Thursday, September 08, 2005

This Is My Best Side

Before the start you should know which side is the best side of the course to be on. Meaning which side has the best wind if the wind is patchy there are more gusts on one side because of geographical features or lack of features.

The other all important question is which tack is the best tack on the upwind. The answer is based on where the true wind is coming from. The best tack is the tack that will take you closest to the upwind mark. The best way to decide which is the best side is to head to wind and take a compass bearing of the true wind then find the compass bearing of the mark. If the true wind heading is higher than the mark bearing then the port tack is favoured, likewise if the true wind bearing is lower then the mark bearing then the starboard tack is favoured.

The favoured tack will bring you to the mark faster then the unfavoured tack. Be sure to watch for wind shifts or oscillating breezes which may change the favoured tack if the bearing of the true wind and mark are not far from each other.

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