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Old 25-06-2014, 07:56   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,966
Re: VMG - rhumb line vs. banging the corners

Also a very experienced racer/teacher of mine in context of tactics said, "If you find yourself all the way to the left or right of the fleet you are either the smartest guy in the race or the dumbest."


And that is why many racers are afraid to do it.

The condition stated by the OP (steady wind/no current) actually do exist at times on small inland lakes.

The race courses are usually very short so if you can get clear at the start on starboard tack, committee boat end, tack first and bang that side of the course, you will be on Starboard when you cross the fleet and should be able to get to the mark first.

I say this because the pressure is on the other boats to make a very good tack on the layline with another boat possibly about to pass as they do make that tack.

It's pretty much fun to watch also especially on catamarans where tacking takes what seems like forever sometimes. Folks do all types of crazy stuff in that situation. Usually you can make the pass. But it does get interesting.........

but the real fun is at the downwind mark when you are coming in at 15 plus knots with the spinnaker up to a crowded mark and are single handed.

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