"Two seconds!" That was what came out of the race director's mouth after he stood up on his chair to announce that night's finishes in the Charleston Ocean Racing Association's Wednesday evening summer series. There was the usual din in the crowded yacht club bar with everyone swapping war stories from the race, but "two seconds" continued to ring in my earsthat was the corrected-time margin by which our boat had missed winning the race that night.
Anyone who has even a casual acquaintance with the sport can tell you where you might have lost two seconds on the racecourse. An overstood mark, a flawed rounding, an under-trimmed mainsailall of these common instances can account for that amount of time lost, or usually much more. On this particular night we had sailed a five-mile, four-leg course with two fetch legs and two moderately tight