The Whitecap Series was a light wind affair, which will probably mean the summer Cat’s Paw Series will be take two reefs and hang on tight. Just in case we get more light wind races, here’s an article from on sailing in light wind by Michael Blackburn.

Michael Blackburn offers advice on sailing in very light airs.

Light winds require a subtle and accurate sailing technique. Rather than muscling a hull through rough water, the challenge becomes delicately sailing a rig through slowly moving air.

Australians are not as good in light winds as their European counterparts. That’s partly the fault of our beautiful country which is windier than most. If it’s light, Aussie race committees can often just wait a short while and there will be 8+ knots in a summer afternoon.

Unfortunately, if we rarely race or train in light stuff, we’ll never come close to understanding the nuances of boat handling at the start and the delicate trim needed upwind and downwind to excel against the Europeans.

So we need to re-calibrate our ideas of what is too light to race or train. And we need race committees who are unafraid of starting races in 4-5 knots like they do in major European events.

Rant over, I’ll get onto some tips.

continue reading Light Wind Sailing