These days, for those of us that race, we seem to be doing more and more short, windward-leeward races. Arguably the upwind leg, especially the first upwind is the most telling in where we end up at the finish. Of course, the start is very important but next, it is how we perform getting to the first mark that gives us...
Using your eyes effectively whilst racing takes plenty of discipline and practice. First, you need to ascertain what it is that you are looking for, is it a mark, a puff coming towards you and does that puff look like it is a lift or header. It may just be simply a case of working out where you will be situated...
Who better to get help with boat speed issues than Mat Belcher, current Olympic Gold medallist in the 470 class from Tokyo 2021. I have copied below excerpts from an interview that I did with Mat in 2017 while he was waiting at the airport to travel to yet another overseas regatta. Brett: Where would you look to change gears, before...
  To find more speed is largely a matter of trial and error and getting to know your boat. You can set your sails so that they look right but to get the last fraction of boat speed you must experiment with different settings and shapes to see which ones give you the best results. Even when you are out having a...
Watching the Olympic sailing, with the silky smooth boat handling and tactics it got me thinking about the basic things that the rest of us at all levels below the Olympians must have instinctively dialled in. In a multi-race series consistency is probably the big one but there are a number of other basic things that we should all practice...
The best way to get asked back is to Be A Great Offshore Crewmate.  I have just been following the Transpac online and that got me thinking. How could I get invited to be a part of the crew on one of the competing boats? How To Be Asked To Come Again Considering there are only 41 boats competing from a country...
Back To Basics If you feel as though you are losing your touch out on the race course sometimes you need to go back and start at the beginning. If your performance is a shadow of your past, you need to go through each one of the potential problem areas. First, check the finish of the boat and your equipment and make...
To someone unfamiliar with our sport, two identical boats should sail at the same speed given equal crews, the same wind, and the same wave conditions. What an outsider may not realise is that small changes in identical equipment can make big differences in boat speed and performance. A couple of turns on a forestay turnbuckle can change the mast rake...
A race or regatta should not be over for your team when you cross the finish line and there is plenty to be gained from the post-race debrief. Reason For a Debrief After a successful result, our self-confidence gets a boost but after a poor showing on the water, we have to deal with the psychological fallout. All is not lost...
Being the Tactician on your boat carries with it a lot of responsibility and depending on the size of the boat and the number of team members, the way you handle the job will vary greatly. I have set out below some of the key methods and duties needed to be an effective Tactician. Only one person should be designated to...

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