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Then visit our Tactics Lite page

You know the rules of the game?

Nevertheless it might be useful to have a closer look at our page Rules Crashcourse


twilight-the race


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Burgenland Sport



Here you find what we have changed on our pages. And if you are interested in our 'Tip of the month'. Here you find an archive for all tips recently published.


Archive - Tip of the month

For lack of time we stopped the rubric Tip of the month". But a look at the issued tips maybe useful for yor..


2017-02 Have a look at the new rules

The 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) have been finalized and published on the internet. These rules come into effect on January 1, 2017. The complete text can be found at the World Sailing Site. As in previous rulebooks, all changes from the previous version of the rules are indicated by change bars in the margins. But the change bars won't do you much good, as they don't indicate what changes were made.  And even if you do a word-by-word comparison, you still generally won't know why the change was made.

Therefore we recommand the Study Version of the Racing Rules at the World Sailing Site. That document shows all the changes in red; but also, if you click on the last word of the change (in blue), you can read the submission that led to the change. The submission shows what wording was originally proposed and, more importantly, the reasons given to the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee that caused that committee to adopt the change.

If you do look at the study version, you'll see a lot of red, especially near the beginning of the rulebook and at rule 69. From this, you might conclude that the new rules are a huge revision of the 2013-2016 rules; but for most sailors, the changes are extremely minor.

You can find a good summary of all the changes at the page of the US Sailing Federation written by Dave Perry: Commentary to the new RRS by Dave Perry

2017-01 Have a look at our new animations

We have changed our main graphic format from gif ( Graphics Interchange Format) to MP4 movies. This saves us a lot of server space, but it also give you better control to stop and continue the animation and to navigate forwards and backwards however you want.


2016-12 Good feeling x science was yesterday,

today we need science x good feeling

According to an idea by Wolfgang Mayrhofer (responsible in the Austrian sailing association for top-class and performance sports)

Of course gut feeling or instinct in top-class sport has its place. 'weiterlesen'

2016-11 The sails are your Engine

Modern car engines usually last easily for several hundered thousand kilometres without noticeable loss of performance.  But how does that look with our 'engines' -  sails.

Unfortunately our sails are far less durable than other engines. Our sails, even after limited use in a tough Regatta, no longer maintain their full performance. Especially if the Class rules forbid high tech materials, it begins to get really expensive.  Dacron sails lose their full performance after just a few days' use and have accordingly to be changed often in top sport.

Membransails do keep their optimum shape longer, but are only used by top athletes in a few Regattas. Top sailors have the finances and contacts to always turn up at the race with the newest sail material at their disposal.  What can the many others do, who haven't yet got top sponsors or made it to the feeding troughs of sports promotion?

How to get (almost) new sails

Those top sailors are your chance! They usually have sail materials in the locker which no longer meet their high demands, but which are much better than what you could bring to the Regatta course. Another reason why the sail store rooms of the top sailors are so well filled is because the 'same' sails from a manufacturer are minimally different within the manufacturing tolerances.  For that reason top sailors, especially in the 'One Design' classes, test a great many sails until they decide on several sets of sails which they will actually use.  If you don't belong to the absolute World elite, you absolutely won't notice the difference between chosen and rejected material.

Try to get in touch with the top sailors. You will get still useable material for little money. I know examples where an athlete supplied all his offspring cheaply with sails.

2016-10 Have a look to the new rulebook

Every four years, after the Olympic Games, World-Sailng issues a new version of the RRS. The validation of the rules starts at 1. January of 2017. Here you find the link to the appropriate document at the World Sailing Page.

The new rulebook does not change our game fundamentally, but there are minor changes you should know.

In the rule book all changes are marked. So it is easy to follow them.

In the coming winter we will issue an article dealing with the new rules.

2016-07 Use every free minute for sailing!

Exactly this is our plan for the summer and therefore you will find the next Tip of the Month in October.

2016-06 Try something new more often

'Stick to what you do best' is a saying that isnt always true as far as sailing is concerned. 

If you always do the same thing, it loses its charm.  Change makes life exciting and expands your horizons. Naturally, its is simpler and more comfortable to always do things the same way, but our training should not be comfortable and simple, it should develop us further.

Sail more often in other boat classes

If you are a single-handed dinghy sailor, try a two-man dinghy.  You will very quickly see that sailing two-handed brings completely different challenges.  You have to adjust to a partner, share your duties, etc etc etc.

If you are used to sailing two-handed, a single-handed dinghy can be a new challenge.  You are suddently completely reliant on yourself alone.  You cant discuss your decisions with anyone.

Also, the change from fast to slow boats and vice verse makes sense. 

The new appeal of the speed, the physical demands by acceleration and holding back, the stress caused by having to make decisions extremely quickly. All that is new for someone used to a slower boat. On the other hand, the tactical finesse which one deals with in a slower boat are again something quite new for someone who is only used to extremely fast boats.

If you are a dinghy sailor, sail in a sea regatta for a change,

perhaps even in a long distance race. You will gain a lot of new experiences. 

In any case, it is good for your development to  try something new more often.

The more versatile you are, the simpler it will be for you to adapt to new things such as, for example, the reduction of the wind limit to allow pumping, rocking and oaching.  Small changes in rules can alter the challenges for the athletes extremely. 

(Read more in Oct 2016)

2016-05 No sucess without mental strength

'Competition golf is played between the ears'.  This quotation from golf legend Bobby Jones can be applied to every complex sport and, as we know, competition sailing is one of the most complex types of sport that there is.... continue reading

2016-04 Tipps for a successful saison start

by Alfred Pelinka

The air gets milder, the snow melts, Skis or snowboard will be put in the corner, because the real passion, (Regatta) sailing again becomes our main topic.....continue reading

2016-02 2016-03 Read our new article about the Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis effect explains many phenomena that we can notice when sailing ..... continue reading

2016-01 Warning - E-Regatta can be addictive

Exciting regattas online, perhaps the right thing for cold winter evenings.  You sail against sailors, not the computer. Here is a link to Christian Kargl's site:; he tested the game.

 Download App and programme free:

2015-12 Tactical considerations on the size of the Start corridor

Last month, we had a look at how the length of the Start corridor changes if the wind direction in relation to the Starting line changes. We agreed that the Start corridor gets bigger if the wind comes more from the right and smaller if the wind comes from the left. The tactical effects are the same as for a longer or shorter Starting line. For that reason our tactical considerations are also the same.

According to ISAF's recommendation the Starting line for single hull vessels should be calculated according to the formula:  Length of boats * Number of boats * 1.3 to 1.5.

Not all race officers keep to this formula  One of the reasons being that often a variety of classes will start on a course, one after the other, and that the number of competitors in these classes can vary greatly  Very few race officers match the length of the Starting line to the varying sizes of the starter fields. Usually an average length will simply be chosen and will remain the same for all Starts.  The effect is that the large fields then have a relatively smaller Start corridor available to them, whereas the smaller fields on the other hand find a much wider Start corridor.

For this reason it makes sense, to consider well before the Start, how the Start corridor and therefore the length of the Starting line will look.
The following gird helps us to come to the correct tactical decisions:


Long Starting Line

Short Starting Line

Room on the Starting line



Advantage of the optimal position on the line in relation to the wind direction.



Approach to the Starting Line



Risk of an approach from the left



Possibility of a crossing to the right



Effects of congestions






All these considerations must be factored into our risk management assessments, before we decide on the 'right' Starting tactics. Recommendations for the correct tactics are difficult, because there is no one single correct tactic  The risks connected with every Start need to be individually assessed by each Team as we already described in the chapter on Risk Management. Here are a couple of examples of factors which can play a role in this:

In any case, never forget:

Starting line  preferably  left – Start corridor smaller – Starting line therefore shorter
Starting line preferably right – Start corridor larger – Starting line therefore longer

2015-11 Watch the Start corridor

What is a 'Start Corridor'?

The Start corridor is the zone behind the starting line in which one can approach the Start line, without having to tack or bear away to get past the Start boat.

The size of the Start corridor is variable, depending on the angle of the wind direction to the Start line. 

Depending on whether the Start boat or the Pin End is preferred, the Start corridor becomes correspondingly smaller, the more the wind comes from port. Wind von links --> Kleiner Startkorridor










The more the wind comes from Starboard, the larger our Start corridor becomes. Wind von rechts --> Großer Startkorridor

A glance at the graphics makes the connection clear.

Using simple trigonometric functions, you can easily calculate this effect. Assuming a turning angle of 90 degrees and a Start line length of 100 meters, the Start corridor for a correctly laid out line, is 71 meters wide. If the wind is coming from a further 20 degrees to the left the corridor narrows to 42 metres. If the wind comes another 20 degrees from the right, the width of our corridor widens to.91 metres.

Boote die sich nahezu im rechten Winkel der Startlinie nähern brauchen außerdem wesentlich weniger Platz, als Boote, die an der Startlinie entlangfahren.

Another factor in the size of the Start corridor is the length of the Start line.

