I and most sailors continue to struggle with how to choose the best side of the course. Fortunately, it is not Voodoo and an article I located written by hugely accomplished yachtsman, Gary Jobson from Annapolis in the USA goes a long way to demystify this essential planning aspect of any race. I have copied Gary's advice below. Sailors tend to stay...
Tips For Championship Sailing 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...
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...
Tactical Tips Regardless Of The Boat You Sail Luffing Another Boat Trying to luff someone going faster than you almost always ends badly. The faster boat’s momentum will take them around you. There is little that can be done to stop that. Momentum is essential in the last 10 seconds before the gun goes. You need to have momentum on your side...
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. Sailing Tactics Be Better Than The Competition 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...
Windward mark layline mistakes, unfortunately, are very common and can be extremely costly. Laylines & Getting Them Right. 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...
Avoid Sailing Mistakes - 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...
To Improve - Get Back To Basics. The best sailors are those who understand the importance of solid boat handling skills as the foundation for performance. What Can Improve Our Performance on The Water 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...
Racing in Big Fleets 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...

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