Starting Tips By Mark Bulka

Starting  By Mark Bulka (Catamarine)

Starting is the most important part of the race.


1.     What is a good start.?

Answer: Being where you wanted to be 4 minutes after the start.

For example: clear air

                      Playing the shifts at will,

                      On the favoured side of the course,

                      Making the best use of tide,

                      Perhaps protecting your lead in the regatta.


2.    Establish a race Plan.

When planning your start, you must be thinking where you want to go after the gun. Will your start allow you to achieve this.

   To establish a race plan you need to gather as much information as possible in the time you have. So get on the water early and start collecting. Of coarse there is information that can be collected from the shore.

For Example: * Speak to locals on local knowledge

·        Check weather reports, look at the clouds.

·        Take water temperature

·        Get tide times

·        Know the regatta score, so who you must beat

·        On the water check for wind shifts; time these shifts

·        Do some two boat tuning


3.    Find Favoured end of Start Line.

a)      Luff head to wind and sight square across boat,

b)      Reach down line in both directions

c)      Use compass

d)      Get two boats to come off the line at different ends.

e) Get a line sight


4.     Tips for coming off the Line

a)      Always less wind on starting line, so power up rig for start.

b)      Too much cunningham will cause boat to slide sideways before start.

c)      Create a hole below yourself in which to accelerate.

d)      Know how long it takes your boat to accelerate.

e)      If your sail number is protected by the boats above you; GO!

f)        Use your line sight if you can to ensure you are on the line.

g)      A bad start at the right end is often better than a good start at the wrong end of the line.

h)      The starting pack is always sailing slow. So get out if you can.

i)        Sail the hardest at the start. It can set up your race.

j)        Encourage a sailor blocking your way to tack.

k)      Either sail over the boat to leeward or leebow the boat to windward to create a better sailing hole.

l)        Implement your race plan ASAP