On reaches and runs it is essential that the helmsman and trimmer communicate and co-ordinate their actions. As the helmsman, you must also respond to input from the tactician and changing sailing conditions plus the trimmer’s input based on sheet load and boat speed. The problem here is that there may be conflicting voices advising the steerer thus unsettling his...
Question: The wind has just shifted left so it has headed all boats around you on starboard tack - Should you keep sailing into the header, or take the instantaneous gain and tack?  As always with sailing, the perfect answer begins with ‘It depends’ Possible scenarios for you to consider: The wind has headed, but you are still certain there is more wind...
In this day and age of mainly windward and return races, the art, and skill of sailing a reach is becoming a distant memory for many of us with symmetrical spinnaker boats. Please note though, that a lot of the tips below are also relevant to two sailed and single-sail boats as well. If you do get a reaching course or...
Sail away from shifts and toward better pressure. When you are racing upwind, the principal rule of thumb is to sail toward the next shift, on a run, however, you should sail away from the next shift because you are trying to make progress downwind, not upwind. By getting farther away from the direction of the next shift you will end...
We all know what happens when a train comes toward us at full speed with its horn blowing, at first the sound is very high pitched, but it drops quickly as the train passes by and becomes quite low-pitched while the train speeds away. The reason for this is what's called the Doppler effect. The sound waves in front of...
This is probably the most asked question in yacht racing, going fast is super important but it is no good being the fastest boat out there if you are going fast the wrong way. That’s why, no matter how fast you are, you must consider whether you want to go left or right. When racing, we must employ strategy and strategy...
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...
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,...

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