Hi everybody,

In this post I am going to give a brief description of tactics, a crucial part of sailing.  Tactics are the strategic decisions that you make in a race that can help you get to the finish first. As you can see in this picture the wind goes directly down the course, so all the different routes to the mark are relatively the same distance.

In this picture below, the wind does not go directly down the course. The result of this is that all of the different routes to mark are all very different in length.

The reason why the distance to the mark is so important is that a short distance is faster than a long distance. For example, if you had to race somewhere, would you choose the 100 mile route or the 10 mile route? If you want to win, you should choose the 10 mile route. I am personally not the best at tactics, but I am using a free online program known as sailx to simulate sailing tactics. This is a screenshot of sailx:

If you do not know how to work with computers very well, DO NOT try Sailx! Even my dad had a hard time. I hope that this post will help you understanding of tactics for future posts.