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Sailing in the Real World

Sailing is a very complex sport. Leaving aside all the things that can go wrong with the boat and crew, the environment (wind, waves and current) and the tactical situation (where the marks and enemies are) could be subjects for schollarly papers (but aren't).

This thread deals with some real-world situations; how to detect them and how to exploit them.
How-to:
Calibration All instruments need it to give good numbers that improve your chances of winning. DeWiggler is the fast and painless way to do this task.
Determine shear Gives a step-by-step procedure for determining shear. (Why is wind shear important?)
Prestart prep Describes several things you should do in the golden hour before the start.
Approach the mark How to determine where the layline is and when you should intersect it.

Backgrounders:
Sailing in shifty wind Should you always tack on headers? This page explaines several ways to take advantage of wind shifts, both long and short term.
Wind shear & gradient Explains how wind shear affects performance and how to take advantage of it. If you think your instruments are giving bad data, you should read this.
Ockam U An excerpt from our manual on using instruments. It explains in detail about how to exploit wind shifts and position yourself relative to the fleet.
Tactical functions Lists the Ockam system functions that keep you informed about the wind and your tactical situation.
True wind Describes true wind speed and wind direction and how they are used in racing.
Laser gun In match racing, keeping track of the enemy is paramount. This piece of hardware integrates with wind information to display, in numeric and graphical form, enemy range & bearing and ahead/behind.

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