-life balance, our location downtown, etc.), but one of the biggest is our people. It isn’t just that we recruit and retain top talent. We’ve also built a company of supportive, collaborative, and just plain interesting people with diverse perspectives and interests.

In fact, one of our senior engineers, Emre, joined Giant Machines through a connection with our Director of Engineering, Brian McAllister, forged over a mutual love of sailing. Emre and Brian shared their love of sailing with the team earlier this summer in a fun edition of Morning Bytes, a Giant Machines tradition in which members of our team share knowledge with the rest of the company. It’s one of the many ways we all get better together and cross-pollinate insights and best practices.

Archival footage: Skipper Emre steers the team at one of our company outings in 2018. We reprised this awesome event with another sail on the Adirondack earlier this month!

Our Sailing & Racing edition of Morning Bytes was an effort in inclusivity undertaken ahead of a team outing to the Honorable William Wall. Also known as the Willy Wall, it’s a barge that dual hats as both a fun place to enjoy a great view, and the “house” — or one end of the start/finish line in sailing races (the other end is marked by a buoy known as the “pin”… See? We learned stuff!).

Perhaps the simplest diagram of the day. Did you know that sails are airfoils, like an airplane’s wing?
Case In Point

Brian and Emre split our session between the basics of sailing, and the strategies and tactics of racing. Having learned the difference between a spinnaker and a jib, what it really means to change tack, and how to determine VMG (just kidding, it takes years to really understand “velocity made good”) — and even who gets the right of way as two vessels converge on a single point — the whole company was able to enjoy more than just the view as the sun set over New Jersey.

VMG is a tough nut to crack, but mastery is a key to success in racing.
Speaking of which… the races are under way!
The sun sets over New Jersey, heralding the end of a great event with the team.
The view on the way back wasn’t too bad.

Look out for more blog posts from Giant Machines as we share more insights from our Morning Bytes, Lunch && Learns, and Show & Tells!

UPDATE: Continuing on the maritime trend of summer 2019, Giant Machines again sailed on the Adirondack last Thursday. Here’s a group shot. Check out the Giant Machines burgees on our t-shirts!

Group photo as we just came in out of the rain