How to avoid the sit­u­a­tion in the first place

Yachting World - - Front Page -

In this up­per wind range, nail­ing down­wind lay­lines can be one of the biggest chal­lenges. A big soak in, and there is the risk of a po­ten­tial death roll sit­u­a­tion, which is what ap­pears to be hap­pen­ing with the red kite boat. Over­stand­ing can make for a re­ally hard drop and con­se­quently big losses.

On the Amer­ica’s Cup boats we have pretty so­phis­ti­cated soft­ware count­ing down to the lay­lines, how­ever even with that tech­nol­ogy avail­able there is no sub­sti­tute for keep­ing a good vis­ual look out.

On a tidal course on a shifty day the sit­u­a­tion is al­ways more dif­fi­cult but a few sim­ple things re­ally help. On a wind­ward-lee­ward course, utilise the time be­fore the start of the race to ob­tain tran­sits on the lay­lines for the bot­tom mark. If you don’t have a chance to do this, con­sider mark­ing up the boat with tran­sits that you can sight from a fixed point. Dur­ing your pre-race warm up, when car­ry­ing out prac­tice gybes, sight down the tran­sits be­fore you gybe to ac­cess where you think you will be point­ing when you exit. This way you will get a good idea of your gy­bing an­gle for the given day, and have a real ref­er­ence to work from.

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