In competitive sailing we are looking for every advantage we may get if we want to win and going fast is a pretty important advantage to have - the gains from using the correct sails are more than just marginal!.
Not too long ago in a lot of classes crews could be seen visibly relaxing as the kite went up, and the procession began. Happily now in all racing we understand how to make gains and use the downwind to our advantage.
The speed differences between sailors in displacement mode can make the difference between a champion and an average sailor, for many classes the big money is in the runs and the ability to be faster than others while still complying to rule 42 is a big issue.
The Centre of effort of a rig can be best described by stating that the entire force of wind power generated by a sail can be considered to act through one point - in the same way that the center of gravity of a body is the point around which that body balances. In this blog, we explain the dynamics of the Centre of effort, how you can change it and WHY it needs changing, which is because if the center of effort of the rig isn’t directly over the pivot point of the boat, you need corrective rudder which will slow the boat down through drag in the water.