It doesn’t take much of a genius to read water like this (above). Obviously, there’s a tide rip in progress as the current sweeps around this headland. It’s a lot trickier to see the tiny wind-ripples. These run at right-angles to the true wind (try blowing onto a big bowl of soup), they’re there all the time, and once you can read them you can tell at a glance what the wind direction really is. This is vital if you’re setting up to go for a mooring under sail or are dead-running and concerned about coming by the lee. All the onboard data—electronic or physical—read apparent wind, which is useful for setting sails, but not much good for anything else. A wind indicator might have a true wind option, but trying to judge numbers and turn them into decisions is a lot harder than using your eyes.
Video: Enright and Towill of Vestas on the Volvo Race
Earlier this week, SAIL had a chance to catch up with Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-captains Mark Towill and Charlie Enright during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport, Rhode Island, to get their take on racing back to the States and how they’ve applied what they learned during ...read more