Using photo's to tune your boat
Above. It is always a great help if you can get a friend or a skipper not sailing in your heat to
snap pictures of your boat around the course. In this pic my IOM, 63, is later passed by top
NZ skipper Goeff Smale, 61,  The picture makes it clear why this happened. With the
amount of back winding I have in the mainsail it is clear I either have to much twist in my
mainsail or not enough twist in the jib, perhaps also I could have opened the jib slot up by
sheeting the jib boom a little wider. It just goes to show sailmakers don't always make the
best sailors.
In this sequence of pictures yours truely, 63,
tries to pick the shortest course to the first
mark. After a good start there was an
opportunity to sail into clear air by tacking on
to port, clear space like this gives you
choices at a later time. Note further out on
the starboard side of the course there is a
glassy patch of water which would suggest
lighter air out there, with this in mind 63
tacks back on to starboard after a short while
when a lifting breeze gives the opportunity to
do so. this keeps us in the middle of the race
track which once again gives you options of
working a port or startboard lift as it comes.
If you sail out to either side of the course on
what appears to be a good lift you might find
yourself pasted out there and having to sail
back to the windward mark on a header and
thus sailing a longer distance.. Using the
centre of the race track if at all possible on
windward beats is a smart move, you might
not always be the first one to the mark but
you won't get caught out on a limb and be
the last to round either. If you can work
more shifts than most the others you could
come out well ahead.
On the wind tactics