Transitioning from a club or national fleet to a big fleet can be very challenging to many sailors, sometimes it feels like all your previous knowledge and training is just not in line with the tactics and decision making of big fleets.
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.
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 tuning of a boat involves gaining the optimum speed and height from a given rig on a given boat. If we change a hull, sail (main, jib, or kite) or mast we have to tune the sail to the mast and the rig to the boat, and often change our technique to optimise speed and height.
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.