The longer the Start line, the wider the Start corridor. Breitere Startlinie --> Größerer Startkorridor

How do these different widths of Start corridor affect our Start tactics?

I think everyone will realise that the Start in a wide Start corridor will be simpler for us than a Start in a narrow one, simply because there is much less room for boats in the front row in a narrow Start corridor.

More about the influence of the size of a Start corridor on our Start tactics in the December Tipp.



2015-10 Read the introduction to the different sections of the racing rules

Often the first sentences of a section in the Racing Rules are not read by sailors. But these sentences contains important information, which you should not miss. Here you find two examples:

Do you know, that between boats which are sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting line after her starting signal the Right of Way rules of  ‘Section A’ are not valid?

Everybody knows, that you have to keep clear from all correct started boats, when you sail back to the prestart side of the starting line, but nearly nobody of your competitors knows that between boats sailing back to the prestart side the most important rules in our rulebook (Rule 10 – 13) are not valid.
22.1. A boat sailing towards the pre-start side of the starting line, or one of its extensions after her starting signal to start or to comply with rule 30.1 shall keep clear of a boat not doing so, until she is completely on the pre-start side.

What is the reason for this?

At the beginning of Section D you find a sentence, that declares Section A not valid (Section A contains  the basic rules 10 to 13). Here you find the complete text:
When rule 22 or 23 applies between two boats, Section A rules do not.

There is also no mark room if you sail back to the pre start side, because Rule 18 is also not valid, because in the first sentence of Section C  (at Marks and Obstructions) you can read that this section is not valid for starting marks surrounded by navigable waters.

What rules apply between boats which are sailing back to the prestart side after the starting signal?

In this case the General Limitations written in Section B are valid. The most important one is Rule 14 - Avoiding Contact.

If there is contact between two boats sailing back to the prestart side, both boats are to disqualify. Maybe one boat is exonerated because the other boat has changed course without giving enough room to keep clear (Rule 16 Changing Course).

2015-09 Addendum Q (Umpired Fleet Race) Test

The tip of the month 2015-09 was included in Chapter Miscellaneous.

2015-08 Risk Management (Part 2)

The tip of the month 2015-08 was included in Chapter Miscellaneous.

2015-07 Risk Management (Part 1)

The tip of the month 2015-07 was included in Chapter Miscellaneous.

2015-06 Drink, drink, drinktrink

The tip of the month 2015-01 was included in Chapter Miscellaneous.

Tack, tack, tack

At the site of you find a simple tactic game. Nothing to install, no registration, just play. Even on your smartphone in the subway.

Tactic Game 




Tacticians vs Software. Take a challenge in SailRacer’s wind game. It’s all about the right moment to tack. The wind is real. Therefore: No wind, no game.

Be careful - It is addictive!

Play now.


2015-04 New Cartoons

This month a tip for those of us, who are coaching young unexperienced sailors.

We added some cartoons in the Download Section‘ regarding hearing themes. These cartoons were developed by the French International judge Bernadette Delbart.

I think they are a good tool to teach young, unexperienced sailors how to lodge a protest, and how to fill out a protest form.

2015-03 Refreshing after the Winter

Although temperatures (still) don't quite encourage longing for the first Regattas, it is, however, a good idea to occupy yourself now with situations and options which could arise on the water in the coming sailing season.  Helpful for this are - depending on the type - books, DVDs or also Youtube.

The German Sailing Federation and the Sailing Team Germany have made great efforts for some time (with the help of the technology-heavy sponsors, SAP) to put boat-specific knowledge, tactics and naturally also images, onto a modern platform.  This is implemented, among others, through the Sailing Team Germany Youtube Channel.

Particularly interesting is the STG Online Academy, where trainers like Bernd Zirkelbach, Rigo deNijs or Marcus Bauer illustrate various elementary processes , content and strategies.  But also the physical preparation and how to handle modern rope-work are covered.  Unfortunately the videos are only in German but often the pictures are sufficient to understand the topic.

2015-02 Check your knowledge regarding RRS 42 (Propulsion)

What is permitted, what ist prohibited and why. Try the test in the new article (Unpermitted) propulsion.

2015-01 Model boats make de-briefs more efficien

The tip of the month 2015-01 was included in Chapter 'The De-Brief'.


2014-12 Passing a mark can be part of taking a penalty

When taking a penalty after touching a mark, a boat need not complete a full 360° turn, and she may take her penalty while simultaneously rounding the mark. Her turn to round the mark will serve as her penalty if it includes a tack and a gybe, if it is carried out promptly after she is no longer touching the mark and is well clear of other boats, and when no question of advantage arises.

The following animation shows such a situation.

Rule 44.2. well-defined a One Turn Penalty as a turn including one tack and one gybe. Rule 44.2 does not require a boat that takes a One-Turn Penalty to complete a full 360° turn, or a turn of any particular number of degrees, and it does not prohibit taking the penalty while making another manoeuvre, such as rounding the mark.

The illustrated situation complies with rule 44.2. and rule 28.2. provided that the string representing the boat’s track when drawn taut lies on the mark’s required side, the boat would comply with rule 28.2 even if (as not illustrated) a penalty turn resulted in the boat making an extra 360° turn around the mark.

(Compare ISAF Case 108)

2014-11 Winning is only possible with a clean hull

Beispiel eines schmutzigen Unterwasserschiffes ;

Whether a hull has less resistance if it is lightly sanded, or polished, can be debated.  Even the experts have differing opinions.   Some coat the hull with a miracle product, some with car polish, others sand it.  Take care with sanding: in some classes sanding the hull is forbidden.

In my opinion, a rough surface only makes a difference at higher speeds (from about 15 knots).  With slower boats, a smoother surface is faster.   This is only my subjective experience and not the scientific view.  Nevertheless, the differences are marginal and hard to assess objectively.

However, there is another issue here which is absolutely not negligible.  This is about the hulls of boats which at least during the whole Regatta, or even during the season, remain in the water. 

That algae and mussels on the propeller or below the water line reduce speed significantly is logical, but even the slightest 'fluff' which builds up in the harbour has a massive effect on the hull resistance and therefore on the boat's speed. Even with the best anti-fouling product, a thin layer will build up below the water line and should definitely be removed.    It is worth cleaning the hull daily during a race series.

This should all be obvious, but I was recently at a Championship where chartered 'one design' boats were being sailed.   It was hard to believe that some Skippers pay out thousands of Euros for the charter, 'Nenngeld' (entry fees?), travel and accommodation, but not E100 for a diver who will clean the hull, rendering themselves beaten and without a chance even before the Start.  Later on the poor result will be blamed on a slow ship and bad luck.

So - never forget  without a clean hull, don't bother taking part in a regatta - you would do better to spend a lovely weekend with your partner in Paris, Venice or some other beautiful place.

2014-10 Have a look at RaceQs

What is RaceQS?

RaceQs is a free App for Iphones and Android mobile devices to record your sailboat race.

How does RaceQs work and what can it do for you?

Launch your tracking data with just the push of button and you can re-live your 3D sailing adventure from any computer. Evaluate your sailing performance in 3D and create a virtual sailing journal online. You don't need any special equipment, VMG, Speed and Course over ground are shown on the display. If your device is mounted in a constant position even compass heading, draft and heel are displayed and recorded. The wind direction for calculating the VMG is automatically calculated by the tack and jibe angels.

After the race you can upload the tracking data to the servers of RaceQs.All the boats in your fleet who were running RaceQs will automatically be added to your replay, allowing you to compare your performances.



2014-05 This Month's Recommendation

This time our Tip of the Month is a link to the UK Sails website. There you can find a very well made Rules Quiz. Unfortunately the quiz isnt very cheap, but I think the $55 would be well spent. The examples are partly quite complicated, but well animated/illustrated, and super solutions have been prepared. The scenarios (facts found) are strictly separated from the rules and conclusions, and a lot can be learned and taken away to use in your own protest negotiations.

2014-04 KISS – keep it simple stupid

This fantastic rule can be used successfully in many areas of sailing sport, e.g. tactics, trim devices on the boat, manoeuvres, etc. Now at the beginning of the season you should extend this principle to be a fundamental building block of the training didactic and methodology:

If one follows these principles - adapted to be class-specific and relative to the current level of proficiency - at the first water training sessions in the new season, training success as well as fun on the boat are guaranteed.

2014-03 Already heard about congestion?

Not only on the motorway - we need to deal with congested areas when sailing too.

You will perhaps already have noticed that, shortly before the Start, when the boats have lined up in the Start area, that the wind is significantly weaker there, even if you are in the front row and have clear wind. The reason for this effect is the congestion which forms in front of the regatta field producing a not insignificant resistance to the wind.

Abbildung 108 This effect is illustrated with graphics in Figure 108. In addition to this effect, the wind blows around this congestion and is significantly stronger at the edges, as shown by the narrower lines. If we find ourselves on the left hand side of the congested area, the wind flows to the right soon after the start and we can run higher. But take care, after the congestion zone the wind turns back to its original direction again. This left windshift should not be misinterpreted as an oscillation to the left, and mislead us into a tack to the right hand side of the course.

