Though we have been discussing much about downwind sailing and ways to go fast, based on our experience the big money in sailing is on the runs, so there is always room for more gains to be made.
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.
An important skill in downwind sailing is prioritizing weather to sail the boat flat or healed to windward by the lee referred to as kiting, Sailing by the lee means that the air is flowing into the sail from the leech towards the mast as opposed to normal sailing when the air is flowing from the mast towards the leech of the sail
The evolution of skiffs and foils have generated the necessity for the evolution of the skills of pressure hunting.
Many top sailors complain about either their downwind speed or state that they don’t know how to sail downwind. In reality this is usually based on an emotion and mental challenges rather than what an observer may see, but there is can be a hint of truth in such statement as they might be slow in certain conditions. In this article we look at the real deal with both top sailors and amateurs falling into the same errors quite often.
Racing involves going around the course - strength is required upwind and down. There is no point in being a star going upwind without the ability to come downwind with similar abilities. Whilst technique is really critical to success, very often tactical decisions are able to get you back from an impossible position and back into the race. Whilst there is undoubtedly more gains to be made in skiff sailing with asymmetric spinnakers, the gains that can be made in conventional boats are huge