Resources & Expertise

Ask The Experts

February 1, 2016 “I am from Argentina and have a question regarding the effects of current. Going upwind, does current change the layline the same for everyone? I think this might be the case. Your explanation will be helpful for me.”

David Flynn

December 8, 2015 Quantum Expert Answer

Following is a quick explanation of current effects on the racecourse. Yes, current changes the laylines on the upwind and downwind legs of the racecourse. However, current does not change wind direction. If the current is behind you on the upwind leg, you will have greater apparent wind strength. The sailboat will feel headed. The opposite applies if the current is against you. You will have less apparent wind and the boat will have more lift. If the current is behind you while sailing downwind, your apparent wind is less and you will have a header. Against the current on a downwind leg the boat will have more apparent wind speed and a lift.

The Discussion