Speed & Smarts: Sail toward the next shift

 By: David Dellenbaugh 

This is a sure-fire rule of thumb that works in any wind condition. Of course, you must be able to predict which way the wind will shift next. But if you can do this, all you have to do is sail in that direction and you will come out ahead (assuming you don’t overstand the windward mark).

In an oscillating breeze, sailing toward the next shift is basically the same as tacking on the headers. In a persistently shifting breeze, sailing toward the next shift is the same as digging into the favored side. In both cases, this strategy works because when the wind shifts you end up on a higher ladder rung than boats that went the other way.

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