Our Newsletter

#01 - Tacking

SAILING TIP # 01  -  Tacking


Its tough out there on the race course with a bunch of boats of equal speed.  Tacking is one manoeuvre where gains can be made.  A small gain here multiplied by the number of tacks around the course could put you further up the finishing order.  Suggest some two boat testing where one skipper tacks as is usually done and the other try the following (then reverse rolls):


a)  When going into a tack, bring sheets on hard.  This works best when you’re radio has the ability to bring the sheets in that extra 5-10mm further than normal close-hauled.


b)  Once tacked spring sheets a little to build up boat speed quickly.  The boat will accelerate out of the tack and once up to boat speed trim for close-hauled.


c)  In light airs and flat water make the turn through the eye of the wind a more gradual turn.  Less rudder action and flat water will keep boat speed up and distance can be gained upwind.


d)  In heavy air and choppy water a good tack is vital.  Boat speed can be lost quickly through waves and windage and will soon slow/stop the boat and then you’re in irons.  Suggest here to look ahead for smoother piece of water amongst the choppy stuff, have plenty of speed, bring sheets on hard and tack quickly. Again spring the sheets slightly and go.


Good racing.