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post #2 of Old 08-23-2002
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chespeake bay tactics

The Chesapeake is an interesting body of water to sail on. The winds can be quite light and changeable. While we don''t have the big currents of some other venues, our somewhat slower currents make it more critical to make the right choice between more wind or more favorable currents. The Volvo sailors said that the leg up the Chesapeake was the most challenging in the race. They went on to describe the famous Chesapeake Bay ''Autotack'' where they went from one tack to the other without altering course. We also have comparatively small but quite square waves that are rarely coming from the same direction as the wind or even in the same direction as the prior wave if you get near shore and which can exist in the absense of wind.

Race committee work on the Bay tends to be quite good but starting lines tend to be pretty short and quite square at the time they are set. Of course with our changeable winds it is important to track changes and pick the end of the line that assures an ''in phase'' start, options to play the shifts and clear air.

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