Tips from the Experts – Fionn Jenkinson


Fionn Jenkinson

  1. GOAL SETTINGSet your goals and make a complete plan of all the sailing you are going to do for the year.
  2. FITNESS TRAININGMake out a physical training plan for the season (unless you are doing athletics, don’t have other sports as part of this plan).
  3. DIETEat and drink well before and during events.

    Avoid Mars bars, Yorkies, Snickers, crisps or any fizzy drinks!

  4. WEATHER & TIDEGet a detailed weather forecast – TV, Radio, Newspaper – write down

    or print from the Internet e.g.

    Bring forecast with you each day of the event along with a local tide timetable


  5. BOAT HANDLING & BOAT SPEEDMake sure your boat handling is perfect and your boat speed is very good before practicing things like tactics and race starts
  6. POSITION ON START-LINEBe 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.

  7. PRE-START PREPARARTION – THE WINDBefore 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?

  8. AFTER THE STARTComing 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.

  9. STAY WITH THE FLEETNever go to the left or right hand side of a beat.

    Go to the left or right hand side of the fleet

  10. LAY-LINE

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)


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