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Coastal Classic- Best strategy - stick to the Rhumbline

by Cameron Thorpe on 15 Oct 2012
Taeping at the start of the 2008 HSBC Premier Coastal Classic © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com

Some tips and and pointers for the Coastal Classic.

Tactically.... What sort of boat are you on ? What is your expected time of arrival ?


Multi's and fast mono's may have more options to stray from the rhumbline as a small change of angle can make a big difference to boat speed... where as boats like Young 88's, Farr 1020's, Stewart 34's... (in fact the majority of the fleet) need to have a VERY good reason to stray from the rhumbline as it's so hard to beat sailing the shortest possible distance.

As far as sailing outside Tiri... Pretty rare circumstances. Need to be on the wind or flat off to avoid sailing extra distance. Generally not a consideration.

Sailing outside the Hen and Chicks... Can pay off. Especially if on the wind or it's marginal to hold an extra and the breeze is forecast to either lighten or shift further south in which case gains can be made by carrying an extra going outside the Hen and Chicks and gradually tightening your angle towards Brett as the breeze lightens and shifts. This can give a fast 'hot' angle in to Brett while the inshore boats are struggling to get down on course.

The typical Coastal Classic on a Farr 1020 sees a SW of between 10 and 25knots. Tight kite ride until Rodney. Two sail across Bream Bay. Tight kite back on after passing Chicks and sailing abit below course to give Tut's a wide berth before tightening up for Brett (possibly two sail last five miles depending on angle) then it's a beat to the finish working the shifts and watching the tide (can be fierce). I find the real race begins once it gets dark. So make sure you keep your best helmspeople and trimmers fresh.

(Cameron Thorpe, is skipper of the Farr 1020 Hard Labour, and a veteran of many Coastal Classics, and Shorthanded Sailing events)

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