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SAILING PRINCIPLES divided into Tactical and Philosophical.

With Special thanks to Mike Hobson – J Boats, Chesapeake USA.

TACTICAL

  • Sail on the tack or gybe that points closer to the next mark.
  • Sail in clean air.
  • Sail toward, and in, the most wind pressure.
  • Keep manoeuvres to a minimum.
  • Form a game plan where you want to be after the start and first leg. What is your goal?
  • Be flexible. Even though you have a game plan, be ready to change.
  • A general rule is to be up-current of the rhumb line.
  • Cross the pack when you can. Take the advantage when you get it.
  • Get a clean start; allow yourself the start so you can execute your game plan.
  • Avoid the lay lines too early in the leg.

PHILOSOPHICAL/ATTITUDE

  • Go fast, don’t let outside distractions interfere with your boat speed.
  • Sail fair, don’t break the rules. Like Elvstrom says.
  • Stay out of trouble with competitors. Focus on getting around the course the fastest.
  • Relax, and keep it fun.
  • Think ahead; be observant of what the fleet is going to do on the next wind shift.
  • Don’t panic, be patient, wait for opportunities to develop.
  • Be prepared; have weather, current, sailing instructions.
  • Don’t think too much, rely on your experience.
  • Don’t gamble or get greedy.

By Brett Bowden

Brett Bowden is an author, entrepreneur, business broker, and yachtsman. Brett is a competitive yachtsman and has competed in many races and championships around the world and still owns several boats.
Brett Bowden is the author of “Sailing To Win” and lives in Victoria, Australia.

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