Tips for High Wind Racing

Published on September 13th, 2017

Double Olympic medalist and multiple world champion, Jonathan McKee, has had some time to think about high wind sailing. With the first two days at the J/70 Worlds cancelled due to wind limits, McKee offered some useful tips for racing in high winds.

“The main thing is to keep it simple and safe. When it’s over 20 knots, you should try to minimize maneuvers and sail in your own water if you can. Upwind the key to speed is a lot of co-ordination between the main and jib, to keep the balance of the boat correct. In the bigger puffs, you might ease the jib so it isn’t pulling the bow down. You should have a fairly neutral helm with the driver steering aggressively to keep the boat on its feet. Downwind it is important not to tip over, by being aware of gusts and by putting as much weight out as you can. Keep the boat going fast, but not so high that you are in danger of broaching.”

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