Speed & Smarts: In heavy air, play the shifts

By David Dellenbaugh
When you’re sailing in a lot of breeze, your boat is usually overpowered. Because of this, finding more wind velocity probably won’t help you go much faster or point higher. In fact, in some cases a strong puff might even slow you down.

A good wind shift, on the other hand, can be much more valuable. It will instantly move you to a higher ladder rung and allow you to aim closer to the windward mark. That’s why, in windy conditions, it’s better to sail for shifts instead of puffs.

For more racing tips and resources from David Dellenbaugh, visit the Speed and Smarts website.