This is an Etchells start in Miami from our favorite Photographer. I think that the right end of the line was favored from the look of the angle of boats crossing the line down close to us, but I imagine that the boats are tacking in less than 90 degrees, so it may be more even. And there is a crowd at the other end.
We are still checking out Buddy Melges' "Sailing Smart" so we are going over more that you know all about... Spend some time checking out the line as soon as the RC or PRO sets it up.
1. Time the line. That will help you know how to set up for the start and also help you get a feel for how fast you are traveling and how long it takes you to get from A to B. Do it several times because the time will change with wind strength.
2. Check for the up wind end. Go head to wind and see which end of the line you bow points toward. Check it with your compass. Check the flags on the committee boat. Check the angle you cross the line when you are closehualed.
3. Get on the line and pick out a range. A spot on shore that lines up with the pin end. Maybe a spot on shore that lines up with the committee boat end (the flag they sight the line from). No shore in sight, then use your compass to get a bearing. Maybe pick out a range from two boat lengths behind the committee boat. Then when you are on the range, you will be one boat length behind the line when you sail up to the middle of the line. Try that for a midline start.
4. Check the pin for current. If you are sailing in tidal stuff, I hope you have the tide tables down and some local knowledge and your local time watch on.
5.Check right and left laylines to the starting line. Keeping checking wind heading right up to the start.
6. You want to know what to do next.. Keep tuned in. That will come up next..