Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So what if the start line's a little crooked...

With the line 25 degrees off from perpendicular to the wind, the port side has a huge advantage and can be favored by several boat lengths. But, port tackers must beware of the starboard tackers, who'll be tightly confined by the skewed start line. Because of the angle of the line to the wind, for starboard tackers the effective width of the start line will be less than half of normal! This means a hugely greater potential for accidents, collisions, fouls, or bad starts.

The start is even more miserable when a skewed line is compounded by a misplaced race committee signal boat. This is a massive accident waiting to happen. Throw in a few random big puffs, some chop, and a current moving from right to left, and you just might be able to get the whole racing fleet to crash into the committee boat!


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