We need to understand the psychology of winning to become truly great in our sport. Too many of us chase newer and better boat designs, faster sails, and the latest go-fast gear and techniques. Perhaps the most important factor to sailboat racing success is psychology. Not to take anything away from expert technical skills or impeccable boat handling. It's the sailor...
          Perhaps the most important skill that separates the best sailors from the rest of the fleet is their ability to see the wind. The reason that this is critical is that it enables them to consistently get to the windier side of the course and thus sail faster than their competition.  Obviously, no one can actually see the wind but there are...
Having a good knowledge of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) will help you avoid infringements but unexpected incidents on the racecourse can happen and will jeopardise your results thus you will need to take decisive action. When to take a penalty - When another boat protests, you have to make an instant decision whether to take a penalty...
Tacking the boat is one of the first things that we learn when we start sailing. We also learn what head to the wind is and that most boats sail upwind at about 45 degrees to the wind. This is basic knowledge but is not something simply to be learned and never revisited. Perfecting a roll tack is not easy,...
There are plenty of ways that a beginner can become a winner. There are an enormous number of ways that we can get better results out on the racecourse, not the least of which is time on the water. Unfortunately, time is not something that many of us have to spare in any great quantity. I have laid out below a...
If you are looking for speed, your helm has the answers. The more you limit excessive helm or rudder drag, the faster you go and because of this, you need to evaluate what your helm is telling you. If you have an excessive helm, the driver is working against the boat's natural course. Each movement of the tiller is creating drag. elm...
  Tips And Rules For The Upwind Leg, To get to the first mark at the head of the fleet consider the following.  Sail on the Lifted Tack as Long as Possible The basic idea when sailing upwind is to sail on the lifted tack as long as possible but there are a few other general rules that ensure you make the...
In these days of windward-leeward courses reaching legs provide a bit of variety but how you sail them is no less important and plenty of gains can be made remembering that many competitors treat these legs as a procession and perhaps relax a bit. As you bear away around the mark be mindful of what is going on ahead and...
Today, Iim trying something different using screenshots to give a Guide To Changing Gears. I hope you enjoy it. Dave Dellenbaugh has been giving sailors the benefit of his boundless sailing knowledge for over two decades. He uses an easy-to-follow format through his "Speed and Smarts" newsletters. Visuals rather than longwinded explanations do a better job explaining the sometimes baffling concepts...
Firstly you must understand what current is, how it acts on your boat and its effect on wind speed and direction.  Currents are driven by three main factors: The rise and fall of the tides. Tides create a current in the oceans, which are strongest near the shore, and in bays and estuaries along the coast. Wind. Winds drive currents that are...

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