RACING BASICS

by Mark Johnson [copyright 1/19/95]

Chapter 7 - Finishing

For this last part of the race, I have 4 comments:

     
  1. As you come around the leeward mark, look to the finish line to see which side is closest to you. That is the side to which you should go. This idea is similar to that of choosing a favored side of the line when starting. However, if the wind has stayed constant, and if the line is where it started, the favored finishing end is the opposite end from the favored starting end.
  2. Once you set this plan, stick with it. Too many times racers tack at the last second, only to lose the place because they got worried. Set up your run so you're coming at the line at full speed, and don't tack too much. It throws off your concentration for going fast, and this is where you need the speed the most-the race is almost over.
  3. Just like a runner throws his or her body forward into the tape when finishing, you "throw" the boat over the line. If you're confident you have the speed, once you're about 1 boatlength from the finish, "shoot" the boat straight into the wind. This cuts down the distance you have to travel to finish.

    You must make sure you have enough speed for this maneuver. It would be a shame to be in front, only to come to a dead stop just inches from the line.

  4. Since you have read all the way through this guide, you should be so far ahead of the rest of the fleet that it won't matter what you do at the finish.


On to the Conclusion