If we find ourselves on the other side of the congestion, we have the exact opposite effect and feel a header and the leeward boats can sail closer to the wind than we can. If we have the freedom to tack, a quick tack and a short run to the right is called for. Sailing on port tack on the rigt side of the congestion we dont have to sail against the wind shift and can also benefit from the stronger wind at the edge of the congestion.

The starting line is often relatively clear in the middle, and a group of boats forms on the right and left of it, each group forming their own independent congestion 'cloud'. Abbildung 109Figure 109 shows this scenario. In this case, the yellow boat can also benefit from the wind shift. In the middle, between these two congestion zones the wind will be at its strongest for a short time; a further advantage of this position. However, don't forget: the pre-requisite for being able to use these effects is a start in the first row. Under cover of other boats, you won't even notice them.

2014-02 Talent alone is not enough

Only hard work leads  to success

'I work very hard on all aspects of the game, make sure I have the right people around me...'

The person who said that doesnt need to compensate for lack of talent by excessive training.  No, it was Ben Ainslie, the British Superstar. Without training nothing will work!  150 to 200 days on the water are normal today in top sport, and obviously top physical fitness.  In addition, the training environment must be appropriate. You have to work with the right people and get involved with all aspects of the sailing sport.

Why are successful sailors so old?

Robert Scheit won the Laser World Championship at 40.  In most other kinds of sport, you would be retired at this age, or at least be amongst the coaching staff.  How is it possible that a 40 year old can win such an athletically demanding Class?  Together with talent, and good preparation it is, above all, due to experience and mental strength.

The more 'duels' someone has won, the more their self-confidence grows.  Their conviction to be able to produce  their peak performance even under difficult circumstances, distinguishes these sailors as experienced ones.

What have we learned from this

Don't be discouraged by failures. Sailing is very complex and multi-faceted.  The learning curve in sailing is very flat.  With sailing, it is important to stick with it, to collect experiences. If the effort and the environment are right, success will follow at some point too. You have time.

2014-01 What a coach needs?

This article was moved to the page "Miscellaneous".

2013-12 Do you keep a sailing diary?nach oben

Sailing Diary screenshotOf course, after a training or regatta day you are tired, the boat has to be sorted out again, social contacts need your attention and you need to have a de-brief with your coaches. Often then, you forget to capture in writing the experiences of the day. No big problem at the time, but later, if you dont remember everything so well, you wont be able to dip back into the knowledge that you gained.
It's just not working
Who doesnt recognise that? An important Regatta is approaching, you have travelled there a couple of days beforehand to get used to the course, but in training you notice that the boat's speed isnt good.  You begin to adjust all possible trim settings, to try out different sails, but time is running out. Trial and error won't work.    
But I used to be fast here
At the latest, if this sentence goes through your mind, you will be happy then to be able to consult your training diary. Which sail did I use then, and which settings did I use? When there is South wind was the right side favored, or the left? All that and much more can be answered by your diary.
Use 'dede sailing diary'!
If you don't already have a better software, use Dede Sailing Diary.  Dede Sailing Diary was developed by Dede De Luca one of the famoust italian sailors. This diary is a very simple and intuitive software to use. Installation takes 5 minutes and you will understand the programme in another 10 minutes, and will be able to use it productively.

And the best comes last: here is a free download!

2013-11 Tactics in a Medal Race (Part 2)nach oben

If you analyse Medal Race results you see that it is always the same teams who either lose or gain places. A good performance in a Medal Race demands that one gets to grips with the special tactical requirements. A Medal Race is not just a race like any other.

In Part 1 in September, we mainly dealt with the Plan. Today we will deal with the special aspects of field tactics in a Medal Race.

Medal Race competitions differ in the following ways from other competitions:

What influence do these differences make to our field tactics?  Let's look at each one individually:

Short Courses

Short courses mean shorter legs too. Because of this, legs sailed between the individual manouevres will be shorter too.  The absolute speed of the boat loses significance, as does consideration of wind changes. Much more important are quick manoeuvres and speedy achievement of a good 'normal speed'. There arent many chances to overtake; the best chances to make up one or more places are at the marks.   Right away, at the beginning of a leg, one should consider how to approach the next mark, and what opportunities there are to block an opponent, or to gain an inner overlap. Above all, the Start is naturally extremely important, but we already explained that in Part 1.

Close to the shore

Medal races are mostly held near to the shore in order to offer spectators great sport. Regardless of how one feels about sporting aspects being pushed further aside due to technical requirements for marketing, we have to deal with reality and try to make the best of it for ourselves.

In many cases, proximity to the shore means unorthodox wind conditions, greater land influences, and local shadow zones), but also shipping, often mean that wind shifts are not predictable.

What does that mean for us? If we are happy with the position we are in, we must defend it.  Especially if we can't predict wind shifts, we should keep between our most important pursuers and the next mark, even if this possibly loses us a few meters' lead because we can't make optimal use of the current wind changes.  If the pursuers get a little nearer because of this, keep calm - narrowing a lead is one thing, but overtaking is far more difficult.

Only 10 Competitors/Participants

There is a big difference in sailing in a field of 10 participants or in a field of 40. Small fields are always a disadvantage for 'good' starters. With 10 particpants, it's easy for everyone, at least shortly after the Start, to sail free of wind cover.  One doesnt lose so much with an average Start as you would in a large field.  How much you want to risk at the Start depends on your Plan (as discussed in Part 1), but too much risk at the Start seldom brings rewards, because quickly sailing free after the Start, even with a less than optimal Start, is almost always possible. On the other hand an early Start in a Medal Race, however, robs us of all chances before we even cross the starting line. 

A further aspect of small fields of starters is control.  If we want to keep a particular boat behind us, this is much easier in a field of 10 than in a large field. Close cover, and a couple of Match Race tricks - preferably before the Start - can unnerve a direct opponent early on.

A little tip to finish with...

If you are one of the sailors who normally loses a place or two in a Medal Race, then try to include a Match Race or two in your diary.  Medal Races have more in common with Match Racing than is generally believed, even if you sail to Fleet Race Rules. 

After only a few Match Race events you will notice a change: You will be safer when sailing in confined spaces.  Certain tactical variations will soon happen automatically and you won't need to think so much about your tactics.  You will be able to concentrate fully on your manoevres.

2013-10 What can we learn from the America's Cup?nach oben

The America's cup 2013 is history.  We certainly aren't concerning ourselves here with the rumours about how Team Oracle could so improve its performance at the halfway.  Before we go into the tactical aspects, a few general comments about this fantastic series:

Why were these races such a great success with the public?
The most important rule changes:

As mentioned above, the special rules used for this Cup had a massive effect in that the races were simply comprehensible for spectators.  The most important rule changes were:

For all who are interested in the details of the RRS for the America's Cup, here is a link to the document:
We'll see whether the experiences from these America's Cup rules also have an influence on the next version of the RRS.

Tactical Aspects:
The tactician should, as far as possible, be free of other work on board

This naturally only applies for yachts and larger boats.   Team Oracle fully integrated John Koustecki into the grinding work in the first races, while with Team New Zealand the Afterguard could concentrate on their job relatively freely.  I suppose that Oracle did not expect that the boats' speeds would be so similar, and that the tacticians would have to work so fully concentrated during the whole race. 

The tactics are simple on the faster boat

This wise saying was confirmed both at the beginning by Team NZ and also later by Team Oracle. Sounds like a truism, but only confirms something that we emphasised in our chapter Technique or Tactic:   It is more important to concentrate on improving the technique and to increase the boat's speed than to deal with sophisticated tactics.

Even the best paid tacticians make mistakes

During the 19 races one could see both sides make several serious mistakes.   That is reassuring for us, however, what can we learn from it for our own tactics?   Many tacticians occupy themselves far to long with their own mistakes.   Those who put them behind them fastest will make the fewest subsequent mistakes.  Admit your mistake, but deal with it after the race, perhaps at the de-brief.  On board, after a mistake you must focus as quickly as possible again on the race and the next tactics.  And, as we also saw here at the AC72, in the end what counts is the win and not how many mistakes you made on the way to it.

„Gentleman Yachting“ is seldom rewarded

Team Oracle protested about all situations which even remotely had a chance of success.  Team New Zealand declined to protest in several situations, though they would definitely have had a chance to hang a penalty on their opponents.  Also in the pre-start phase, or at the first windward mark, Team NZ abstained several times from excessive use of its right to luff. to put its opponent in the wind and make the most of the critical meters, which could have been sufficient to hold the lead in the race. 

Several interesting protest situations

The film in the following link shows a situation in the Pre Start phase of race 17. At the beginning of the situation New Zealand is clear ahead. Oracle created an leeward overlap and began immediately to luff.  New Zealand tries to keep clear by luffing also. There is a contact. Team NZ gets the first penalty. For me this was incomprehensible because at the beginning of the overlapping, Team USA immediately began to luff and didnt give Team NZ enough time to keep clear (Rule 16.1).
A short time later there was then a second penalty for New Zealand.  This time correctly, becauseTNLZ didn't react to the second change of course by the Americans, probably because they were shocked by the first penalty.

