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,...
Using a sailing coach to get better does not have to be expensive. Coaching is an investment that will pay dividends whether it be to work on a particular aspect of your sailing or to prepare for a club, national or world championship regatta. There are a number of steps that you should take to gain the greatest benefit for...
Generally, on boats that are going slow, one sail will be much looser or tighter than the other or conversely, it might be flatter or fuller than the other. Fast boats have similar depth in the main and jib as well as similar twist profiles. It is worth noting though that even if conditions don’t dictate flat sails, flat sails...
You win sailboat races by sailing faster and less distance than your opponents and to sail less distance, you must have a good feel for the angles. Many sailors develop this feel visually over time but not everyone retains this visual information. A compass gives you a precise tool for the angles and there are dramatic gains and losses due to...
Before you round any mark, it’s essential to visually locate the next mark, not only is this critical for your next-leg strategy, it will have a massive impact on how you approach each mark rounding. As an example, at the weather mark, you must ask yourself whether you should round inside other boats so you can do a gybe set, or...
UPWIND When you see a puff approaching: First off, even if it's not your job to call puffs, it's always good practice to run through the motions in your head; it'll help you stay sharp the next time puff calling is your job. When you see a line of breeze rolling down the course, there are four important pieces of information about...
We are coming to the time of the year when many classes and clubs have their State, National and World Championships. Quite often travel to events both locally and Internationally adds a layer of difficulty and preparing a packing list is an important part of being ready to race. In every case, preparation is one of the key ingredients to your...
  Steering well is an art, and particularly steering well across a wide range of conditions is something that only the best have mastered through countless hours on the water. It's important to have a steering position where you can see as much of the sails as possible and when sailing upwind you need to have your head as far outboard...
In memory of the great and eloquent Dr Walker who died on Monday aged 95. Luck, wrote longtime columnist Dr Stuart Walker (1923 – 2018), is fundamental, but a manageable element of every race. When Paul Elvström raced with Aage Birch for the Dragon Gold Cup at Marstrand, Sweden, in 1958, he decided that Sergio Sorrentino, of Italy, was the fastest...
  Hailing for Mark Room is Not Required when one boat has rights at a mark. Rule 18 (Mark-Room) begins to apply between two boats when the first one enters the zone at a mark.  The rule says the outside or clear astern boat must provide mark-room. Note that rule 18 never requires an inside or clear ahead boat to make any...

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