Speed & Smarts: Watch out for other boats’ wind shadows

By: David Dellenbaugh 

When you want to go fast upwind, bad air is your enemy. So watch out for other boats, and look ahead for lanes of clear air.

Wind shadows extend farther and slow you more in light air than they do in heavy air. So when there’s not much wind, don’t stay in a position that’s to leeward of or behind another boat. In breeze, however, it can be OK to sail in a boat’s bad air, especially if you’re on a lift or going the right way.

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