The Stop Watch
The stop watch is not a very important piece of kit.
However if you are racing, it is very important to have one.
It allows you to do your racing starts well.
This is because if you are not on the start line at about 10 seconds to go, there is no way that you will win the race as you will be unable to get through the crowd of boats.
It allows you to time your starts, from the beginning of the hoot to the starting hoot.
Usually you have a certain amount of time to prepare for a race.
In this time you should have said some sort of time keeping device so that you can count down the seconds to the start.
The most useful ones are those that you can put on your arm.
They have a start timer and they are very easy to see during the count down.
They look like this:
For most people this should be satisfactory enough to start racing.
It will keep the time well and not only that, but it is cheap.
Improver's Stop Watches (Tip's and Tricks)
Mark and I have a device called a Tack Tick, which not only is a timer, but also a compass and a tack optimiser.
The count down timer is very useful and can easily be adjusted to required time.
The compass is very important when getting better to start finding out, which part of the line has a bias.
Using a compass will make your prediction much more accurate.
The tack optimiser is a optional feature that tells you whether you are being headed or lifted.
This is useful on more long distance beats, because you can find out if it is worth continuing on your current tack or if it is worth tacking across onto another tack.
It also hangs more visibly on the mast so both I and he can see it.
Here is an image of it:
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