In the following film is a very similar situation in the race 2 at the first reach to mark 1.  The US boat can establish a leeward overlap to TNZL and luff immediately. This time the US protest is correctly rejected by the Umpires.

The following film shoes the only Dial Down in the series.  Possibly there was a 'gentlemen's agreement' between the two teams not to make this manouevre again, simply because it is very dangerous with such high speed boats.



2013-09 Tactics in the Medal Racenach oben

What is the difference to a normal Regatta? DAs ISAF is experimenting with different formats at the moment, not all Medal races are being held under the same regulations. However the following features apply to most medal races:

What does this mean for our strategy/tactics?

We begin as always with a Plan

So how does one develop a plan? First collect all the facts together, then draw your conclusions and your plan is ready. Sounds simple, and it is simple, if you don't just sail off, but putting together a plan before every race becomes routine.

The following is an example, based on this year's Nacra 17 European Championship at Lake Como. We show the formulation of a plan for the medal race from the viewpoint of the top ranked Austrian team.


Position after the final




































The Austrian boat could carry out its plan and win the medal race, but miss a medal by 3 points.

There will be more about tactics for a medal race here at the beginning of October.

2013-08 New tactics for new Regatta formats?nach oben

In recent months, the ISAF has been trying out new Regatta formats at large events.
The consensus, following these trials, is to shift the decision far back as possible and to prevent the winner being determined before the final day. This is the only way to hold the interest of both the media and the audience, but sometimes the fairness of the competition is somewhat sacrificed. 

In general, the difference with the new formats is that the competition is divided into qualification, finals and medal race in all classes and there are many different variations in the points scoring.
So what do the most common variations look like?
The greatest difference is  in the way that points from qualification are carried over to the finals, and correspondingly how the points from the finals are carried forward to the medal race.
The aim of every top sailor is to win a series.  But beware, some top sailors have failed in heats because they took too high a risk.
Basically, for top people, the less points are carried forward, the more conservatively they can tackle the preliminaries.
For example if  6-8 qualification regattas count towards one result for the final series, reaching the gold fleet must be the most important aim, rather than taking forward as few points as possible to the final series. Great to enter the final series as the leader, but frustrating to miss the cut due to two self- inflicted OCSs.
Its a different situation if your own level of performance is weaker, and reaching the gold fleet is less certain.  In this case you need to take a higher risk to possibly make the cut.  It wouldnt make sense in this case to miss the cut due to conservative tactics.
The strategy must be different if all the points from the qualification are carried forward to the final series.  In this case, the fight for a win begins in the first race and the same tactical principles apply as before.
The tactics in the final runs depend on the same principles: the fewer the points from the finals are taken into Medal race decision, the more priority must be to achieve the cut for the Medailrace.
There will be more about the strategy in the medal race here next month.

2013-07 Analyse your opponentnach oben

Whether you are underway in the World Cup, or only sail at national level, you will come across the same competitors again and again.

Have you considered how best to analyse opponents and to use their weaknesses and strengths to your own advantage?
You answer 'no' to this question?  I don't believe you.  You probably don't even realise how often you include your knowledge of your opponent in your tactical planning.  For example, you wouldnt put your self directly to leeward of a strong starter in the prestart phase og a race.

In order to make use of your knowledge of your opponent in a systematic way, it makes sense to take notes.  What should be in these notes?   Whilst not a complete list, here are some examples:

Specialist for: light or strong wind
Behaviour at start: aggressive, defensive
Tactical behaviour:  risk taker/ conservative
Tackling behaviour:  aggressive, defensive
Keen on protests:  Yes/No
Protest hearings performance:  good/average/bad

Before a series have a look at the data you have on your opponent and let this knowledge flow into your tactics.
Especially in a medal race, where you often only fight against a few nearby opponents, the knowledge of what behaviour to expect from your competitors is an advantage not to be under-estimated.

But remember; sailors develop and if they are good, they work on their weaknesses.  Light wind specialists can suddenly deliver good results even in strong wind too, so don't forget to check and update your data regularly.

2013-06 Have another look at the Archive sectionnach oben

We are happy, that you currently follow our advice ;-)

2013-05 Individual recall - what to donach oben

After a 'P Flag' start, 'individual recall' is signalled.  What to do?  In every case a very speedy decision is necessary. Every second wasted in thinking too long costs critical centimetres and metres at the start, and how important the start is for our success, we don't need to explain again here.

Two situations are clear and don't need lengthy consideration:

I was safely on the start side: Sail on with full concentration.  To be on the safe side, take note of the sailors who are in your immediate vicinity.  They could be important witnesses in case later on you find yourself unjustly on the OCS's list.

I was safely on the course side: As early as possible put the exit strategy, which you planned before the start, into action and sail back.

I am not sure whether I was on the course side at moment the race started: This situation is difficult and for that reason we want to look into this case comprehensively.  Due to the complexity of the situation, it will take far too long if we only start to consider what to do in such a case when it actually arises.  Therefore, you must consider, before the start, whether it would pay to risk an OCS or not.  The criteria for this preliminary decision would be:

Are we at the beginning of a series, or already in the final phase?
How strong are our competitors. What result can we achieve, when we sail back and restart?
Are discarded results expected?
Have I already got a bad rating (e.g. OSC, or DSQ) or simply a bad individual result which at an OCS rating, despite a discarded result, will be fully reflected in the net score?
How important is it for me to have a good result in this competition?   For example, it would not make sense to doubtfully sail back in the last competition of a qualification when I need to be in the top 10 to make the cut for the goldfleet?


All these points can be considered and weighed up in advance, and from this will emerge the risk factor which I would be prepared to accept if OCS disqualification was threatened.
At the start, I must only consider two additional criteria if there is an individual recall:

How likely is it that I would be considered as OCS by the race organisers? According to experience, the likelihood of being identified as an early starter is higher at the ends of the starting lines than in the middle, covered by other boats to leeward and windward.
How is the situation in the phase after the start - how much time will I lose through having to sail back?  It is often possible to minimise the effects of an early start and loss of time due to sailing back, especially with early use of my exit strategy.


In each case, I gain valuable seconds, and therefore metres, if I make contingency plans before every race in case an 'individual recall' is signalled and I am in danger of an OCS.

2013-04 An island can be your saviournach oben

This tip has be integrated in the Longdistance page.

2013-03 Must we put up with everything?nach oben

In the racing rules, options for protests, redress, hearings and appeals are very clearly set outBut what happens if an unusual situation crops up, and all the options within the rules have been considered, but a decision is reached which we do not feel fits with our understanding of the rules, or – more simply – leaves us feeling we have been unjustly treated?

According to Rule 3 Acceptance of the Rules, every participant taking part in a race agrees to be governed by the rules of that race, and waives the right to appeal the decision at a civil court or any other tribunal. The reasons for this rule are clear:  court cases can last a very long time and no-one is interested in learning the result of a sport event months or years after it ended.  Apart from that, even in a court case the judges would not have sufficient expert knowledge to be able to judge the facts and would therefore have to rely on testimony by experts.

So is there really no possibility at all to challenge an unfair judgement in a civil court?  Leading jurists are of the opinion that Rule 3 contravenes the national law in most countries so cannot be legal.  Because this conflict between the interests of the sport for quick results and those of the citizen for legal certainty impacts almost all types of sport and all countries, an international body was set up which concerns itself exclusively with conflicts in sport.   The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.  Detailed information can be found via this link   Decisions are usually made very quickly at the CAS.  Cases can be brought before the CAS by athletes, but also by Associations or Clubs; the only criteria is that all normal means of arbitration within the sporting association have been exhausted. At large events, such as the Olympic Games, a Commission of the CAS is present at the location so that decisions can be taken within hours.   Incidentally, the ISAF changed its own Rule 3 at the Olympics and now expressly permits recourse to the CAS.  All a matter of bargaining power...

2013-02 How to escape a close covernach oben

This tip has been integrated in the Upwind Page.

2013-01 Take a quick look at the new Rulesnach oben

As you know, new racing rules apply from 1 January 2013. Even if a lot has just been re-phrased, there are nevertheless a number of small changes which you should know about.  We have looked at the new Rules very closely on your behalf.  On the page Racing Rules 2013 - what's new from 1.1.13 we have summarised everything that is important for you as sailors.

2012-12 Have another look at the ISAF pagenach oben

The new racing rules coming into force from 1 January 2013 should be a reason to have another look at the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) website. You will find not only the complete text of the rules there, but also background information explaining why a rule has changed. You can find everything about the rules here. There are only a few important changes, but the wording has been changed a lot.

Did you know that you can now earn a penalty if you throw a banana skin into the water (Rule 55)?
If you don't yet have an ISAF sailor ID, this would be a good opportunity to register yourself and to add your biographical details to the ISAF site.

