The 'Doppler' Windshift Effect - 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 Doppler Effect The reason for this is what's called the Doppler...
Looking for visual clues for reading the wind is a talent that all the most skilled sailors have in abundance. One of the first things a new sailor is taught is that sailing revolves around the wind. The thing that they must study and become skilled at is knowing the direction of the wind and its strength. This information is the...
Roll Tacking - How and Why 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...
Effective steering off the wind - 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...
Left or Right? This is probably the most asked question in yacht racing. Going fast is important but it is no good being the fastest boat 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. Strategy When racing, we must employ strategy. Strategy is...
Strategy For The Upwind Leg 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: Strategy For The Upwind Leg The wind has headed,...
Making Reaches Work 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...
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. That's why we should develop a reaching trim and strategy to gain places on these...
  Tips And Rules For The Upwind Leg, To get to the first mark at the head of the fleet consider the following.  Sail on the Lifted Tack as Long as Possible The basic idea when sailing upwind is to sail on the lifted tack as long as possible but there are a few other general rules that ensure you make the...

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