Getting off the Line and Up to Speed

A post from Quantum Sails by way of Sailing World. A reminder on how to get a good start.

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In large fleets, starts can make or break a race, so make sure when you line up for go, you know exactly where you want to be, and how to get your boat moving afterwards. Remember these key aspects of every start and you’ll get off the line every time!

Starts

On the line Checks

  1. Head to wind check. Sight across the boat, which end is higher or favored?
  2. Where is the next mark?
  3. How strong is the fleet? Size/speed of competitors.
  4. What is the best course for the fastest first beat?
  5. Check laylines for the starting box – windward & leeward ends.
  6. Time the line – know how long it takes to run to each end.
  7. The Practice Start

A practice start helps assure success by creating a plan of attack for your next set up.

  1. Confirm lines of sight and bearings on the line
  2. Check laylines
  3. Confirm wind direction and close hauled headings
  4. Approximate timing for the final approach
  5. Check sail trim for acceleration off the line
  6. Confirm crew organization and communications

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