2012-11 Seek alliesnach oben

A common approach to improving your knowledge of tactics is to analyse a race during a de-brief within the Team, or together with your Coach.
While it is completely normal to discuss technique and the development of the boat's speed with training partners, the inclusion of competitors in the further development of tactical skills is not normally advisable.
Why do I neeed allies for tactical work?
Thanks to advances in electronics it is possible these days to record your own 'Track' relatively cheaply with reasonably priced instruments e.g. from Velocitec.  There are also useful Apps on Android, I-Pad, etc. which will do the same thing.   But it is inpossible to analyse your performance or to come to some conclusion obout tactical errors by viewing only your own track. Your track become really valuable only when compared with those of others, so exchange them with (friendly) partners.  This is the only way to develop further.  Regardless of the level you are sailing at, whether a Club Regatta or at a Championship, exchange information on your performance with your partners and you will all profit from it.  Laying the individual tracks on top of one another will provide important information on tactical successes and failures.  However, it is important to make these analyses relatively near to the time of the competition, because you may not have all your Tracks available, so you will have to make a few decisions based on your memory.  During this analysis, if you discover some incorrect tactical decisions which are not just coincidences, make some notes.  You may find that certain errors are repeated.  In that case you will find a clue as to what you need to focus on in your next race.

2012-10 Thorough preparation of a boat is the basis of successnach oben

The fastest boat doesnt always win, but the probability of winning with a fast boat is simply higher. Of course one can sail badly in a fast boat with bad technique and bad tactics, but on the other hand even the best sailors can't win with a slow boat.

Starting with a boat which isnt at its optimum condition is wasted money. You often hear the argument: 'I still make too many mistakes; new sails won't change that'. Naturally you won't make less mistakes with new sails that you did with the old ones, but you won't make any more either, so your result with the best equipment will be better than with bad equipment and that's why we sacrifice a lot of time and money. Simply put, you can improve by several places if you optimise your equipment within the boundaries of your financial ability.

Of course everyone can't turn up to every event with new sailing gear, but consider whether it makes more sense to buy new sails rather than a new engine for the coach's boat.

With yachts which often lie in water, it is certainly more important to clean the underside of the boat before a Regatta than to invite the crew to a huge meal. Spaghetti fills people up too! Nothing is more annoying to fall out of a race because of an item that costs 2 Euros; so replace worn parts in time!; Set priorities according to your budget. If your budget isnt enough, its better to miss a Regatta and to invest the money saved in the remaining ones.

2012-09 Watch the Judges....nach oben

The aim of the ISAF is to use specialised judges for the individual classes, especially when applying Appendix P (Umpires for Rule 42). This is to achieve a consistent interpretation of the rules, particularly Rule 42. For us sailors, this will mean that in future we will often be confronted with the same Judges. We can use this to our advantage if we make a list of judges and make a note of how many penalties each one has awarded for which misdemeanours.

This is not always easy, because the names of the judges are only seldom noted on the penalties list. But the judges boats are located behind the Starting line and you can go to the boat any time, also after passing the finishing line and have a look at who was just on duty in your group. After the race, write up the Appendix P penalties list and try to organise them amongst the judging team. Don't take any notice of the ones you cannot work out. If you know the sailor who was penalised, you can also ask him which judge punished him. Its also important to know which penalties were given when. If for example, there were no or only a few penalties from one judge just before or at the start, you can assume that this judge tolerates active sailing at the start, and possibly risk using sculling or a body pumper for acceleration after the start.

In time you will have a little database which will show you how actively you can sail without risking a penalty. This is not meant to be a guide to breaking Rule 42, but we all know there is a yellow zone between allowed actions and forbidden actions and it is this yellow area that we are talking about here.

Some judges tolerate more active sailing than others. To know which judges these are can make the small difference between winning or losing.

2012-08 This time there's a tip for the race officials!nach oben

Two windward marks can take the fear out of the first dangerous rounding of the windward mark

Most of us know that, especially with up and down courses, an offset mark will be placed so that the boats which already passed the windward mark are separated from those who are just on their last approach to the weathermark.


Graphik nicht verfügbar!

That works quite well, but doesn't help with dangerous situations that develop when the boats lie very close together after the first leg and are approaching the weather mark on different tacks.   Particularly the boats with the wind from port find themselves opposite a phalanx of boats with right of way and only have the choice of losing many boat lengths by ducking behind all the other boats, or to try to tack leeward of them and then try to reach the mark.  Mostly that does not work and there's only the possibility to get away with a gybe leeward of the windward mark.  Many race participants in this situation don't want to see the reality and try to round the mark anyware with the result that the stand against the wind and drift to the mark. Collisions and serious damage are the result. 

With the RC44 series this year in Calais and on the Traunsee, such a situation was successfully defused by putting the former 'Offset' mark directly to the windward of the windward mark, with a gap of about 3 or 4 boat lengths.


Graphik nicht verfügbar!

This way the Lay line for boats with the wind from the port are separated from the layline of the boats with the wind from the starport.  Situations are not so close and the helmsmen and tactitions have more time to react.
Naturally, this course set-up only makes sense in larger vessel classes and short course.  With small dinghies, which are very manoeuverable and quick to turn, it is better to stick with the classic Offset mark.


2012-7 Once the right lane is favoured, the next time the left lane... (Part 2)nach oben

Last month we looked at the cause of this 'phenomenon' which can be oscillating winds and short courses. In conditions like this we have to use our tactics for persistent wind shifts. To do this we must know in which direction the wind will shift during the upwind leg. Our wind recordings help us to find out which phase of the oscillation we are currently in. If it is to be expected that the wind, during the whole upwind leg, or at least a significant part of it, will shift to the right, we have to make our first run to the right and may only tack as we reach the Lay Line. Notice however, that the Lay Line in this case is a curve. However, it is advisable in this case not to tack too early. If one is lying below the Lay Line, the last run to the windward mark is a huge detour.

That naturally applies in reverse also. If the wind shifts to the left during the whole upwind leg, we should make the first run to the left.


2012-06 Once the right lane is favoured, the next time the left lane... nach oben

"I really didnt know on which side I should sail on my upwind leg!“
The solution to the puzzle is usually oscillating wind combined with short courses. Especially with fast boats, and short up and down courses, as they normally are in fast classes these days, this situation crops up more often than ever.
The upwind leg is over before the wind swings back.  Because of that our oscillating wind becomes a permanent shift and we have to set up our upwind tactics as if we were dealing with a constant wind change.  Compare this with our examples on the 'Optimum path' page.
It's not enough to understand afterwards why it would have been better to beat about the left lane. We have to plan for this situation during the preparation for the race.  That is actually easier than you think; in almost every race there is a specific course and a target racing time.  From these you can work out how long an upwind leg should take.
Let's suppose we sail a standard up and down course with 3 laps and a downwind finish – altogether 3 upwind and 3 downwind legs.  The target time for a race is 40 minutes. Our boat runs a third faster VMG on the downwind than it does upwind.  Therefore we travel 24 minutes upwind and 16 minutes downwind (40/5*3=24, 40/5*2= 16).  An upwind leg takes therefore 8 minutes and a downwind leg 5 minutes and 20 seconds.  Now, all we need are our wind data and the course we are sailing after turning at the leeward mark to make our tactical decision on how to meet the next upwind. If the oscillation time is less than 8 minutes, the tactics are simple and we can use all the tactical rules we learned for oscillating winds (check our Optimal Path page). It is more difficult when the oscillation time is longer than 8 minutes – but more about that in the July tip.


2012-05 The wind hasn't always changed direction when the jib collapsesnach oben

Because we always sail with the apparent wind, we should never under estimate the influence of the boat speed on the apparent wind.

If our boat runs into a lull, the apparent wind will come more from ahead, at least until the speed of our boat has adjusted itself to the new windspeed.  If we interpret this change as a header, we will tack and then comes the 'Aha' experience!  You could find yourself sailing back where you have just come from; simply because the true wind direction hasn't really changed.

The following graphic shows the effects described above:

You can also come across the opposite scenario which doesn't, however, have such damaging repercussions.   If we come into a zone with more pressure, we can luv first and sail higher then before. Responsible for this effect ist not a windshift, but the stronger influence of our boat soeed to the apparent wind. Iif our boat increases speed accordingly, we will drop away again.    This return to 'normal conditions' shouldn't be interpreted as a header. 

To interpret these effects correctly and not to confuse these wind shifts with changes to the true wind direction, we either need a well calibrated instrumentation system to show us the true wind direction or lots of experience.

Different wind strengths also affect the tacking angle

and with it the sailing course for the same wind direction.  Especially if you sail a heavy keel yacht the optimum tacking angles change significantly with different wind strengths.  If you don't have a perfect instrumentation system on board, 'Target Speed' tables show the speed and turning angles for each wind strength, or the sensitive behinds of experienced helmsmen and tacticians!


