Here is how a typical day might unfold with a SW gradient: You get out to the racecourse at mid-to-late morning. Let's say it's calm. That means there's an inversion, which will "burn off" first on shore, then erode seaward. As that happens, the first wind you'll feel is a touch of the synoptic wind making its way to the surface. Then, as the thermal effects strengthen, the wind will try to square itself toward shore (from the S in our example). This backing trend toward the S will rarely last for more than an hour, and is typically noticeable around midday. By early afternoon, the thermal is causing the breeze to build and slowly veer, with both effects being more pronounced on the right, closer to shore. But if your weather mark is several miles offshore, the last shift is to the left.Now let's imagine a SE synoptic gradient. A morning inversion is less likely, so you'll probably sail out to the racecourse in the gradient wind. Now, as the land heats with the rising sun, the wind will simply begin to slowly veer and soften. Again, if the weather mark is several miles offshore, you will see a backing trend at the top of the beat, but this time with more wind.