JULY 12, 2016
STRATEGY VERSUS TACTICS
The prediction was for light wind so I was not surprised to see an easterly wind blowing when I got to the harbor. We switched out to the 155. You must have the right equipment for the conditions! With the hellacious traffic on the way to the harbor, we were late and did not start until after 6. We gave the usual 5 minute blast on the horn. Our course was start, Blacks, Gov,finish, keeping us inside for the light easterly that was blowing.
It has turned into quite a game for our starts. It seems someone will always try to barge and someone will always push them above the mark. We have all been on the giving and the receiving end of this arbitrage. Peter on Sea Quake loves this game and is quite adept at calling people on their barging attempts. We were lucky enough to catch him at his own game and pinch him off at the mark. Turnabout is fair play. All part of the fun of sailing!
On Pair A Dice, we thought we saw more wind outside of Blacks and my first thought was to “go with the wind” and sail high of the mark. This was a strategic move, going where the wind is. Someone pointed out that going high like this would give Makani an inside overlap at Blacks. Time to use “tactics”, so we fell off to go down to cover Makani. It was not long before we had gassed him and slowed him down.
On the way to Gov, we tried various whisker pole configurations even putting the pole between the shrouds at one point. The wind seemed to be dying as we ghosted along at less than 1 knot of speed. We slowly inched our way to the mark and finally jibed around it. Indeed, the wind on the way to Gov was so light, many of the boats were retiring. Food and drink at Crow’s nest is more appealing than sailing at less than 1 knot!
On the way back to finish, the wind filled in nicely and I studied my prostart to track our bearing and the direction of the wind. Finally we got headed to the point I felt it was time to tack. Taking this tack on a header gave us a lift that almost took us to the mark. Pair A Dice was lucky enough to round first and Makani seems to have inched out a very slight win over Perfect 36.
Strategy vs Tactics:
Any race requires the use of both Strategy and Tactics. Using strategy is sailing the course as if there were no other boats out sailing the course the fastest way possible using various wind pockets and direction. Tactics are how to deal with other boats, either impeding them with bad air or using rules to your advantage. You should always use both in any race, but knowing which one to emphasize is a trick that is hard to master.
See you next Tuesday.
Sailing Pair A Dice