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…Read More

Speed & Smarts: Follow your strategic plan

By: David Dellenbaugh  This sounds simple, but it’s not always so easy to do. A strategy is your game plan for how to sail fast up the first beat, a guideline to keep you going the right way. It’s not so difficult to develop a strategic plan – you just have to get out to the…Read More

Top 10 Reasons to Sail a Catamaran

10. Fast is fun. Multihulls are fast. Average upwind speeds near 10 knots are common, and downwind at 15-20 knots is easy. 9. Stability is relaxing. The ability to park and “chillax” is a great trait of multihulls. 8. Fewer collisions. Because the collisions have high consequences there are very few. 7. Kinetics don’t work.…Read More

Knowing Your Destination: Setting the right goals

By: Jessica M. Mohler, Psy.D., CC-AASPClinical and Sport PsychologistUnited States Naval AcademyI am sure you have experienced this before: two sailors de-rigging at the end of the day, one has a smile on his face and seems excited about how he did on the water, the other appears upset as you hear him saying to…Read More

Lake Sailing Tips

By Richard Feeny, US Sailing Junior National Coach, Finger Lakes Junior Laser Champion Introduction The shape of the land to windward of the race course will affect the wind. The first thing to look for is any low area that will let the wind onto the race course. In a flat country with no valleys…Read More

Small Boat Sailing: Teaching Sportsmanship

When you’re trying to teach sportsmanship in competitive sailing, there are no proven methods to follow. You need to try different approaches because every group you teach will react differently to the request to “act sportsmanlike.” Practice sessions can fall apart if your team isn’t getting along and all you can is, “Will you please…Read More

Distance Racing Fundamentals

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs. When racing distances, there are several tactics to keep in mind: aim toward the finish line; sail fast and hard; keep your eye on the weather and; practice at…Read More

Keeping Regattas Fun

By: Jake Fish, Communications Manager, US Sailing Many attendees of the Sailing Leadership Forum expressed the desire for more variety in our race courses with fewer windward/leeward courses and more non-traditional regattas. Attendees emphasized the importance of growth in participation and sportsmanship, especially for youth. Regatta organizers were challenged to create more alternative courses, games…Read More

Tacking Tips Part II – The Acceleration

The Acceleration A proper turn is just the first part of a tack. Part II – The Acceleration will complete the tack. As noted before, all the losses from tacking accrue during this critical second phase. Typically, (on keelboats) losses are between one and two boat lengths. Our goal is to minimize losses. Coming out…Read More

What Makes Classes Strong?

Paul Young, President of Rondar UK, gave a presentation entitled “What Makes Classes Strong” at US Sailing’s One-Design Symposium at Bay Head Yacht Club last fall. Rondar has earned a reputation as a pre-eminent builder of fast one-design race boats. Rondar hulls have won world championships in the Contender, the 420, the Fireball, the Enterprise…Read More