Speed & Smarts: In light air, go for better pressure

by David Dellenbaugh

When you’re racing in light air, a three-knot increase in wind velocity might improve your boat speed by 30% or 40% (and you will point higher, too). But in heavy air, the same wind increase might improve your speed only 5% to 10% (and it probably won’t help your pointing).

What this means is that puffs are a lot more valuable, relatively, when the wind is light. So, in those conditions, try to look for and sail toward better velocity. This will usually help your performance much more than finding good shifts in wind direction.

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