Top Tips For Starting Next Time You Race


Top Tips For Starting Next Time You Race

Holding Station on the line –

  • Keep the boat flat to stop it from going sideways.
  • If you end up head to wind, release the kicker/boom vang to help regain steerage. 
  • If you wish to go sideways, lift the centreboard.
  • If you want to go backwards, sit your weight forward to stop the transom from digging in. 

Accelerate From a Holding Position When the Gun Goes –

  • Practice this, ideally with two other boats of similar ability by lining up with one boat length between boats and on a signal, accelerate up to speed.
  • It pays to set the boat up for slightly more power than you will need to go upwind so you can keep your height and not fall into the boat below.
  • Setting up for more power also assists to sail through the disturbed wind and water caused by the proximity of many boats in the starting area.

Hit The Line At Full Speed –

  • The boat will accelerate best when starting on a close reach before hardening up
  • You need to know your boat’s capabilities, especially in the confused seas and wind that will be present in the starting area.
  • In the pre-start, sail away from the line and then approach, taking note of the time it takes in the current conditions and the number of boats in close proximity.
  • Monitor the difference caused by gusts and lulls during your timed run to the line.
  • If you are not confident in getting a good start,, place yourself where you can guarantee the best chance of starting in clear air.

Protect Your Space – 

  • Keeping a gap to leeward is vital to give you options and to give you space to accelerate into.
  • Keep your bow off the wind with the boom out and the sails flapping and this closes the gap. If someone comes in below you, they have to give you room and time to keep clear.
  • To create a space or to make it larger, work the boat up to above close-hauled without sheeting the sails.
  • If you do use your space, look for another one straight away and don’t hesitate.

And finally, remember, the favoured end may not be on the favoured side of the course so make allowances for this in your starting strategy.

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