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BACK TO HOME Current issue #143 - Fleet Tactics

Test Your Smarts

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Tactics are the boat-on-boat moves you make to follow your strategy in the midst of a fleet of boats. To be a successful tactician, you need good boathandling, a knowledge of the racing rules, and some 'smarts' about what moves work best in each situation. Here are 10 questions to test your tactics IQ. If you put your email address in the box below, you will receive an email with all the correct answers and explanations. Good luck!

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1 When you are closehauled on port tack converging with a starboard tacker, you can usually apply a good lee bow if you are bow-to-bow with them.
2 When boats are crossing you on a beat in an oscillating breeze, it’s usually good to “bite the bullet” and go behind them.
3 When you want to hurt a boat with your wind shadow, you should position yourself directly between them and the true wind direction.
4 You are sailing on starboard tack on a beat, converging with a port tacker. You take a bearing of 135° on the other boat’s bow; 15 seconds later the bearing is 133°. You will most likely:
Collide with the other boat Cross ahead of the other boat Cross behind the other boat
5 A few minutes ago the wind direction was 345°. You were on port tack and you ducked behind a starboard tacker. Now you are on starboard tack, converging with the same boat and the wind direction is 341°. You will probably:
Collide with the other boat. Cross ahead of the other boat Cross behind the other boat
6 You're on starboard tack, crossing 2 or 3 lengths ahead of a port tacker on a beat. Which of these is not a good time to tack right on the port boat’s wind?
The left side is favored They’re all OK You just got headed
You’re near the port layline
7 The true wind direction is roughly 240°. You are racing upwind and you take a compass bearing of 335° on your nearest competitor. How are you doing relative to that boat?
Both boats are even You’re ahead You’re behind
8 On a run, your average headings on each jibe are 185° on starboard tack and 155° on port tack. The boat that you have to beat in the series bears 080°. Are you ahead of or behind this boat?
Both boats are even You’re ahead You’re behind
9 You are racing upwind on starboard tack, converging with a port tacker that cannot cross ahead of you. If you really like the left side of the course, you should:
Let them cross in front of you Pinch up slightly Tack
Yell “Starboard!”
10 You’re on port tack on a beat converging with a starboard tacker who’s far away. According to your compass, the other boat bears 004°. A minute later the bearing is 358°. Are you ahead or behind?
Both boats are even You’re ahead You’re behind