Racing and Cruising Tips  


Expert Racing and Cruising Tips 


Get an insight into Nick's success with his top racing tips


1). Speak to a local service dealer that you trust and spec your boat right for your type of sailing. The equipment we have onboard Astarte is designed to help us get the best out of the boat when racing and cruising. Having up to the minute, accurate data at the touch of a button is vital when doing close tactics, but key safety equipment such as the LifeTag will be particularly relevant when we are cruising or sailing short-handed.

2). Now it might sound like a touch of ‘teaching your grandmother to suck eggs’ but I’m going to say it anyway because you’d be amazed how many people don’t do this. Pre-load your plotter with your race waypoints so you are fully prepared and you know where you’re going on the day. The course will be fresh in your head and you’ll have a tactical advantage.


3). I always use polar data. Polar data is used to work out how fast your boat can sail at a given true wind speed for any true wind angle. Polars can also be used to determine the best point of sail not only up and down wind, but in any direction. By putting some time in before the race to work out the polar data for your boat, you can be assured of making an informed decision to take you in the best direction, at the fastest speed.


4). I rely heavily on the tide set and rate gauges. These features on Raymarine electronics ensured that in my last race at the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series I could seek relief from the strong tide in the closing stages of the race.

5). Finally, a recommendation from me would be to invest in an AIS receiver. My Raymarine AIS was invaluable recently during a night race. You can see dynamic information about large vessels in your vicinity; what’s approaching, which direction they’re going in and how fast, and call sign. This puts me at instantly at ease and allows me to give full concentration to the racing.