Tips from the Experts - Fionn Jenkinson
TOP 10 RACING TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
- GOAL SETTING
Set your goals and make a complete plan of all the sailing you are going to do for the year.
Make out a physical training plan for the season (unless you are doing athletics, don't have other sports as part of this plan).
Eat and drink well before and during events.
Avoid Mars bars, Yorkies, Snickers, crisps or any fizzy drinks!
WEATHER & TIDE
Get a detailed weather forecast – TV, Radio, Newspaper – write down
or print from the Internet e.g. http://www.onlineweather.com/v4/ireland/city/Dublin.html
Bring forecast with you each day of the event along with a local tide timetable
BOAT HANDLING & BOAT SPEED
Make sure your boat handling is perfect and your boat speed is very good before practicing things like tactics and race starts
POSITION ON START-LINE
Be conservative at starts. Never start exactly at the biased end of the line.
Start five or six boat-lengths away from it and give yourself some space so you have a better chance of getting of the line in clear air.
PRE-START PREPARARTION – THE WIND
Before the start do a split tack with another sailor so you know which side of the line is paying. Keep an eye on the tide. Ask yourself:
Which way the wind is flicking in the gusts?
How long is there between each gust?
Are there more gusts on one side of the beat than the other etc?
AFTER THE START
Coming off a start-line boat speed is very important.
You should never have to make more than 3 tacks within 3 minutes after a start. If you get a good start keep your speed up and you'll find most boats fall behind very quickly.
STAY WITH THE FLEET
Never go to the left or right hand side of a beat.
Go to the left or right hand side of the fleet
Never come on to a lay-line more than 8 boat-lengths out from the weather mark.
I hope these racing tips come in handy – Fionn Jenkinson (6 January 2004)