Rounding Windward and Offset Marks

Rounding Windward and Offset Marks

Multi-class events and big fleet venues are increasingly opting to utilize offset marks as a means of reducing congestion (and protests!) at the weather mark. With that in mind, take every opportunity to practice rounding a mark, sail a reach for a short distance, and then bear away and set the spinnaker. 

Even if you don’t anticipate sailing with an offset mark this season, much of the information below will help your crew be smoother at the windward mark rounding.

Laylines Revisited

Laylines Revisited

Very often, back on shore after a day’s racing, you'll hear some familiar post-race stories told by competitors. “We ended up barging at the start and got shut out.” Or “We were doing really well and then over stood the weather mark and let four boats in.” Or perhaps “We ended up over standing the leeward mark and gave up three boats on the inside when that shift came in.” Any of those sound familiar? It’s happened to all of us and it costs places in races and regattas and all of them relate to laylines.

Communication for Speed

Communication for Speed

Picture yourself on port tack, going fast, with a wall of starboard tackers coming at you. You can barely see them, but you know their bows are charging at you! Your team communicates well and is all on the same page, you cross the first three starboard tackers and then do a smooth duck on the last one before tacking on to the lay line for the weather mark. The whole situation seems almost routine. Why? One big reason is that the team was communicating well as each crew member was apprised of the situation and his or her subsequent role in it.