Join Date: May 2002
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Faster's advice is excellent, as usual.
Wing and wing is a beautiful point of sail when both sails are spread against a blue and white sky. It's especially fun when there's a good breeze, because, in the right conditions, the boat can often exceed hull speed. But, you can never become so entranced by the experience that you fail to keep your focus on the wind angle and your helmsmanship. Either the wind angle or your course don't have to change very much to result in an unplanned gybe.
Sailing wing and wing isn't just for light air. I sailed wung out for over 60 miles on a friend's 30 foot cruising boat in 18-25 kt winds, at speeds up to 9 kts, without a single unplanned gybe. You don't need to be afraid of sailing wing and wing, as long as you keep your concentration, but, before you sail in that much wind, practice it and develop your skill in less wind.