2012.04 Accept your mistakesnach oben

Sailing is too complicated – don't expect to be perfect all the time. Everyone, even the World Champion, makes dozens of mistakes during a race; so what's the difference between a World Champion and you?

He or she recognises their faults earlier and reacts quicker.

Admit your faults and deal with them.

There are no miracles...

How often does a small mistake turn into a disaster, simply because you won't admit the mistake and, with stubborn determination continue on the wrong course, hoping for a miracle?

Do you recognise the following situation?  You have a good strategy, you follow your tactics with determination, but something doesn't quite happen the way you planned it. You begin to doubt and the following thought goes through your head: 'What I did wasn't the best idea'. Exactly then, its time to work to minimise the impact of your mistake.  Turn back if you notice you are on the wrong track - its not a scandal if you are behind the field when there's no reasonable alternative for the time being.  Better to stay within striking distance of the leading boats, than to try to gain a lucky win with a reckless move which is guaranteed to fail.

Forget your mistake...

Make your mistake, analyse it quickly, draw your conclusions and develop Plan B.  Then forget it.  Every thought you waste now on a past mistake will distract you and disturb your concentration.  There will be enough time for a detailed analysis in a de-brief after the race.


2012.03 Taktik bei Protestverhandlungennach oben

Auf Grund der Wichtigkeit dieses Themas wurde der Tipp des Monats in den regulären Inhalt aufgenommen. Du findest die Taktik bei Protestverhandlungen nun auf der Seite Verschiedenes.



2012.02 Wettfahrtregeln mit Uli Finknach oben

Das ist sicherlich die derzeit beste deutschsprachige Regelseite. Mittlerweile wurde diese Seite auch in viele andere Srachen übersetzt. Im Forum kann man auch Fragen stellen, die sehr rasch und kompetent beantwortet werden.

Link zur Uli Finkh Regelseite

Es lohnt sich wirklich da einmal hineinzuschauen. DIese Seite enthält auch alle ISAF Cases und Q&A.

Eines der Higlights ist das Regelspiel, wo man spielerisch alle Aspekte der Wettfahrtregeln verteiefen kann.




2012-01 Peilen bei Strömungnach oben

Segeln in der Strömung ist für viele von uns sehr ungewohnt. Umso mehr ist es wichtig gut zu beobachten und die Beobachtungen richtig zu interpretieren. Wir müssen uns immer bvewußt sein, dass wir uns bei Strömung genauso durchs Wasser bewegen, wie ohne Strömung; mal abgesehen davon, dass die Strömungsgeschwindigkeit einen Einfluss auf den scheinbaren Wind hat, der unser Boot antreibt. Das Problem dabei ist also nicht die Strömung an sich, sondern, dass Bojen, oder andere Hindernisse sich nicht mit Strömungsgeschwindigkeit bewegen, sondern fix sind.

Speziell Segler mit wenig Strömungserfahrung haben Probleme relative und absolute Bewegungen zu unterscheiden. Ein ähnliches Phänomen können wir auch im Zug beobachten, wenn wir in der Station stehen und der Gegenzug abfährt schaut es für viele so aus, als ob sich der eigene Zug vorwärts bewegt. Erst ein Blick auf die andere Seite zeigt uns, dass der Bahnsteig sich nicht bewegt und deshalb wissen wir, dass auch unser Zug noch steht und der Gegenzug sich bewegt. Schauen wir dann wieder auf die andere Seite sehen wir plötzlich, dass der andere Zug sich bewegt und unser Zug still steht. Wir haben aus der Erfahrung gelernt!

Ähnlich geht es den unerfahrenen Strömungsseglern. Sie sind ganz auf die relativen Bewegungen zwischen den Booten fixiert und segeln so als ob keine Strömung wäre. Nähern sie sich der Boje, oder dem Festland sieht es für sie im ersten Moment so aus, als ob die Boje sich gegen die Strömung bewegt.

Peilungen können helfen einerseits Strömungsstärke und Richtung festzustellen, aber auch unser Bezugssystem an die tatsächlichen Gegebenheiten anzupassen und zu verinnerlichen, dass das Land und die verankerte Boje unbeweglich sind, das Medium in dem wir segeln aber sich bewegt.

Das folgende Beispiel zeigt uns, worauf es beim Peilen ankommt:


Peile immer über zwei feste Punkte

Das rechte Boot segelt auf Grund seiner falschen Peilung zwischen Boot und Boje weit über die Layline hinaus und muss letztlich gegen die Strömung zur Boje zurücksegeln und verliert so wertvolle Meter. Das linke Boot peilt zwischen der verankerten Boje und dem verankerten Boot am oberen Bildrand und kann so genau erkennen wo hin die Fahrt geht. Auch wenn der Bug in eine völlig andere Richtung zeigt.

nach oben

2011-12 Wie man gewinntnach oben

Die folgenden Tipps stammen vom Chefredakteur des führenden österreichischen Yachtmagazins "Yachtrevue" Luis Gazzari. Sie beziehen sich auf die österreichischen Hochseestaatsmeisterschaft, die auf gecharterten One Design Yachten (Bavaria 42 Match) ausgesegelt werden.

Wer eine Medaille holen will, sollte – außer technisch und taktisch gut segeln – Folgendes beachten:


Die maximal erlaubte Anzahl, und keine weniger, vorzugsweise auch ein paar schwere Jungs, und jede Position muss gut besetzt sein. Manöver laufen reibungsloser, wenn es genügend Hände gibt. Klare Aufgabenverteilung! Und, sehr wichtig, die Crew muss harmonieren. Kritik erst bei der Nachbesprechung.


Wer glaubt als Steuermann oder Großschottrimmer genauso sicher Situationen taktisch entscheiden bzw. Strategie entwickeln zu können, liegt falsch. Übrigens: Der Taktiker, der auch für die Navigation verantwortlich ist, wird psychisch stark gefordert, weil er sich gedanklich nie ausruhen kann und sich für jeden falschen Schlag verantwortlich fühlt. Für diese Position ist eine selbstbewußte Persönlichkeit erforderlich, die falsche Entscheidungen schnell verkraften kann und immer in die Zukunft orientiert ist.


Muss im Training perfektioniert werden, nicht während der Rennen. Nach dem Start konzentrieren sich Steuermann und Taktiker auf die Konkurrenz, nicht auf die eigene Crew. Spi-Halsen auch bei 20–24 Knoten Wind üben; wenn’s im Training nicht funktioniert, braucht man es im Rennen gar nicht probieren. Bei mehr Wind: lieber nicht.


Manche Crews reinigen sogar während der Renntage regelmäßig das Unterwasser. Die Schiffe sind zu Saisonende praktisch antifoulingfrei und daher meist mit Bewuchs versehen; auch leichter Flaum bremst stark!


Winschen zerlegen und warten (Reservematerial!), passendes Spi-Schoten-Set, Reserveschäkel, Werkzeug, Klebebänder, Taucherbrille, Taktik-Kompass, Start-Computer (z. B. Velocitek) – um hier nur einige wichtige Dinge zu nennen.


Regelmäßig prüfen (auch während der Wettfahrt möglich) und Schlüsse ziehen. Strömungskarten sind eine wertvolle Hilfe, ersetzen aber nicht die eigenen Beobachtungen.


In kritischen Situationen muss man lange vorher Bescheid wissen, wo es noch genügend tief ist. Hilfsmittel: iPad mit Navionics-Karten, Detail-Seekarten; ev. vorher unter Motor hinfahren.


Windrichtungs- und Strömungsmessungen so früh wie möglich. Wenn das Startverfahren beginnt, müssen alle Beobachtungen abgeschlossen und die Strategie festgelegt sein. Mit der Umsetzung des Startkonzepts rechtzeitig beginnen und dabei trotzdem intensiv auf Veränderungen der Situation achten; unter Umständen Motor bis knapp vor dem 4-Minuten-Signal einsetzen!


Immer ausreichend, auch während des Rennens und auch die Afterguard. Zitat Tommi Czajka: "Wenn du Durst hast, ist es schon zu spät"


Nach jeder Wettfahrt (falls Zeit ist), abends unbedingt; je ausführlicher, desto besser. Immer konstruktiv bleiben, persönliche Angriffe vermeiden, positive Formulierungen finden. Ziel ist es Fehler in Zukunft zu vermeiden. Auch positive Sachen erwähnen.



wir haben diese Tipps beherzigt und die Silbermedaille geholt..Luis Gazzari war bei uns als Taktiker an Bord.

2011-11 Zwei Halsen brechen die Überlappungnach oben

Regel 17 - Wind von der gleichen Seite; richtiger Kurs lautet: "Wird ein klar achteraus liegendes Boot überlappendes Leeboot innerhalb eines Abstandes von zwei seiner Rumpflängen zu einem Luvboot mit Wind von der gleichen Seite, darf es nicht höher als seinen richtigen Kurs segeln, solange die Boote mit Wind von der gleichen Seite und innerhalb dieses Abstands überlappt bleiben" ......

