Strategy and Tactic

Philipp and Julian Autenrieth: "The best tactic and strategy decide the outcome, while the boat and the conditions are more or less the same for everyone.  Whoever can make the best out of these conditions, wins."


Lutz Kirchner (GER)

"Watching the kids was great, as they had a lot of fun with the game"

Lutz Kirchner

Lutz Kirchner has been a coach on the international sailing level for several years. Along with the improvement of tactical, physical, mental, athletic, coordinative and technical skills, which sailing requires, the integration of every single athlete into the group is important to him. He believes team spirit and synergy effects are necessary in order to attain the best possible result—not only in sporting activities, but also in one’s general behavior. See his website:  

Lutz Kirchner (GER): "Sail the Longer Leg - and you are in front!"

Longer leg first

Furthermore, the Coach-Box enabled us to visualize tactical teaching devices, and, above all, design them to be interesting. The simulation of the long leg, short leg and the changes that appear during the beats could be pointed out superbly, without having a flipchart filled out to the point where no one knew what line stood for what course. Also, explanations, i.e. bearing to land, are portrayed very well and explained clearly in the program.

Coach Lutz Kirchner: "Digital media for Optimist training*"

Wind ladder at 15°
Wind shift of 15° - Gain or Loss
Behind or ahead
The "Safety Diamond"
On water training

The kids have a lot of fun with the game. "Tactical Sailing's Coach -Tool" is a great enrichment to theoretical training, for both beginners and experienced sailors. In comparison to flip charts or powerpoint presentations, "Tactical Sailing" can simulate wind changes with far more comprehensible results. This media appeals to Optimist sailors through the reduction of unpopular theoretical explanations and alerts their attention for attaining the educational objective. Another advantage of the game is that it enables sailors to exercise further training by themselves.

Tool: "Start" With the use of this tool, can the meaning of a line of bearing at the start line be made visual and explained. Shifting wind and the accompanying consequences at the pole position are shown and compare the position to the opponent boats. Any geometrical changes in the course, especially regarding the long and short leg, are graphical shown. This achieves a widened scope for tactical decision making.

Tool: "Gain and Risk" The tactical exercise "Gain and Risk" offers another and more complex topic for experienced Optimist sailors. Through a wind shift the sailor could have a much shorter distance to the upwind mark (Gain) or a far longer distance (Loss). The increasing danger through leaving the safety diamond corridor at the outside line and the possible ensuing consequences are demonstrated here. The simulation shows important contributing factors and decision making help on how to react with wind shifts. Do I stay on course or tack about and try the other direction? "Gain and Risk" estimates immediately the sailed course, as well as the theoretical "still to be sailed course" and illustrates other tactical options for the analysis of alternative decisions. An opposing boat is also provided for visible comparison. For more help see: or contact:

Foto: Birgitt Müller-Genrich
* This statement has been publushed in "Optimist Jahrbuch 2016" (German), see document translation into English here.

Youth YCSS
Lutz and Opti-A Group
Lutz explains: long leg
Lutz Kirchner