Now you're ready to sail the run and you've come to Tillerman's blog to seek advice. What? You must be joking.
Sure. There are places to be gained and lost downwind in Tacticat. But it's the part of the game that I understand the least. So I will expose my ignorance by telling you what little I do know and perhaps some more experienced Tacticat players will tell you their secrets in the comments.
First some obvious things that apply to all three kinds of Tacticraft: cats, skiffs and Lasers...
- If there is more wind on one side of the course go there.
- Keep your air clear.
- Sail the headed tack -- the one heading more in the direction you actually want to go.
- Think about the leeward mark rounding. Which side of the gate will you round and how will you approach it for maximum gains. (More on this in the next Tacticat Tip). Unlike real sailboat racing the end of the run will come up much faster than you think. Or to be honest much faster than Tillerman can think.
1. Tacticats. Tacticat catamarans are boring. (Or am I missing something). Head down to the "sail by the telltales" course by hitting space bar. Is there any more to know? As I said, Tacticats are boring.
2. Tactiskiffs. Tacticat skiffs are the opposite of boring. They will capsize at the slightest opportunity downwind. So hoist the kite and prepare to swim a lot. In a blow the person who capsizes the least will win.
So what do I know about avoiding capsizes? Not much. The little flashing dots and the "Flip Prob" number of the display you get by hitting the "E" key will give you some clue as to how much danger you are in. If the hairs on the back of the neck are telling you that you are about to invert then try one of the following...
- Ease the mainsheet.
- Head down to a dead run.
- Try sailing without the kite.
Beyond that I know nothing.
3. TactiLasers. Ahah. The most popular boat to race in Tacticat (and in the real world). To be honest the TactiLaser doesn't behave exactly like a real Laser downwind (except perhaps when there are real world waves). The best way to sail the TactiLaser is to start it planing and keep it planing while sailing as deep an angle as you can. Avoid excessive rudder movement. Use the space bar to bear away rather than down arrow or page down keys. Use the I or E keys to display your speed and keep it in the range that planes.
Sound easy? See you at the windward mark later.
Update: Apparently some of the above is crap. Check the comments for real expert advice.