Essential Yacht Racing Skills

There are places to be gained on every corner of the race course, which Yachting World has amassed in their 5 tips collection. In it they asked top yacht racers to offer their hard-won advice on how to deal with a variety of yacht racing challenges, from mark roundings and groundings, to sail trim and protests.
Whether you’re trying to get an inside mark rounding, clear wind at the start of a race, gain height on the windward leg or get better headsail trim, these expert racing tips are an indispensable guide to getting to the head of the fleet.
5 tips: the leeward mark – learn to read situations as they develop
You’ve been catching the boat ahead since the top mark and their tactician is now screaming ‘no overlap’ as you thunder towards the three-boat zone on port gybe. There’s no… read on
5 tips: surfing. How to use the waves to improve your downwind performance
Gone are the days of sitting back on the downwind legs to enjoy the view. Powerful modern cruiser-racers respond much more like dinghies and need the constant application of subtle… read on
5 tips: the bear away, where big gains can be made and mistakes are costly
Mark roundings are often where big gains can be made and where mistakes can be costly. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the first weather mark where the fleet… read on
5 tips: how to trim your headsail for power and pace on the racecourse
The ultimate test of headsail trimming is the white heat of one-design racing and nowhere more so than at the start line. A perfect approach to the line on time… read on
5 tips: mainsail trimming. Getting the best from your main can turn it into a tactical weapon
“More speed!” is the call from the weather rail. The helmsman is telling you he’s got too much helm and all eyes are on the mainsheet trimmer to sort the… read on
5 tips: how to avoid a crash gybe from a world champion TP52 sailor
The wind is rising steadily and what has been an exhilarating sail on a perfect day for racing has turned into a battle for survival. As you are braced in… read on
5 tips: when, why and how to take a penalty in a yacht race
“It’s close, but we are easily clearing them,” is the call from the tactician as you beat to windward on port tack. But the breeze is veering and the other… read on
5 tips: going aground – how to get off the bricks as quickly as possible
Jonty Sherwill asked seasoned Solent racer Paul Heys for his 5 tips on staying afloat and getting back under way when you’ve gone aground… read on
5 tips: how to get the best IRC rating
It’s the same type of boat going the same speed, but how come their IRC rating is so much lower than yours? Although getting your rating as low possible is… read on
5 tips: bowman signals. Get a great start with clear signs to helmsman and trimmers
Five seconds to the start and the row of bows is accelerating towards the line. A boat to windward is early and obscuring your view of the start boat. The… read on
5 tips: sailing to win. Top match racer Ian Williams gives his top tips
Sailing to win – how to win a race and ensure you cross the line first. Tips by top match racer Ian Williams… read on