Kurz gesagt besagt diese Regel, dass ein Boot welches in Lee von hinten kommend eine Überlappung herstellt in seinem Luvrecht durch den richtigen Kurs beschränkt ist.

Die folgende Graphik zeigt die Situation. Rot kommt von klar acheraus und stellt in Lee eine Überlappung zu Grün her. Auf Grund von Regel 17 darf rot nicht höher segeln als den richtigen Kurs.

Graphik nicht verfügbar!

So weit, so bekannt. Weniger bekannt ist die Tatsache, dass in dieser Situation auch Regel 11 gilt (Wind von der gleichen Seite mit Überlappung). Das bedeutet, wenn Rot luvt, muss sich Grün als Luvboot freihalten, auch dann, wenn Rot höher als seinen richtigen Kurs fährt. Kommt es in dieser Situation zu einer Berührung, wären beide Boote zu disqualifizieren. Grün wegen Verletzung der Regel 11, Rot wegen Verletzung der Regel 17. Das richtige Verhalten von Grün wäre sich von Rot freizuhalten und gegen Rot wegen Verletzung der Regel 17 zu protestieren.

Was kann man nun tun, wenn man Regel 17 unterliegt, aber aus taktischen Gründen dennoch über seinen richtigen Kurs luven möchte, etwa um der Abdeckung von Grün zu entkommen, Innenposition an der nächsten Bahnmarke zu erlangen, oder einen Zweikampf vor dem Zieleinlauf gewinnen möchte.

Die folgende Graphik zeigt die Lösung:


Graphik nicht verfügbar!


Boot Rot halst in Position 3 kurz auf den anderen Bug und dann gleich wieder zurück. Die Erste der beiden Halsen bricht die Gültigkeit der Regel 17, da die Boote nach der Halse nicht mehr mit Wind von der gleichen Seite fahren. Durch die zweite Halse tritt Regel 11 wieder in Kraft, nicht aber Regel 17, da die neue Überlappung nicht von achteraus hergestellt wurde. Boot Rot hat nun das volle Luvrecht und ist nicht mehr an die Beschränkung der Regel 17 gebunden.

Beachte in diesem Zusammenhang auch die Definitionen in den Wettfahrtregeln für Lee und Luv bzw. Wind von Steuerbord oder Backbord.

Nach diesen Definitionen ist für die beiden Halsen, keine Kursänderung, oder Spinnakerschifte erforderlich. Es genügt den Großbaum kurz auf die andere Seite und wieder zurück zu bewegen.

2011-10 Heute einmal Werbung für ein tolles Starttoolnach oben

Unser Trainer Ivan Bulaja hat ein tolles Starttool für Android basierende Handies bzw. Tablets entwickelt. Und das Beste daran. Derzeit kostet dieses Programm 0,- €.

Also schnell in den Android Market, und "Yacht Timer pro" von IB herunterladen und installieren.

Was kann das Programm:

- Übliche Countdown Funktion mit GPS Time Synchronisation

- Anzeige der Entfernung zur Startlinie

- Zeit bis zur Startlinie

- kml file logging

Das Ganze funktioniert ähnlich wie bei bekannten Systemen, wie zum Beispiel Velocitec ProStart, nutzt aber die Hardware deines Handies. Du ´fährst zu den beiden Enden der Startlinie und speicherst die Position mit einem Tastendruck. Dank des eingebauten GPS kann das Programm nun alle erforderlichen Daten berechnen.

Der Hintergrund ändert seine Farbe je nach Entfernung zur Linie (blau + 3 Bootslängen. Grün 1-3 Bootslängen, gelb 0 bis eine Bootslänge, Rot OCS).

Zeit und Entfernung zur Linie kann auch per Sprachausgabe angesagt werden. Eine große Erleichterung, da die Displays der Standrdgeräte im Sonnenlicht nicht immer leicht abzulesen sind.

Also ausprobieren. Und dann nicht vergessen eine positive Bewertung im Internet abgeben ;-)

2011-09 Die Wettfahrtregeln bestehen nicht nur aus dem Teil 2nach oben

Den Teil 2 (When boats meet) der Wettfahrregeln kennen die meisten Regattasegler zumindest inhaltlich ziemlich genau, aber der Teil Zwei ist nur 6 Seiten, das Regelbuch ist aber 151 Seiten dick.

Ist das Andere wirklich alles so unwichtig?

Natürlich gibt es Abschnitte, die spezielle Regeln für spezielle Formen des Segelns beinhaltet; z.B. Anhang B, C, D, E. Solange ich nicht an einem Teamsegelbewerb teilnehmen will, muss ich mich nicht mit Anhang D beschäftigen. Aber alles Andere ist für dich mehr oder weniger wichtig. Viele werden einwenden, dass man das meiste davon nur am Land braucht, z.b. bei Protesten. Das stimmt nur sehr eingeschränkt. Erst kürzlich bei einer großen Jugendregatta wussten viele Teilnehmer nicht den Inhalt von Appendix P, wurden zweimal von der Jury bestraft, gaben aber die Wettfahrt nicht auf, sondern entlasteten sich mittels two turn penalties und wunderten sich dann, dass sie für die betreffende Wettfahrt als  DNE (nicht streichbar) gewertet wurden.
Aus diesem Grund werden wir unseren Crash Kurs zur Regelkunde im nächsten Monat endlich fertigstellen.
Bis dahin: Regelbuch lesen.

2011-08 Bereite dich rechtzeitig auf die Leetonnenrundung vornach oben

Erst vor Kurzem, konnte ich als Empire einige Wettfahrten einer schnelle Gennakerklasse beobachten. Die Boote näherten sich mit ca. 13 Knoten Geschwindigkeit dem Leegate. Kaum eines der Boote rundete optimal. Die Meisten kamen zur Boje und waren noch voll mit dem Gennakerbergemanöver beschäftigt. Da ging es aber nicht um den Kampf um die Innenposition. Nein auch die Boote die völlig unbedrängt zur Boje kamen, begannen viel zu spät mit dem Bergemanöver. Das seglerische Niveau in dieser Klasse hat einen guten Ruf. Dennoch unterschätzten die Meisten die Geschwindigkeit der Annäherung an das Leegate.

Die folgende Tabelle zeigt den Zusammenhang zwischen Bootsgeschwindigkeit und zurückgelegte Entfernung in Meter pro Sekunde:

Knoten Meter/Sekunde
1 0,51
2 1,02
5 2,57
8 4,11


Wir nehmen für die folgenden Überlegungen an die Boote segeln mit Gennaker mit 10 Knoten und der Geschwindigkeitsunterschied zwischen einem Boot mit Gennaker und einem Boot ohne Gennaker beträgt 2 Knoten.

Ist nun ein Boot 2 Sekunden zu früh vor Erreichen der Leeboje mit dem Gennakerbergen und allen weiteren Vorbereitungen(Trimmarbeiten) für den

folgenden Amwindkurs fertig, verliert es 2,04 Meter auf ein Boot, das sein Bergemanöver genau bei der Boje abgeschlossen hätte. Was aber passiert, wenn das Bergemanöver erst 2 Sekunden zu spät abgeschlossen wird und das Boot nicht rechtzeitig auf Am Wind Kurs gehen kann? Das Boot segelt 2 Sekunden mit 8 Knoten über die Boje nach. Das bedeutet einmal einen Wegverlust von 8,2 Meter. Um diese Wegstrecke ist aber nun auch die folgende Kreuzstrecke länger. Also ist der Verlust durch die um zwei Sekunden zu späte Gennakerbergung in Summe 16,2 Meter im Vergleich zu einem korrekt rundenden Boot.

16,2 Meter zu 2,04 Meter. Und wie oft kommt irgendwas beim perfekt trainierten Bergemanöver dazwischen, bleibt eine Schot hängen, rutscht ein Mannschaftsmitglied aus?

Also es ist kein Zeichen von Schwäche, sondern ein Zeichen von Intelligenz einige Sekunden Reserve bei der Annäherung an die Leetonne einzuplanen.

Die einzige Ausnahme ist, wenn es darum geht eine Überlappung zu einem klar voraus liegenden Boot noch vor Erreichen der Zone herzustellen. In diesem Fall kann es sich auszahlen etwas mehr zu riskieren.

2011-07 Brich deinen Start ab, wenn du erkennen kannst das wird nichts mehr nach oben

Sehr oft hat man schon eine Minute oder früher so ein Gefühl im Bauch, dass der Start misslingen wird. Gründe für eine misslungene Vorstartphase gibt es viele. Man ist nicht an der richtigen Stelle angestellt, die Entfernung zur Startlinie ist zu gering, in Lee befinden sich viele Boote, es gibt nicht genügend Raum um in Lee des Startschiffes zu passieren, oder ich habe mich im Kampf um das Pinend zu weit nach Lee gewagt und bin unterhalb der Anliegelinie.

Das alles kann passieren, aber was machen wir? Wir starren wie ein geblendetes Karnickel auf unsere besser platzierten Gegner und machen nichts. Wir verharren bewegungslos und warten bis die letzten Sekunden bis zum Start verrinnen und unsere Situation immer dramatischer wird.

