May 11th, 2018
I was asked to give a talk on racing at the Florida Weta Nationals (2013), so several people who were unable to attend the event have requested a video of it. My racing resume is nowhere near that of the winner of said event, but my success in the bay area as West Coast Champion, and previous national and collegiate successes in a past life of Laser/Thistle/470 sailing should suffice to explain the basics of Weta racing. I apologize for my horrific art skills that make the graceful lines of boats look like squashed mangoes. Wonderful photos courtesy of Rick Saez and Jared Brockway (boat driver/Weta sailor) from www.ricksaezphotography.com can be accessed by going to his website, clicking on "client" and finding the right path to the St. Francis YC Spring Dinghy and Elvstrom Zellerbach regatta photos. Enjoy, and go easy on the comments like "Seals on your gunnels? Now there's a problem!" Hey, it's free. For playability I had to cut this down a bit, and left out a couple of important things:
1. In NorCal, due to currents or shore shifts, almost every race course is left side favored. The same start line principle apply for right side favored, in that you need to have the first right to tack. Of course, you can always bear off and duck under somebody, but typically in the early phase of the race, that means ducking the entire fleet. Not desirable, but better than continuing on to the less favored side.
2. The final leg. If there is a gate mark, take the left gate if it's set at equal distance to the finish line. That will place you on a port tack, giving you one tack to hit the layline on starboard. This tactic in the final race is what sealed the deal in the West Coast Championships.