The most important part of the race
The start can be one of – and sometimes – the single most important part of the race. It’s vital to get it right tactically, strategically and in the execution. The RacePanel software provided by Zeus and Vulcan series chart plotters is there to help you do all of these things.
• Develop a strategy for the first leg.
• Find the right place on the line to start.
• Hit the line at full speed, on the gun and going the right way.
It will simplify our look at the software if we take these jobs separately. First up, let’s have a quick look at general strategy for the course – for instance, if there’s a big current or wind advantage to one side of the leg. A lot of strategic decisions become easier when you can see the start line clearly positioned on the chart. It will flag up all sorts of things that can be important, like a difference in depth of water (and therefore current) from one end to the other; or the shape of the land might hint at geographic wind shifts.
Fortunately the Vulcan or Zeus chartplotter will allow you to display the start line on the chart, so you can get the full lowdown on any possible geographic advantages, and can start thinking about the strategy for the first leg.