Obviously the most important part of the race is the start because this
determines your race strategy, especially on the first beat. The priority
is to get clear air, have good speed and most importantly, go the right
way up the first beat. If you get it all right the chances of a good position
around the first first mark are greatly increased making the rest of the
race a lot easier. You should try an work the hardest for the first 100
metres in an effort to get clear of all the boats around you. In light
winds this means concentrating extra hard, in the strong winds it means
really working the boat hard.
Points to Remember:
Get there early.
Check wind and tide.
Check start bias.
Take a starboard and a port tack from line, check transit, watch for
shifts of line after you have taken the transit.
Decide where on the line to start (consider wind shifts, tide, other
Be prepared to protect your water during the final two minutes.
Especially if in the middle of the line check your transit (generally
there is a large sag).
Do NOT end up on the second or third row.
Clear air is more important than being at the favoured end but in
the second or third row (the bias is generally small).
If over the line 3-5 seconds before the start (especially at the port
end) be prepared to bail quick and dip boats to get to clear air.
Never start to windward of a boat you know points higher or to leeward
of a boat you know is faster.
Try and sheet on with about seven seconds to go otherwise it is often
difficult to get clear air.
It is usually better to start just to leeward of the bunch as this
reduces the level of risk in getting a good start.
Don't get caught too close to the pin - it is better to get a safe
start then no start at all.
Remember that if you get buried at the pin end of the start you must
dip a lot of sterns to get clear air.