Thursday, April 8, 2010   (Image © Rolex)
 Tactics – Dave Perry’s tricks can help recover from a bad start
It’s a fact of life: Not every start is perfect. But there are plenty of opportunities to recover if you act quickly and decisively.
1) Avoid Denial. The sooner you can realize you aren’t going to break on through to the front row, the sooner you can tack and head for the right, while looking for a better hole or a lane on port tack in clear air. Remember, no one can go anywhere before the gun, so use all the time before the gun to find a better position.
2) Clear Air = Fast. You need clear air as soon as possible. Usually the majority of the fleet stays on starboard tack for the first few minutes after the gun, so normally your best road to clear air is on port tack heading to the right.
3) Duck to Escape. If you are on port tack heading right in search of clear air, avoid the temptation to leebow a starboard tacker! Unless you will be tacking into a clear air lane that you can hold for at least a minute, the tacking back is normally more costly than ducking.
4) Get Back to Your Game Plan as Quickly as Possible. If your original game plan was to go left, you are looking to tack onto starboard as soon as you can be reasonably sure you will have clear air for several minutes. If it is a shifty day, get onto the lifted tack as quickly as possible, even if it means sailing in some slightly disturbed air or water.
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