In every sailing race, to enhance your chance of success you must keep a constant watch ahead and around the course to see what's coming and have a plan on how to deal with it before you get there.Before you leave the beach and before every race, you need to develop a plan to deal with the anticipated activity...
 Step 1. Work on your weaknesses.  We all have different strengths and weaknesses, for some, it is light air and flat water,  for others they are faster in a big breeze and boisterous seas. It is fun to practice in your favourite conditions but you need to get out of your comfort zone and spend more practice time sailing in...
Gear changing is what separates the mid-fleet sailors from those who always seem to be a tad quicker and higher. While most of the fleet starts the race with a similar setup created with the help of a tuning guide, the fast boats are constantly making additional adjustments. When conditions suddenly change—a puff hits or you sail into a lull,...
Oscillating shifts are the most common type of wind pattern, so if you’re not sure what the wind is doing assume it is oscillating until you discover otherwise. It’s very important to figure out whether the wind shifts will be oscillating or persistent, but this is not always easy todo. There are some visual clues (listed below) that often mean...
You may already have noticed that, shortly before the Start, when the boats have lined up in the Start area, the wind is significantly weaker there, even if you are in the front row and have clear wind. The reason for this effect is the congestion that forms in front of the regatta field producing a not insignificant resistance to...
  There are several things that you should check in the sailing instructions even if you don't get time to thoroughly read them which of course I thoroughly recommend if you want to prepare properly for a race or regatta. The first is determining what penalty system is being used be it one or two turns, yellow flag or retire. Next is the...
You have to train yourself to use your eyes, and this takes practice – Buddy Melges. "Get your head out of the boat" is pretty much a universal catch cry of just about any coach who is tasked with helping you to improve your racing results. This is a skill that must be practised but if you look around the best...
  The long tack is the one that points your bow closest to the mark and is the one you spend the longest time on when heading upwind to the weather mark. The long tack takes you towards the centre of the course and the centre of the course is directly downwind of the mark.  When sailing the long tack first, you...
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...
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...

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