Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rules as Tools

Using the rules of racing to your advantage is a great tactical edge. There are situations you will encounter or opportunities that will begin to form on the course as the race progresses that you can take advantage of or defend against if you know what you can and can't do. At first you need to be aware of the basic rules. You don't need to know to be a lawyer on the water but know enough to help you in key situations such as mark roundings and start and finish lines. Knowing when to use the leeward boat rule pays off...particularly near a mark or at the finish line when it can make the difference between you or your competitor crossing the line first.

I have been preparing for my winter hibernation away from the boat and pulled out the posey yacht tactics simulator. I was leading the pack to the finish line when a competitor used the leeward boat rule and forced me to tack. I ended up 6th instead of 1st.

There are a few basic rules that will help defend and strengthen tactics your tactics. The most basic rule of navigation "the starboard tack right of way" rule can play to your advantage if used in a tactical situation.

Try to look at the rules not as rules but as tools to form strategies with. Check out posey yachts simulators as well. The demo versions are free and fully functional (except they time out after awhile) I have other simulators on the sidebar (that also have free demo versions). Virtual Sailor is one of my favourites realistic sail and racing simulators.

Look for the link to the rules pdf for 2005 -2008 in the sidebar as well.

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