Your understanding of a lift is incorrect. We’ll get to that.
You sail at Redds Pond.
If there is one thing constant at Redds Pond, it’s that the wind is never constant at Redds Pond.
The best skippers at Redds are not watching their boats. They are watching the entire pond and where the air is coming from. Watch some of the skippers. They will sail toward the street sometimes, and sail all the way to the red house, just to come back to that mark by duck rock.
It looks like the long way, but really it’s the short way.
The point here is that your rudder is basically a brake. You do not want to change course (Tack) unless for a tactical maneuver or because you have to. What I mean is, if your sails luff… don’t react. Let the boat keep going since it is powered-up.
Sometimes the wind will come right back, and you can continue on your course. Sometimes a tack is warranted.
Sometimes at Redds you can be at full-speed and then the boat will swap one tack to the other while staying on the same course.
The wind shifts very frequently at Redds.
Pick the wind direction that will be there more often than not to keep the boat powered and moving. it’s like playing the percentages.
Sailing fat at Redds is highly recommended. what I mean is- don’t sail tight to the wind (pinch) if you pinch at redds, you’ll find yourself luffing frequently due to many wind shifts. If you head off the wind a little and make sure the keep air in your sails, you’ll travel a longer distance but will get there faster because your boat was at-speed all the time.
These ideas are true for sailing anywhere but are exacerbated at Redds.
This is the reason some of our skippers are multi-time national champions. When they go away, NOBODY can react and play a shift properly better than a MMYC skipper. Anyone can sail a straight course.
Next- Your decription of a Lift.
A lift occours when the angle of the wind changes to a beneficial direction.
I.E. if you are sailing Close-Hauled and on starboard, the wind will shift more toward your starboard beam.
Therefore, Your boat can trim a few degrees toward the starboard bow, and point higher than it previously did.
If you were to tack in this situation, not only would you stall, but you would basically have to make a 90 degree turn to get wind in your sails on port. Thus eliminating any ground made up by the lift, by playing the opposide side of the shift.
On the same note, If you are again on Starboard tack, and the wind shifts toward port, Now is the time to tack. When you tack, you will then experience a lift on the port tack and can sail a few degrees higher than you could have before the shift.
Tell-Tales will help your situation, but you will find the boat sailing much faster if you aren’t staring at your boat… but rather the projection to where your boat is headed.
If you see or sniff out a shift coming, you can tack ahead of the game.
if you sail your boat by the telltales, You’ll do nothing but flounder.
Nice job in the R-1 Regatta.