Tips & Tricks

How can I sail faster than my competitors

Why are we sailing regatta?


Regatta sailing requires a wide mix of different skills. We need sailing experience, an understanding of wind and weather, experience in tactics, strategy and rules. We also need knowledge of sailing trim, technical understanding of our boat and organisational skills. All these experiences have to be bundled and implemented correctly. To be successful, we must set goals that are achievable, set priorities to prevent a possible choa, prove ability to suffer and learn from mistakes.
None of us can control everything. The attractiveness of regatta sports is the challenge to evaluate the range of different influences and to implement them successfully for oneself. In every regatta there will always be things that we could have done better and every race is unique.

But the fascination of regatta sports is above all the challenges mentioned. We enjoy racing because we can be on the water, compete with others and experience ups and downs with friends.

PRIMESails – Start Elbe Regatta


The regatta pyramid


The mastery of the boat and the boat speed form the base of the pyramid. Only when the crew has become familiar with the handling of the boat will regattas be won.

Boat speed and handling are primarily the most important factors for successful regattas, whereas the tactical component is always dependent on external factors such as wind, current, and competitors. If we have a well-rehearsed crew, then we already have 70% of the race in the bag, the remaining 30% we have to work through tactically clever decisions. A good crew is always a guarantee to stay in the race.

The boat handling / teamwork is very different from the tactical aspect. The tactics in a race can decide between victory and defeat, especially when the wind conditions are unsteady. Boat handling / teamwork play is much more subtle, you will certainly lose a lot if the spinnaker goes into the creek while salvaging and then wraps around the keel, but this one “fuck up” will never be the reason to lose a series. It’s rather the little things during a race that don’t work 100% and then at the end of the day add up to reflect your place in the ranking.


Bootsspeed / Bootshandling


We try to deal with boat speed/boat handling in this paper. If you think that you need support in tactical matters, you might be surprised, because if you have succeeded in forming a crew that works like clockwork, you will soon realize that time has suddenly become free for tactical questions.

The perfect interaction between crew and helmsman is the prerequisite for successful regatta sport. Before you can win races, you must first learn how to sail properly. Furthermore, we try to show you training procedures and crew organisation. Furthermore, we will deal with the handling of the boat on “On Wind Courses” as well as the work procedures on “downwind courses” under spinnaker and gennaker.

The difference between good and very good boat speed is only 1 to 4%, this seems little, but can decide on victory or defeat.

Performance Analyse


What are your strengths and weaknesses? The performance analysis should help you to recognize strengths and weaknesses and to use them in the future for yourself and the goal “to sail faster”.



The hidden foundation of the pyramid is the meticulous preparation of your boat. The equipment must be in perfect and fully functional condition. The difference between midfield and victory is the sum of many small things.

Hull, rudder, keel, underwater hull, weight distribution above and below deck, standing rigging, running rigging, are your sails in a competitive condition. There are so many things on board that can be improved, the important thing is to recognize them.

At the end of these chapters I would like to point out again that regatta sailing is a team sport. Not everyone has to be able to sail every position (that is Grand Prix Sailing) but the task assigned to each individual has to be done highly motivated and concentrated. We call this a clearly defined job description. If every crew member knows what to do in his work area, a harmonious working crew will be created relatively quickly. A good crew is quiet, manoeuvres resemble a ballet and you are usually in the lead. Here is an appeal to all skippers who have already frowned when reading. Please don’t scream so loudly anymore, keep your eyes straight ahead and watch the boys rocking the child in a relaxed manner.

Tips for handling, care and storage of your new sails

The sails are the drive / engine of your ship. So that you can enjoy your sails for a long time, there are a few things that can extend their life considerably.


Avoiding damage

Before setting your sail for the first time, please check carefully the standing and running rigging, such as spreader cams, untapped cotter pins, sharp-edged blocks on the backstays or other sharp-edged fittings with which the sail may come into contact. Those parts of the cloth and seams which may rub against the spreaders or shrouds must be protected by patches / on both sides. This applies especially to fully battened mainsails, whose batten pockets in the area of shrouds, spreaders or backstays should be protected.

Handling and application areas of the sails


Sails designed for certain wind conditions should also be used in these areas, failure to do so may result in overloading the sail.

– Lash away the dirk during sailing (mast)
– Reefing tapes only reeve during reefing, otherwise they will shame and dirty the sail
– Push the leech line through only then and only until the vibration or banging of the leech just stops.
– Never hang the sail out to dry in the wind
– Protect sails from UV radiation:
Always protect the mainsail at berth with a tarpaulin. If possible, this also applies to furling genoas, even if they are already equipped with sewn-on UV protection on the leech.

Storing the sails on board:
Please try to keep the sails dry at all times. You should also make sure that the storage space is as well ventilated as possible. Otherwise mould stains can quickly form. Sails should be stowed loosely folded in a roomy bag or packing bag. If the cloth is pressed into sail bags which are too small, strong creases may form which weaken the dimensional stability of the profile. This applies in particular to sails made of laminates and to the windows made of film. Sails should be folded in strips as wide as possible. It is best to do this parallel to the foot of the foot or leech, so that there are as few kinks as possible. Heavily resin-coated sails should be stored rolled if possible, especially during wintering. A KG tube from the DIY store has proved to be the best choice for this!

Note: Sails love to be stored rolled, dark, dry and cold.