Friday, October 28, 2005

The First Leg | The First Two Minutes

The moment the starting line is crossed, assuming there is no foul or correction needed, focus should turn to trimming for speed and upwind boat handling. Try to get as much speed out of the sails as possible. Most articles and books I have read suggest not tacking within the first two minutes of crossing the line.

The tactician and helmsman should be communicating and deciding when to start implementing their overall upwind strategy. The strategy will have been formed based on a number of factors. Primarily, the favoured tack, the shortest distance to the mark. Secondarily wind shifts, persistent, oscillating, patchy, dying or building breeze.

I have written about wind shifts and methods for tracking, and the gains that can be achieved by playing them in previous post. Bill Gladstone has written an very comprehensive article on upwind tactics here. In it he shows examples and calculations of how playing a 10deg windshift can make huge gains overall (or potential losses if not taken advantage of). The article is packed with useful information on upwind strategy and tactics.

Once boat speed is up and fleet starts to implement strategy, trim for pointing and begin using offensive and defensive tactics

The overall strategy should be a solid plan for the race, Tactics are what should be fluid and used to carry out the strategy.

Next posts will start exploring sail trim for upwind beats and boat handling for speed and pointing.

1 Comments:

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