Sail Upwind to Return from Where You Left
Sailing from point A to point B, then back to point A, may seem like a simple task, but for the novice rider it may seem like a big pain in the unmentionables. Sure sailing downwind is a breeze, getting from point A to point B is a simple task. But sailing upwind, from point B back to point A, may prove to be more difficult.
Whether you’re going downwind or upwind, always keep your eyes on your target, keep your eyes on the road so to speak. If you look at your feet, at your boom, and god knows where elsewhere, it can be easy to lose track of your direction. Pay attention and watch where you’re going.
To get going downwind, line your board across the wind. Raise the clew off the water by tilting the mast upwind to go in a straight line. The sail will feel light as it comes over the center of the board. Sheet in gently on the boom to power up, and you are off to point B.
To return to point A, you will have to sail upwind. The first thing you must do is to lower the clew; to do this you have to tilt the mast away from the wind. The sail will open slightly when you do this. While the clew is lowered the board will turn upwind. Keep turning until you’re in the direction you want to go.
Be careful – the sail will loose power and the board will stall if the board goes too far upwind. Lift the clew up by tilting the mast upwind if you feel the sail is losing power. When raising the clew you have to pull in gently. The board will turn away from the wind and will pick up speed when it regains power.
Sailing downwind and upwind is not very difficult. To get them down perfectly all you have to do is practice. Learning to sail upwind is a definitive must. How else can you return to the point you started from? It's not like you will always have the wind behind you.