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.
When we go windsurfing, one of the most exhilarating manoeuvres we can pull is the carve gybe - a manoeuvre that even the most remote person on the planet can see is beautiful, skilled, poised and somehow effortless and magical to achieve. Timing is everything, strength is not needed for a perfect carve gybe
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…..
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