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Old 07-05-2012
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Re: I think I may do some racing!!!

Good luck. You'll have great fun and improve your sailing skills at the same time.
Make sure the bottom is clean. I'm in fresh water, so I've got it a lot easier than you, but I scrub the bottom 2-3 times during the season if not before every race. In light air it makes a big difference.
Sail trim is the next key. Watch the guy who's passing you. What's he doing that you aren't? Move the traveler to windward going upwind if you're not getting rounded up. Watch jib car placement. Lots of telltales on the jib and main will help you watch for stalled sails. Get North's book on sail trim.
Keep the rail out of the water. A little heel is fast (10-15 degrees) but too much slows you down.
The start is important- be at the line when you're supposed to be. If you're more than 15 seconds late crossing the line it's hard to make up the time.
Practice your tacks so they're smooth. Don't try to point immediately into the tack. Ease your sails a little after coming about, get speed, then point and bring them in.
In light air the key is to keep the boat moving. Don't worry about which direction you're going- just keep moving.
Pick the boat that you think is your main competition and don't let him get away from you. When he tacks, you tack.

Do you have a fixed prop? That's a speed killer in light wind. That's the only tip here that costs money.
Tactics will come. Don't let people pass you to windward- head them up. Fall back off when they give up. Some boats will outpoint you and you can't do this, but most won't be able to.
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Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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