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Some racing lessons learned

Sailing is a sport that holds our interest for a lifetime. It seems that we are always learning something new or relearning lessons taught in the past. I’d like to share with you a few lessons I learned while racing this fall.

Don’t Get Blocked From The Favored Side Of The Course — In one race it was clear to us that the right side of the beat was going to have more wind than the left side. We needed to be the first boat to the right. Normally this calls for starting at the boat end of the line and then tacking right away. In this case, the left end of the line was so favored that we set-up to do a port tack start. We hoped that the line would be skewed enough that there would be a hole for us to cross the fleet. Our back-up plan was to take sterns until we found a hole through which we could make our break to the right.

Unfortunately, there was no hole and we had to take eight sterns in an 11-boat fleet — the bad news. The good news was that we were the first boat to go right where we found the stronger breeze. When we finally tacked onto the starboard layline, we were 10 boatlengths ahead of the next closest boat. My take away from this situation is to find a way to control your destiny and avoid getting trapped by others. Even though we gave up the “perfect start,” we were the first boat headed to the favored side of the course. The starboard tack boat that won the pin and continued to the left was practically last at the windward mark since it got trapped and was one of the last boats to tack to the right side of the course.

The video is impression of what happened at the starting line..

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