On your marks get set...Go. Perfect your race starts with tips from some of the top sailors in the world

The start when you are racing is one of the most crucial aspects of slalom. Time your start perfectly and you’ll reap the rewards of clean wind and flatter water, allowing you to put precious seconds between you are the rest of your rivals. However, if you mistime your start you’ll be battling the rest of the fleet plus dirty wind, making life much harder to qualify for the next round. Lastly if you cross the line you’ll be disqualified instantly, so the line between life and death is an extremely narrow line.

With the start being so important, and so hard time perfectly each race, we decided to give you some tips from the top PWA sailors.

Kurosh Kiani (Simmer / Fanatic)

“Getting a perfect start is all about timing and knowing your speed. Personally my "secret" is staying fairly close to the line at all times. The further you are from the line, the harder it will be to estimate your distance to the mark. Anything other than being fully locked in at 0 seconds and on the line is unacceptable.”

Tine Slabe (RRD / Challenger Sails / Different Eyewear)

“That is the hardest part and maybe the most important. The trick is to stay very concentrated and on the other hand calm. You need to know how far you can go in how much time. And you count the last twenty-seconds in your head, that is how I do it at least.”

Enes Yilmazer (JP / NeilPryde)

“You have to know a couple of points before to chose your strategy for the start. Try to start on your better side, pin or boat or middle. Stay away from the top guys or riders that can possibly block your wind or start area. Try to time yourself so you go full blast for the last 15 seconds.
Try to start without doubts; don’t slow down at the last second as even if you don’t go over early you’ll be struggling to catch the rest of the pack.”

Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails)

“Practice, there isn’t really any secret to starting it basically comes down to repetitions.  The more starts you can do in practice situations and in any level of racing situations is going to help.”