Anticipating a shift hitting during the start is a very difficult task. Even if we’d seen the shift 30 seconds or a minute before we felt it on the sails, we wouldn’t have been able to make a major adjustment to our position on the line. However, merely recognizing that the wind has moved can help you mitigate the damage. In our case, the solution was a tack to port at or right after the starting gun sounded. We had a lane on port, and could’ve crossed the boats on our hip. I hesitated making the call and by the time it was apparent that we had no chance of holding our lane relative to the boat to leeward and ahead, we were unable to cross the boat on our hip. The end result was way too much time in bad air and on the unfavored tack. We bounced back later in the beat and pulled together a mid-fleet finish, but it certainly could’ve been better with a quick tack off the starting line.