Smooth tacks and error free gybes are critical if you are to win the race. It is imperative that you practice your tacks and gybes at every opportunity in all wind strengths, I suggest that you put aside an hour per on-the-water training day to complete 50 tacks and 50 gybes, tacking or gybing every 30 seconds.
Modern racing dinghies all use asymmetric spinnakers or gennakers providing thrilling high speed reach-to-reach racing on the downwind leg using the apparent wind. Unlike symetrical spinnakers, the gennaker has its clew attached to a continuous sheet while the tack is attached to a pole that is pulled out from the bow when the gennaker is hoisted & retracted when the gennaker is dropped.
Preparation for the first race of the regatta starts way before the Skippers Brief on day one, but for the purposes of this sailing article we are only going to concern ourselves with some of the things that might go wrong on the race course and not all of the off-the-water preparation.
As sailors it is the wind that drives our boats forward and round the race course, to be competitive we need to be sure to use it to our best advantage at all times. It requires intense concentration and perfect sail trim to maintain your boat speed through the gusts, lulls and windshifts around the racecourse.
There are three requirements that you need to achieve, if you want to win a race. Firstly, you need to ensure that you start and finish the race, secondly, you need to sail consistently faster than all the other boats and thirdly, you need to make less mistakes than your competitors, all the way round the race course.