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Tips from David Dellenbaugh

The invisible Monster Wind - Oscillating or Persistent Shifting Wind?

© David Dellenbaugh
© David Dellenbaugh
© Tactical Sailing Toolbox

From experience you know constant, persitent shifting or oscillating winds, squalls, lulls. Tactical Sailing winds that we simulate on the play and regatta field also have these characteristics. See an interesting article about Wind pattern from David Dellenbaugh: Figure out the wind pattern.

In the 1992 America’s Cup, we had a sophisticated system for collecting wind data before each race. This included three tenders with wind instruments spread across the course (see picture). One boat was about a half mile to windward of the first mark, while the other two were slightly to windward of the corners of the course. Before the prep signal, all their wind data came in to a computer on America3 that displayed a running graph like the one in graph (above). Since the wind direction and velocity are so important in your strategy, spend a good part of your time before the start collecting information about them. And don’t forget to keep doing this throughout the race as well.

Strategy and Tactics

There is one thing we know for sure: the wind is constantly changing. With the Tactical Sailing games, tips and Toolbox we make the invisible monster “wind” visible through its direction and its strength. This way it is easier to learn to use its power to our advantage. The strategically and tactical possibilities to use the wind are made very clear using the Toolbox. Strategy means: making a plan about how we will act in order to reach our goal, to have an over view about the wind relationships, to show wind formations, and alternatively to take into account possible actions to changes in sequence. Tactics mean: in the concrete game or regatta situation constantly to test if the goal is still attainable or not, and to react immediately and spontaneously to expected situations or unpredictable changes. Strategy and tactics are closely connected and influence each other. For this reason sailing is a tactical game against the wind.

The standard program includes a learning module with more than 40 tips to sail "Against the Wind" or "Boat Against Boat". The most popular tactical tips from David Dellenbaugh are presented as video-clips, e.g. the advantage of sailing the long tack first, or downwind and upwind tactics.

Who is winner or looser, if wind is shifting?
Video clip on youTube, click to view: .