Ladder Rungs Help You Understand the Race Course and Avoid Misconceptions
Many sailors have basic misconceptions about race course geometry. This leads them to to think incorrectly about questions such as:
- Should I reference the windward mark when determining where to start?
- Should I determine the lifted tack based on the rhumb line to the mark?
- How do I determine the favored end of the finish line?
The concept of ladder rungs has been around a long time and is a very useful tool for understanding these and many more questions. Ladder rungs give you a visual approach to understanding the course.
This SailZing video uses animations and takes you through a series of examples and questions to show how to use ladder rungs.
RaceQs video showing ladder rungs during a race
Speed and Smarts Issue 112 – page 6 shows why you should sail toward the next shift
Peter Isler Video on Starting – shows why mark placement is irrelevant