Friday, May 19, 2006

Dave Dellenbaugh's Top Ten Tactical Tips

Back at the beginning of April, Dave Dellenbaugh came to our sailing club to deliver his lecture on Top Ten Tactical Tips.

His first tip Fast=Smart was all about the importance of boat speed, and then he gave us a couple of tips about starting: one about Line Sights and the next one about how to deal with the Boat to Leeward of you on the start line.

The next four tips were all about managing the windward leg of a race. Number 4 was Plan Ahead and number 5 was a discussion of how to handle Persistent and Oscillating shifts. Of course, the more difficult question is how to identify whether the wind shifts are persistent or oscillating and I wrote a post about the Answers that Dave gave to this question. The next tip was Sail Towards the Next Shift and the final tip on the beat was Sail the Long Tack First.

Tip number 8 was Evaluate Risk and tip number 9 was all about how to make Gains at the Finish of a race. Dave wrapped up the lecture by reminding us not to lose sight of the Big Picture.

During the six weeks or so that I have been writing about these ten tips one of the most gratifying aspects has been the feedback from you, my expert readers. You have weighed in with extra advice on some topics, some questions as to whether Dave's advice actually works for the kind of racing you do, and examples of how you have or have not used these techniques in your own racing.

Thanks for making the series so rich and informative with so much input from such a diversity of racing sailors. I have one further challenge for you. If you could add one more tip on racing strategy or tactics to Dave's Top Ten, what would it be?


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Fuff said...

Never spill the G&T.

Anonymous said...

"Stay out of trouble"; although this might fall in the "big picture" category.

For instance, you may have rights at the windward mark, but you also see that there will be a lot of boats and that some of them may be drifting into the mark. Better to stay away and make a large rounding while keeping up speed.
Another example; sometimes it's better to eat dust and duck under the stern of another boat rather than get into a contentious protest situation.

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