15 Sekunden vor dem Start ist es dann zu spät zu agieren, da sind wir nur mehr Opfer unserer eigenen Untätigkeit.

Vertraue auf dein Bauchgefühl und breche deinen Start ab. Wie das genau aussieht, hängt von der Situation ab, aber zögere nicht zu lang und stelle dich deinem Problem. In den meisten Fällen bei "P Start" hast du die Möglichkeit dich nach vorne zu befreien und dann wo Platz ist auf die Vorstartseite zurück zu kehren. Bist du zu weit in Lee mache eine Halse und segle mit Wind von Backbord auf die rechte Seite der Linie zurück bis sich eine neue Lücke anbietet.

2011-06 Lass dich nicht ablenkennach oben

Wie oft hat man es schon beobachtet. Einem Boot wird die Vorfahrt genommen. Der Skipper des Wegerechtsbootes weicht aus, um einen Crash zu vermeiden. So weit so gut. Aber was passiert dann?

Ein Schreiduell beginnt. Die beiden Kontrahenten diskutieren lautstark. Die Mitsegler ergreifen Partei. Keiner konzentriert sich mehr auf das was eigentlich unser Ziel ist: Schnell zu segeln.

In der Zwischenzeit verlieren beide Boote drei Bootslängen und fünf Konkurrenten ziehen vorbei.

Nimm dir vor, das nächste Mal, wenn du in so eine Situation kommst, Protest zu rufen, die Protestfahne zu setzen und so schnell als möglich mit gutem Speed weiter zu segeln.

Lass dich nicht auf Diskussionen ein. Falls dein Gegner dich anspricht, und sei sicher er wird dich ansprechen, antworte nicht. Du kannst alles mit deinem Gegner besprechen, aber erst nach der Protestverhandlung an der Clubbar.

Natürlich ist es schwer in einer solchen Situation die Ruhe zu bewahren. Der Ärger ist groß, der Adrenalinspiegel hoch. Aber dein Ziel ist es, die Regattabahn so schnell als möglich abzusegeln. Also versuche nach Ausnahmesituationen möglichst schnell wieder den Normalzustand her zu stellen.

Das gilt natürlich auch für alle anderen Ablenkungen. Zum Beispiel Kenterungen oder Probleme deiner Gegner.

2011-05 Abgerechnet wird am Schlussnach oben

Die folgenden Überlegungen gelten speziell für Langstreckenregatten

Im Gegensatz zu Kurzwettfahrten gibt es bei Langstrecken selten einen Start Ziel Sieg. Das hat unterschiedliche Gründe:

Im Verlauf einer Langstreckenwettfahrt wechseln üblicherweise mehrere Male die Windbedingungen, ja es gibt auch oft Flautenperioden, bei denen jeder Wettfahrtleiter eine Kurzwettfahrt abbrechen würde. Aber nach jeder Flautenperiode kommt wieder Wind. Diese wechselhaften Bedingungen geben dir die Chance wieder ins Geschehen zurückzufinden, auch wenn du schon abgeschlagen warst.

Außerdem ist es schwierig die Konzentration über einen längeren Zeitraum aufrecht zu halten. Gelingt es dir dein Team bis zum Schluss zu motivieren und hast du deine Kräfte bzw. die Kraft deiner Crew gut eingeteilt, hast du eine gute Chance gegen Ende des Rennens Plätze gut zu machen, speziell dann wenn deine Mitbewerber ihre Ressourcen bereits vergeudet haben, wirst du dich wundern welche Leistungsunterschiede am Schluss eines Rennens noch auftreten können.

Deshalb gilt in der Langstrecke der Grundsatz "Abgerechnet wird am Schluss" noch viel mehr als bei Kurzwettfahrten. Falls einmal etwas nicht aufgeht und vor dir sind mehr Konkurrenten, als du eigentlich erwartet hast, gib nicht auf. Deine Chance kommt noch. Sei nach vorne orientiert. An Land hast du dann genügend Zeit deine Wettfahrt zu analysieren.

2011-04 Meide die Laylinenach oben

Segelst du auf der Layline verlierst du mit jeder Windrichtungsänderung aber auch mit jeder Windstärkenänderung Boden gegen deine Gegner. Du fragst "Warum ?", dann lies weiter.

Du sagst "Eh klar" ,dann ist vielleicht der nächste Tipp des Monats etwas für dich, hier brauchst du nicht weiter zu lesen.

Was versteht man unter der Layline? Die Layline zu Deutsch "Anlegelinie" ist die fiktive Linie die deinen schnellsten Kurs zur nächsten Tonne begrenzt. Angenommen die nächste Tonne befindet sich in Luv, ist die Layline genau die Linie, auf der du den letzten Schlag segeln müsstest, um direkt die Tonne zu erreichen. Es ist einsichtig, dass das eine Ende der Linie immer die Boje ist. Das andere Ende der Linie liegt jeweils in Windrichtung + 90 Grad + 1/2 Wendewinkel. Da die Windrichtung aber selten konstant bleibt, verändert sich die Layline ständig. Angenommen du segelst direkt auf der Layline mit Wind von rechts zur nächsten Boje und der Wind dreht nach rechts, könntest du über die Boje segeln, wo du aber nicht hin willst. Also hast du nur die Möglichkeit die Schoten zu fieren und versuchen einen Teil deines Umwegs durch schnellere Geschwindigkeit wieder zurückzugewinnen. Du wirst verstehen, dass ein Boot, das unterhalb der ursprünglichen Layline gewendet hat, und nun durch die Winddrehung die Tonne ebenfalls erreicht klar im Vorteil ist. Jetzt angenommen du befindest dich in der gleichen Situation wie vorher (Wind von rechts, optimaler Am Wind Kurs direkt zur Tonne und der Wind dreht nach links. Musst du abfallen und alle Boote in Lee von dir liegen plötzlich in einer besseren Situation als vorher.

Aber nicht nur die Windrichtung verändert die Lage der Layline, sondern wie wir vorhin in der Formel für die Richtung der Layline gesehen haben, auch der Wendewinkel. Da der Wendewinkel aller Boote sich in Abhängigkeit von der Windstärke verändert, kann auch eine Windstärkenänderung bewirken, dass du dich plötzlich außerhalb der Laylines befindest und mit offenen Schoten zur Boje musst, währen dein wichtigster Konkurrent mit optimalen VMG Kurs unterwegs ist.

Ein weiterer Nachteil, wenn man sich einer Boje auf der Layline nähert ist, dass man selten ungestörten Wind hat, weil auch viele andere Boote sich auf der Layline oder leicht über der Layline an die Tonne annähern.

Dennoch irgendwann musst du bei der Bojenannäherung auf die Layline, aber mache das nicht zu früh. Versuche die Entwicklung und die Entscheidungen deiner Gegner vorauszusehen und beachte die Regeln, die bei Annäherung an die Boje gelten.


2011-03 Take care on the leeward boatsnach oben

The first piece of advice was that you should not line up at the start just to windward of one of the fleet's hotshots. He is likely to execute a better start than you, sail off the line higher or faster than you, or all of the above. In any case you will soon be eating his dirty air and going slow. nach oben

When and what we have changed

We plan to add new content every month. At least have a look on the 'Tip of the month'

2010-12-20 First version of this site on line

2011-04-08 New content

2011-04-29 Due to technical reasons the most graphics did not work. This issue should be solved now.

2011-05-11 Approximately 150 typing errors coorected. Twice as much you will find if you read our pages carefully

2011-05-25 First version of the 'current page' on line.

2011-08-01 Many typing errors corrected

2012-01-06 Texts revised and completed

2012-01-16 Pages Start, Upwind and Downwind completed

2012-01-22 Added text and graphics to the Crash Course Rules Page

2012-07-01 First english pages on line

2012-09-01 First english version of the page'Upwind'

2012-12-31 New page: „Racing Rules 2013 – What is new since 1.1.2013“ ins Netz gestellt (German and English version)

2012-02-28 New links for ' Taktic light page' and 'Rules Page' on nearly every page

2012-09-01 Translation of the 'Upwind page' on line

2013-01-01 New page „Racing Rules 2013 – What is new since 1.1.2013“ on line (German and English)

2013-11-05 Crashcourse rules in English available

2013-11-28 Table of Content added in the archive section

2013-12-28 Some new articles available in the English version

2013-12-31 New article in page Miscellaneous: What a coach need

2014-01-31 Page 'Start' is available in the English version

2015-01-31 New Article: '(Unpermitted) propulsion'

2015-01-31 New Article: 'The De-Brief'

2015-03-31 New Cartoons at the"Download Section"

2015-06-31 New Article: "Drink, drink, drink"

2015-09-01 New Article " Risk Management" in the section "Miscellaneous"

2015-09-01 Excel Sample of a Risk Diagram in the"Download-Section"

2015-09-01 New Article "Addendum Q" for umpired fleet races with knowledge test in the section "Miscellaneous