Choose Wisely - Sail Magazine

Choose Wisely

How to find the favored end of the lineDetermining which end of a starting line is favored can be tricky. At a recent J/World racing clinic, North Sails sailmaker and J/World instructor Geoff Moore provided three useful methods for determining a line’s favored end. It’s important to test the line before the warning gun is fired so as not to interfere with another start; you’ll
Author:
Publish date:
sailingsense

How to find the favored end of the line

Determining which end of a starting line is favored can be tricky. At a recent J/World racing clinic, North Sails sailmaker and J/World instructor Geoff Moore provided three useful methods for determining a line’s favored end. It’s important to test the line before the warning gun is fired so as not to interfere with another start; you’ll need to monitor windshifts to make sure your chosen end is still favored for your start.

Luff and look The simplest method for finding the favored end is to maneuver into the middle of the line, lower your headsail (boat depending), and turn head to wind until your mainsail is completely luffing. If your bow is pointing closer to the committee boat, that’s the favored end, and vice versa.

Compass bearing Again, lower your headsail, maneuver into the center of the line, and head into the wind; take a compass bearing when your bow is pointed exactly into the wind. Next, bear off and run the line several times, noting your headings. The end with the more acute angle to the wind is favored.

You can combine these two methods, killing two seagulls with one stone. Simply take a compass bearing and visually check the angle of your bow relative to the line when your bow is pointed straight into the wind.

Sheet and cleat Start by lowering your headsail and sailing parallel to the line in one direction, making sure your mainsail is perfectly trimmed. Then cleat off your mainsheet, tack or gybe, and sail a reciprocal course (compass bearings are useful for this). Look up at your sail to see what the telltales are doing. Do you need to fall off? If so, the other end of the line is favored. Do you need to head up? If so, the side of the line toward which you are sailing is favored.

Special thanks to Geoff Moore and J/World. Stay tuned for an upcoming review of J/World’s Advanced Racing class.

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more