As a beginning sailor, your editor had to learn to sheet the mainsail hard enough to control the leech and point. So it was hard for me to understand the phrase “When in doubt, let it out.” Vaughan Harrison shows us why we often have to ease for speed in this article from Sailing World.
Vaughan’s explanations are great, so we won’t repeat them here; we strongly suggest you read the article. As a summary, here’s a list of the occasions when it’s appropriate to ease for speed. Some of them are obvious, but you may not have thought about some of the others.
When to Ease for Speed
#1. When footing
#2. After pinching
#3. Before chop
#4. In gusts
#5. After slowing in lulls
Sailing World and the International Sailing Academy
Sailing World often publishes expert insights about small boat one-design racing. A subscription is well worth the investment.
Vaughan Harrison is a coach at the International Sailing Academy. The ISA website has an extensive collection of racing tips.