Speed is of the Essence

Online Editor

With PWA Alacati on and the wind a little light what more could we do then probe one of the most coveted windsurfers of all time about how she puts the pedal to the metal and consistently pushes the top ranks in the slalom scene, amongst other disciplines. What’s more she, alongside Patrik Diethelm, broke away from the traditional windsurf brands and formed her own team and constructed her own machines to put even the best to the test. That’s right Karin Jaggi is extremely well known in the windsurfing world and hugely respected for her speed and dynamic as well as taking titles in all the other disciplines, so what top tips could we extract from her…

Basically you want to sail just this little tick away from the complete catastrophic catapult but never actually do it.

Top Tips for going fast in open ocean swell

Karin Jaggi at Lancelin
Karin Jaggi at Lancelin

I love to do those open ocean races like for example the Lancelin Ocean Classic in Western Australia – 30km super downwind course and even when it’s rather light and we are on a 7.8 you hardly can see the others anymore between the long big ocean swell. I usually do very well in those races and the main reason is that I choose a good path. You need to ride that swell correctly to go fast. It’s easy to accelerate down a wave face but then when you reach the bottom and need to cross the next swell from behind most sailors slow down a lot and loose all their speed. The trick is to zig-zag down and up the waves – means head downwind (but not dead downwind) while running down the wave and then turn more cross or even upwind to climb the next wave again. This let’s you accelerate maximum on the wave but guarantees you enough pressure in the sail to keep the speed going up the next wave again. As soon as you pass the peak head full downwind again to pick up speed and then before hitting the lowest point between the waves turn more crosswind again and so on…

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