Ingham’s Insight: Pinch Through The Lull

Once you start wrapping your head around VMG, you start to realize that making the boat go faster sometimes might be the slower way to the mark. From Sailing World.

From Sailing World

From Sailing World

Although it defies our instincts, it pays to pinch in a lull.
By Mike Ingham Posted February 10, 2015

We were in Newport, R.I., last summer doing some straight-line upwind speed tests. The puffs felt good with crew weight nicely on the rail, but the lulls sent the crew scurrying inboard to balance the boat. The helm got that terrible squishy feeling and the jib’s windward tales stalled.

My focus was on those windward jib tell tales and it seemed logical to bear off to keep them flowing, but I had to bear off a lot, and I lost height with almost no forward gain. I was losing VMG, and even worse, I gave up my gap on the boat to leeward.

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