the technical abilities to be fast on a reach and control your angle of sailing are still worth mastering as every small gain to be made is worth a while. It is incredible how many boats you can take on a reach if you are both fast and smart.
The sailing world is going foiling mad. Time alone will tell whether it's a good thing or not, but what we can say is that it's fun and fast, and very different in feeling. What is the same for the sailor is that we need to understand a far greater range of sail settings in order to optimise the performances of these boats.
As boat speeds increase, the wisdom of conventional tactics become far less relevant that they have ever been. For example, in a fast boat, covering one of the opposition can create an opening for 10 boats to get past you. Not what is needed…..
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