Intro to Downwind Sailing in Medium Wind

In medium winds it’s important to decrease the angle to wind as the boat slows. Bearing away or going further by the lee. When the boat accelerates the speed needs to be converted to vmg by sailing towards the mark.

Medium Air Downwind Sail Settings

The settings for medium air downwind sailing are similar to those in light winds. The kicker is the most crucial control in medium winds. The mainsheet should not be eased beyond 90 degrees since the greater pressure in the sail will cause the top to twist open. The outhaul should be set to a depth of just under a hands length or about 8 inches at the boom cleat. The cunningham should again be completely off, it is a good idea to reach forward and push the bottom of the sail sleeve up to ensure that all the tension in the cunningham is released.

Medium Air Downwind Sailing Technique

The positioning of the sailors body weight is important. To initiate plane and surfing the sailor should be forward in the boat. As the boat gets up on plane, the sailor needs to move their weight back in the boat. Sailing in wave requires sailing hotter angles to increase speed and make it easier to catch waves. The sailor should use their weight to steer the boat as much as possible. The boat should be heeled to leeward to head up and to windward to head down. Rudder movements create drag so the more the sailor can steer with their weight the better. The daggerboard should only be raised 4 to 6 inches.