I was racing in the Swiftsure Classic,
a 130-mile race from Victoria, British
Columbia, up the Straits of Juan de Fuca
and back. I learned — or, relearned — the
value of consolidation during that race.
We had a great start and started sailing
the rhumb line. We could have set the
code zero and maintained a course close
to rhumb, but instead we set the spinnaker,
forcing us to sail 20 degrees low.
At first this seemed OK, but it became
clear there was more wind offshore and
less where we were. Our great start was
all for nothing as the fleet sailed around
us by staying close or above the rhumb