The subject of each section should be it's own article in which case a brief teaser on this page is all that is needed. As the articles are written it may make sense to organize this page differently for improved site navigation.
For many skippers the pre-start and start are the most enjoyable part of racing. The combination of congestion, wind shifts and judging time to cover a distance makes the pre-start a time to maintain focus and not to engage in idle chat. A skipper's process for gathering wind shift information begins with the pre-start.
Without a doubt the adrenaline runs high at a racing start. A good start can mean dominating the fleet until the finish while a bad start can mean 20 or 30 minutes of frustrating chase.
Learn what a layline is and how to compute the layline when the current race type does not allow you to display laylines in the radar view.
Upwind leg Edit
A successful upwind leg is all about trading boat speed for heading and this involves anticipating wind shifts to find the most favorable course to the mark. This article explains how to jockey for the favored starboard layline but also, what to do when you find yourself in a good position on the left hand side of the course.
Downwind leg Edit
If ever there was a time to search for clear air the downwind leg would have to be it. The wind shadow cast by a boat carrying her spinnaker is huge and you really don't want to find your boat struggling in another boat's bad air. Have you anticipated your sail change at the downwind mark? Will you have right of way as you round? Who'd have thought the barbecue leg could be fraught with so many decisions.
Broad reach leg Edit
If you first start planning how to best cover a broad reach leg after you round the buoy then you have left it a bit late. Do you choose height then finish with speed or choose to accelerate first and maybe get lucky with an anticipated wind shift that allows you to carry your spinnaker the whole leg?
Mark rounding Edit
Aside from the start the mark rounding would have to be the place on the water to have your heart attack or at least remind yourself to breath and to steady your trembling hand. Fortunately, boat damage is non-existent in virtual sailing but there is loss of momentum and subsequent loss of hard-won place in fleet if you are careless about these crucial stages. The adage, "under-stand the downwind mark but over-stand the upwind mark" is explained.
- tactical mark rounding
- seamanlike mark rounding
- upwind mark rounding
- downwind mark rounding
- wing mark rounding
Gate rounding Edit
Used to both relieve congestion but also to bring a fleet back together, gates can be fun places to negotiate. Perhaps the key to a successful gate rounding, whether a left hand gate rounding or a right hand gate rounding is to visualize the favored course to the next mark and balance that against your ability to round one of the pins and lose as little forward momentum as possible.
How hard can it be to cross a line? If it's coming down to a close finish then being aware of some rules from "Section B" can make or break the finishing for you. Do you chuck in the towel just because you got a pen or do you pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat at the finish line with a time-saving penalty turn?
Taking a penalty turn Edit
Learn what rights you have as you maneuver to take your penalty turn.
- What rights do you lose while you are taking a penalty turn?
- Should you turn clockwise or anti-clockwise?
Match Racing Edit
The classic duel between two same-class boats on a simple windward-return race course is what the America's Cup challenge has traditionally been about. When you think you know the rules of racing then it's time to try your hand at a match race - there's sure to be an experienced skipper or two who'll be more than happy to take you down a few notches and send you back to the rule book scratching your head!
Team Racing Edit
This form of racing can be a real thrill especially if your team mates are good at coordinating one another via chat or via TeamSpeak. If you enjoy pen-hunting then you ought to watch or participate in a team race or two to see how experienced team racing skippers maneuver to effectively assert their right-of-way but, without going so far as to be nasty to other skippers.