Team Racing Jargon

Combos: Winning combinations

Stable Combos: Winning combos that only require covering on the last beat.  There are basically only two winning combos in 4 v 4 team racing: 1, 2, 3, x and 2, 3, 4, x

Unstable Combos: Winning combos that require passbacks to become stable combos.

Team Racing Starts:
Geographical: 1, windward end, 2 middle windward end, 3 middle leeward end, 4, leeward end.

Pull Position: Leading an opponent into the start, sailing low to sucker opponent to windward but not sailing so low as to be late.

Push Position: Following opponent into start, sailing low to get to leeward or to force opponent to be early or late.

Dialing Up, Dialing Down: Changing course while aiming at your opponent on the opposite tack to force them away since 16.2 does not apply before the start.

Pick: Using r-o-w to force an opponent away from your teammate. First beat tactics:

Pairs: One boat from each team sailing near each other.  Usually one boat is leading the pair while covering.

Breaking Ties: Tacking on an opponent in a tied pair so your teammate can lead that pair.

Conversions: As the fleet converges on the first mark, turning two or three pairs into a combo.

Downwind Tactics:
Hi-Lo: Two teammates attack the opponent ahead by having the lead teammate sail high, causing the opponent to sail high to defend while the trailing teammate sails low to pass or, at least gain an overlap on the opponent.

Hooking: Really a match racing term; acquiring luffing rights on an opponent.

Mark Traps:
Pass Back Mark Trap: Maneuver against an opponent at a mark until your teammate passes.

Compression Mark Trap: Maneuver against two or more opponents until your teammates catch up.

Last Windward Leg Tactics:
Pass Back (slow): Take the wind of an opponent continuously by blanketing that opponent while slowing yourself down until your teammate passes.

Ragging Jib: Letting the jib luff to slow down in order to aim your mainsail windshadow on the slowing opponent.

Windward Trim: Trimming the jib (and/or main) all the way to windward to slow down while increasing your windshadow.

Speed Passback: Momentarily blanketing an opponent without slowing yourself down which is hopefully just enough for your teammate to pass your opponent.

7-8 Passback: In 4 v 4 team racing, 7 and 8 automatically loses.  If a team is not in a stable combination by the leeward mark, they will often attempt to put boats from the other team in 7th and 8th place.  Often times, both teams try to execute this strategy at the same time.

Windward Leg Double Team Jargon:
Front Door: Teammate that blankets opponent and prevents opponent from sailing out to leeward and ahead.

Back Door: Teammate that prevents opponent from tacking.

Ladder Rungs: Lines of position on a windward leg perpendicular to the wind direction.

Lanes: Tacking lanes parallel to the wind direction. Different from closehauled lanes (diagonal) in a fleet race.

Pinning: Preventing an opponent from tacking toward the finish. Carries a high risk of fouling or otherwise losing tthe opponent.


courtesy of Ken Legler


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