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.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Regatta Forecast

Another check of the weather systems and long range forecasts. The trend is now moving towards a bit more wind than I earlier anticipated. Forecast is as follows:

Friday
Light and variable winds becoming northeast less than 10 knots. Waves 1 foot or less.

Saturday
Northeast winds 10 knots or less becoming southeast. Waves 2 feet or less.

Sunday
South winds 5 to 10 knots becoming southwest. Waves 1 foot or less.

I will continue to monitor the current systems. My hope is that Saturday will yield 10-15 kts of wind and Sunday being the lesser will be up to 10 kts.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Regatta Long Range Forecast

Took a quick look at a few different sources to see what the initial forecast is for the weekend. Looks like winds might be around 10 knts. Initial thoughts are on prepping for light wind tactics for the race. I will continue to check to see if the jetstream changes. Looks like there is a large high to the North that will start filling in tomorrow. Hopefully will bring some good winds with it.

Will base the overall strategy on the forecast on Friday evening. Until then will work out some scenarios based on the current wind forecasts.

Take a Big Puff

The downwind leg is where you can gain lost ground in a race or maintain your lead. Even when you are behind in a race you can use your windshadow to effectively de-power your competition from behind and close the gap.

After rounding the mark, particularity in smaller boats, head higher and wider to get clean wind. The advantage to heading higher is the speed, the drawback is heading farther away from the downwind marker. To compensate for this the general strategy should be to head higher in puffs, gaining the speed and pointing lower towards the mark in the lulls.

In the upwind it is more beneficial to stay on the lifted tack, the reverse is true when heading downwind. Better gains will be realized by taking the headed tack on the downwind leg. In an oscillating breeze be sure to gybe when getting lifted to catch the header on the opposite tack.