October 7, 2015 In Racing Tips
Golden Rules of Racing – can you add any more?
Gathered by Nicky Bethwaite over many years of competition
- Minimize tacks
- Clear air is priority
- In light air always pick a side of the course to sail, avoid the middle
- Default position at the top mark is a bear away set
- Always have 1st leg plan
- Read Sailing Instructions as a team together
- Don’t over stand layline
- Know your position relative to the rhumbline
- Perfect your own job before you perfect someone else’s
- Must be ruthless on minimizing losses, every half boat length adds up in placement at top mark
- If you want to go right, start on the right
- If you want to go left, start on the left
- Never tack off a reach (lose too much in sideways movement)
- On a line with strong port tack bias, approach deep on starboard so as to minimise speed loss in tack
- In light air last 30sec sail your own boat
- Make hole to leeward
- In light air, assume starboard approach 1-2 mins before start
- In medium air, get onto stbd 30-45s before start, no later
- Do less tacks than the opposition
- Always sail longest tack first. Gets you in phase and doesn’t allow opposition to get in control up the track.
- If in doubt stay between your opposition and the next mark
- There are usually only one or two shifts per leg
- In light air go for speed to the next shift or pressure band rather than sail high (usually more oscillations in light air)
- Look up the track and anticipate what the likely outcome of your actions will be, and then react accordingly before you are forced to.
- In crossing situations make sure your actions affect the other boat.
- Quickly assess if there is an opportunity to consolidate a gain off the start line (or minimize a loss)
- Look for the first shift.
- Learn to stay on the weather hip of the leading boat, this needs practice, crew working very hard and helmsman steering very accurately.
- “Each crew member must have pride in what he/she is doing. Must want to be the best”
- Good trimmers get more pleasure out of trimming a bad sail and making it look good than trimming a good looking sail.
- Start to leeward of a bunch in under 12kts
- Tack on other boat’s line do not cross and then tack
- Sail the longest gybe first
- At the top mark, do a bear-away set unless there is a very good reason not to
- Minimum crosses of the boat behind
- Look at windex of leeward boat not your own
- Tidy roundings make big gains
- Light air top mark roundings keep speed on by sailing high till kite set
- Be aware of what a bunch does to the wind at the top mark