Maths are stupid - except for geometry

"I sometimes practice maths with my girls and their usual reaction is: maths are stupid except for geometry! But it is precisely geometry that can awaken their interest in sailing theory. And vice versa, with children who are keen to sail, it can arouse their interest in maths and geometry", said Nicole Walkowiack (coach for VSW Berlin).

Geometry also played an important role in the 2018 sailing season. Robert Kinzl from the Berlin Sailing Association, invited over 25 Youth Coaches for advanced training at his Performance Centre for Sailing Sport at the Müggelsee. With "Tatical Sailing's" software programme on the PC, the coaches had the opportunity to experience "practice through play" the different uses of strategy and tactics that they could later pass on to their young sailors. After a brief introduction and explanation into the Tactical Sailing's simulation, 10 of the most important "decision situations" in tactical sailing were discussed. It is not only Optimist sailors that need to know how to react quickly in "decision situations" but also J/70 Champion League Teams if they want to be successful by regattas. "I definitely found the advanced training very interesting, exciting as well as recreational. I now have many skilled ideas to use, not only when working with children but also technical training for adults in our sailing club." said Nicole Walkowiack (VSW Berlin)

Of course, for every sailor "decision making" begins right at the starting line when deciding which is the "correct side" to take. After that it really gets started. For the sailor it would make sense, as a challenge, to sail the "long leg" first, instead of the "short leg", thus shortening the way to the upwind mark. To the astonishment of the participants, the route to the "switch point"* was fixed, thus ending the "long leg" (yellow point). Now there is another decision to be made: tack or stay on course? The "Tactical Sailing " simulation shows coaches -and sailors the necessity of paying attention to the various changing situations which enables them to make the right decision. In addition it becomes clear how essential "geometry" is for making the right decision in a particular situation. (See You Tube for Video-Clips displaying the advantage of "Switch Point")

*See Tilo Schnekenburger "The Geometry of Regatta Sailing" (Original title: "Die Geometrie des Regattasegelns"; Paperback or eBook to download): "For a successful sailing, it is indispensable that one understands the geometrical connections on a regatta course and uses this knowledge to avoid mistakes and to take advantages".
Arne Claus (JSC Youth Coach): "With his "Tactical Sailing" software, Paul Gerbecks has provided tactical knowledge of sailing in a new and engaging way. The participants learnt a great deal and had a lot of fun at the same time."

In this NEW's-report, only two out of a total of 10 important decision-making situations in regatta sailing were approached; more information can be found in the Sailors Lounge. The Tactical Sailing Academy will continue to offer seminars in 2019. If you are interested in continuing education as a member of a sailing association, or club: Please send an e-mail to

If you already have a license key for Tactical Sailing, you can download a free update to the latest software here. The Tactical Sailing Software can be downloaded directly from the net (39 €), or with extension Coach's Toolbox (+20 €), "All in One" (59 €). It runs on almost every computer (Windows, Linux, Mac). See the features at and order the game on the website as a download.

Sources: Photo Tactical Sailing
See Tilo Schnekenburger "The Geometry of Regatta Sailing" (Original title: "Die Geometrie des Regattasegelns"; Paperback or eBook to download)
© Book cover: Ingrid Huber graphic design
Tilo Schnekenburger: Strategie+Taktik des Regattasegelns
VSW: Verein Schmöckwitzer Wassersportler e.V. in Berlin Schmöckwitz,
JSC: Joersfeld Segel Club e.V. Berlin,