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Reaching

Now we all love to reach, it is fast and exciting. But I know a lot of people who when they go practising only practise reaching when it is probably the last thing they need to be practising!!! Remember to get your priorities right.

Reaching Downwind Remember to

  • Sail the rumbline, the shortest (and usually the fastest) course between any two marks in a straight line.
  • When it is windy sail higher in the lulls and sail lower in the puffs.
  • Do not play with your adjustments after rounding a mark, until you have settled into the groove of the reaching leg.
  • Look for the next mark.
  • Protect clear air.
  • Constantly check sail trim.
  • A high or low course?
  • Look to see what the rest of the fleet are doing, remember about the tide.
  • Generally if in front of a bunch go high, if behind a bunch go low.
  • Check for gusts.
  • Watch for and use waves.
  • Body position, boat balance for wave riding.
  • Can you slipstream or use wake of boat in front (if it is slower use it to catch up and pass, if it is faster use it to increase your own speed).
  • Are you working the boat within the rules?
  • Establish overlap for mark, get into position early, think ahead. Check for weed.
  • If luffing do it violently (under the new rules you have to give the other boat room and time to keep clear) and tell the skipper that you will not let him pass, make your intentions clear.
  • If overtaking do so suddenly if possible, avoid big luffing matches (try to do it when they are not paying attention).
  • Sail the rumbline, the shortest (and usually the fastest) course between any two marks in a straight line.
  • When it is windy sail higher in the lulls and sail lower in the puffs.
  • Do not play with your adjustments after rounding a mark, until you have settled into the groove of the reaching leg.

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