SinC Speed and Smarts Vanging Mechanics Pulling harder on the vang affects the rig and sails in many different ways, but the exact impact depends a lot on how the boat is rigged. For example, is the boom vang anchored to the mast or to the boat? How far away from the gooseneck does the vang attach (to the boom and mast or boat)?

SinC Speed and Smarts Mainsail Control Part3 Don’t cleat the sheet. The wind and wave conditions are different all the time (even when it seems like they are static), so if you want to keep going fast you have to adjust your mainsail trim continually. Try never to put the mainsheet in its cleat.

SinC Speed and Smarts Mainsail Control Part2 The traveler controls the angle of attack of the mainsail in much the same way as hydraulic cylinders control the flaps on an airplane wing. When the plane is going slowly and needs a lot of lift (e.g. to take off or land), the flaps go down to make the wing more curved and more angled to the oncoming wind.

SinC Speed and Smarts Mainsail Control On most boats, the mainsail is easily the biggest upwind sail and therefore has a proportionally large effect on the boat’s speed and pointing performance. Because the mainsail must cover an incredible variety of wind and wave conditions, it has to be stretched and twisted into a wide range of aerodynamic shapes.

SinC Speed and Smarts Headsail Control The mainsail may be the biggest sail on most boats, but the jib provides a relatively large share of the boat’s driving force, for two reasons. First, the jib is not sitting behind a mast, so it sails in clear air with minimal turbulence. 

SinC Speed and Smarts Laylines Dilemmas Pt2 A layline seems like such a simple thing – a dotted pathway on the water that leads you straight to the next mark. But dealing with laylines while you are racing is not always so straightforward.

SinC Speed and Smarts Layline Dilemmas 125There are certain scenarios that always seem to play out when you get near a layline. Somebody tacks on you or you have the chance to tack on somebody. The wind shifts so you are no longer on the layline. You have to make a choice about whether to do two more tacks or sail straight, but slowly, toward the mark.

SinC Speed and Smarts Identifying Laylines Before you round any mark you have to get to the layline, so it helps a lot to know where the layline is. To avoid overstanding or understanding (and losing time or distance), find a good method for making consistently accurate layline calls. Here are some tips.

SinC Speed and Smarts Laylines Tacking Angle A layline is the path you would sail, when steering your optimal upwind or downwind course, to get around the next mark on one tack. We all know that laylines are invisible, of course, but many sailors don’t realize how much (and how often) laylines move around.

SinC Speed and Smarts Laylines Layline – An imaginary line on a beat or run that shows a boat's course when she sails her optimum upwind or downwind angle in the existing wind conditions and is heading straight toward the leeward or windward mark.



The European portion of SailGP Season 4 got underway this weekend in Saint-Tropez, France. Having hit record breaking speeds last year on the Côte d’Azur, Phil Robertson and the Canadians were looking forward to this weekend of racing, but things did not turn out as hoped. A penalty in the pre-start of race one was a precursor of what was to come, and it proved difficult for the team to recover.

A collision with Spain early on in race one set the team back and translated into eight penalty points for the event and an additional four penalty points for the season.