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Coach´s Corner

Special Issues from Expert Sailors

Jochen Schümann: "The physics of sailing constantly forces a clear decision. Thus, not to opt is always a mistake."

Jochen Schümann: "What managers can learn from athletes. Not to opt ​​is always a mistake". (Interview in Magazin "Capital", 26.Nov. 2014)

The first decision ever to be taken by the sailor, is to choose the right or left as his favorite side. The experience already gained, tactical considerations about the competition, ability to observe the wind situation concerning has a major impact on success. The advantage is the greater, the longer I am sailing "the proper side", there where the wind shifts.

We simulate "situations" during a regatta to opt for decisions, a special issue on making decisions using "Coach´s Toolbox". See You Tube video, click here, see a simulation of "Risk Management".
(Video in German language - Translation work in progress; 29.04.2017)

Tilo Schnekenburger: The "Switch Point

Switch Point at 45°, the long leg ends there!

"Sail the long leg first" - this rule of thumb for sailing certainly knows every regatta sailor from its earliest beginnings. It seems to be one of the simplest strategic rules, compliance with which, according to several tactical books, should open up more chances than sailing the short leg first. Explanations see: Tilo Schnekenburger See the following examples as video clips:

A) Oscillating wind: In the video clip 1, the green boat shows three "switch points", where the bearing angle is then 45 °. With a wind turn (+/- 15 °) the green boat turns on the "long leg".
B) Permanent shifting wind on one side: In the video clip 2 the green boat shows two "switch points", where the bearing angle is then 45 °. However, it is not sure if the wind will continue to turn in the same direction. The green boat turns to the middle of the field, where it has more freedom to decide on further wind turns.

David Dellenbaugh - "Top 100 Tips"

3 tips, 3 minute video

In this video, three of David Dellenbaugh's, the American sailing guru, most important tactical tips are acoustically presented from start to finish. Among other things, its focus is on advantages by sailing the long leg first and tactical maneuvers windward and leeward. With "Tactical Sailing," you receive many strategic tips for regatta success. See the video on You Tube and start click here .
These three tips are an example out of 40 tips. Play it all interactively "A Game Against the Wind - Boat Against Boat" and all "Tactical Sailing Tips". See all features and order here.

Cyrill Auer - Optimist Academy (SUI) - for Beginners and Elite

When should I tack?

First beat: When should I tack?

In an interview with Cyril we discussed the practical issues of Opti sailors, for example,
"When should I tack?"
His answers sound very obvious and he is using the "Coach´s Toolbox" to explain on a simulated scene the first beat. Cyrill shows the path sailed, the risk, the "best and worst case", when to tack. Cyril showed also several other scenes (see below) that you should know in theory, and later use for your benefit on the water much easier.

Starting line
Long leg - short leg
Zone and overlapping
Tactic on a beat

Cyril trained both novice and elite sailors in Switzerland. He has experience in many European and international lakes. On his website you can see its program offerings and login.

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.

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