The movement of water over a course area is rarely uniform. Because of this factor the racing sailor has to have an understanding of where currents are at their maximum, how this helps or obstructs progress and where a current will take you sideways away from the mark, or sideways towards the mark. Where possible, using current in different areas to enhance the speed around the course can be much more rewarding than finding a lot of boat speed through increased wind speed.
In a previous blog we discussed peak performance from the psychological point of view. In this blog we discuss skills which are critical to a peak performance regatta, but must also be practiced, personalized and perfected at every other regatta to make maximum use of preparation to “sail like a local” and gain confidence in knowing the venue.
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