Sailing on Lifted Tacks

On Friday, nine MC racers did starting exercise, and then held five two lap races in the cove with about 8 to 10 knot winds with some higher gusts. Usually, the sea breeze is pretty steady, but not Friday, April 3rd when the starboard tack was favored with lifts (and it helped in going left to ride the current to the weather mark.
Here is what Jeff Nickolas wrote about sailing on lifted tacks, and a good reason to have a compass to track shifts.
The key for me today was having clear air and space at the start. Starboard was favored and there seemed to be a persistent lift sailing up the leg (185-190 degrees lifting to 205 at times). At times I was almost fetching the mark. As I got up the leg I promised myself I would tack to port when I was let down to 190 degrees. It happened each leg and provided me a nice port to sail to the mark.
Another good tip is that if the first leg is very favored on starboard you need to really make sure your start is good and clear. If you get blanketed by another boat and have to tack to port, bad things usually happen. Frequently that starboard lets down and boats that were on starboard tack to a nice port. If you are forced to tack away in the good starboard after sailing the bad port you will frequently be tacking onto a bad starboard. This is how so much distance is created between the front and back of fleets. If you are in this situation and need to tack to get clear air be sure and tack right back to starboard and get in phase with the fleet. ALWAYS TRY AND SAIL ON THE FAVORED TACK!!
How often do you buy your old boat? Well, Dave Atkinson of Clear Lake, Iowa, did just that. On Friday afternoon he repurchased his old MC. It is one the Jeff Nickola brought down and sold to Jim Eagan who is now focusing on his family’s Pearson 35. Dave plans to spend his winter’s here; and like so many of us he has grown to love Sarasota, especially its great sailing conditions, SSS and racing both E’s and MC’s.

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