Watch your competition to get a quick understanding of your boat's relative performance and once noted, do not wait to make changes. When sailing to windward, bear off a degree or two and simultaneously ease your sails to increase speed. Keep a constant note of the angle of heel. Too much windward helm indicates that you have too much heel and...
Be Consistent in Big Fleets Being consistent is especially important in big fleets where a small mistake can lose you plenty of places. With a large number of fast boats in an international championship, the chances of getting those places back is highly unlikely. Great boat handling is particularly relevant and practice is an easy way to ensure that small but...
  Interview with Glenn Bourke to give us some insight into championship and regatta strategy. Glenn is currently the CEO of the wildly successful Hamilton Island home of Hamilton Island race week. Not only is Glenn a successful businessman but he is a high achieving competitive sailor with multiple Olympic, World and National championship successes to his name. Brett - Do...
Trying to luff someone going faster than you almost always ends badly because the faster boat’s momentum will take them around you and there is little that can be done to stop that. Momentum is also essential in the last 10 seconds before the gun goes, you need to have momentum on your side and be a little faster than...
Excerpt from “Speed and Smarts” Newsletter issue 131 -               David Dellenbaugh Almost every sailor realizes the importance of making a strategic plan for the first leg before they start the race but how many of those sailors also develop a strategy for every other leg in the race? It’s tough to make a game plan...
  Often too much significance is attributed to sailing tactics and tactics only become the most important factor if you are sailing at a very high level.  For most of us, it’s better to invest in training time, concentrating on sailing technique and boat tuning. As a word of caution though, you can't manage without tactics altogether. I have jotted down...
Windward mark layline mistakes, unfortunately, are very common and can be extremely costly. One of the most common things that sailors get wrong is getting to the layline too early. If you get to the layline too early, you can no longer play the shifts and you also lose tactical options. More often than not it is really hard to judge laylines...
An important ingredient to winning a yacht race is to make fewer mistakes than your fellow competitors. Because of sailing's complexities, even the best sailors will make mistakes but it is the avoidance of the major ones that are the most telling, minor mistakes will make a difference but should not be sweated over. I have listed below things that...
The best sailors are those who understand the importance of solid boat handling skills as the foundation for performance. A question that we should always ask ourselves is, what would make the biggest difference to improve our performance on the water? The answers we give ourselves range from tactics and strategy, sail trim, navigation, better speed, and knowledge of the rules, to...
With national championships and annual long-distance races fast approaching, we need to turn our minds to sailing in bigger fleets than we have been racing in all year. Racing in big fleets requires a number of different disciplines to think about and master. In general, you can take more risks in a small fleet and if you make a mistake...

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