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In speed sailing jargon, VMG (Velocity Made Good) is the measurement of time it takes to cover a distance between two points. This measurement combines your boat's speed, angle, and distance. Footing, or sailing lower, can adjust your angle and sufficiently increase your speed, depending on wind conditions and the craft you're sailing. To find out what you and your boat are capable of, experiment with footing off (when you are moving upwind) and reaching up (when you are heading down wind). Set marks for both and try out different angles. Be sure to time yourself and keep a record. GPS units are a great took for marking your VMG.
Shifting through winds (or tacking) during a catamaran race can be a difficult skill to master, since a catamaran has two hulls (as opposed to the one that a dinghy has) to turn through the water. Because of the two hulls, tacking can be very slow. To speed up the process, back the jib sail in order to help shift the bows in the direction you desire. Lean your body as far aft as you can to put more weight behind moving the bows. Once you have hit the center of the wind, ease your mainsheet. This will assist in getting you quickly moving on the new tack.
Yacht racing is not only a visual spectacle; it's a real thrill from start to finish. In fact, one of the most overlooked portions of the race is how you finish. When a runner reaches the finish line, s/he often thrusts his/her body forward with the last bit of strength. This ensures a win but also cuts time. In the same manner, if you feel you have enough speed -- and are at least a boat length from the finish line -- you can shoot pasr the boat ahead, straight into the wind. The distance before the finish will decrease considerably. However, be absolutely sure you have enough speed before attempting to throw your craft over the line. If you don't you'll run the risk of stopping short and losing your winning position.
You will need boating insurance if you intend to do any offshore boat racing. The company that provides you with this insurance should be the same as the one that holds your annual policy. Depending on where and how far you intend to race, your fees will vary. Additionally, your broker will need time to research the risk factors and come up with a quote. For this reason, you need to find a broker who is experienced with offshore boating a year or two before the race. Develop a rapport with him/her and get your annual insurance. By the date of the race, you will have proved yourself to have a safe track record and will ideally get a better rate for your race.