Phone: (02) 4940 8188|Email:

NCYC Members Attend Tactics & Strategy Session with Craig Ferris – July 10, 2013

Last night, Yachting NSW Sailing Coach Craig Ferris presented to NCYC members information on Sailing Tactics and Wind Strategy. Those who attended found the two hour seminar very informative with a number of great questions asked by participants.

Below is a brief summation of those “Goldern Rules”, which Craig promises the best sailors in the world abide by when racing to win.

  1. Be at the start and on the start line when the gun goes (not on the way to the start or two boat lengths behind the line).
  2. Navigate accurately – Know your course before the gun goes.
  3. If the wind goes left, be on Port tack / If the wind goes right be on starboard tack (that simple!), especially if an oscillating breeze.
  4. Sail the knocking tack first if you are confident you are sailing into persistent shift.
  5. Always stay in pressure (it will make you look good most of the time).
  6. Cross when you can and make/consolidate gain (i.e. upwind you have only made a gain when you tack back towards the centre of the course and the fleet). People who generally sail on the edges of the course are more often than not gamblers and not manage risk as well as they could.
  7. As a general rule, sail the longest tack first (both upwind and downwind).
  8. Manage your risks at the start (i.e. starting at the ends is higher risk as is starting under a fast boat). Again be on the start at the start.
  9. Understand what the weather is doing. Is it going to be a gradient breeze? A weak or strong sea breeze? How much will it veer? Get in tune with the weather to assist your wind strategy.
  10. Practice the simple things… and review your performance to focus on areas where improvements can be made (i.e. understand your strengths and weaknesses).

Craig recommended NCYC’ sailors try the BOM’s new Meteye product (username: Meteye / Password: Experimental).

The seminar was thorough and informative and on behalf of all those members who attended, NCYC thanks Craig for his time and effort in putting the presentation together.

Remember be on the start at the start….!