Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tacking


     Sixteen years ago today, I commenced racing in a catamaran series that would eventually produce the fifth of my seven championships. I won the fifth championships with a perfect score, in part, because nobody could "go to windward" better than I.

     The act of going to windward requires sailing in one direction, and then, changing to another direction. The act of turning, is called tacking. When going to windward, a boat may make several tacks, to counter tide, wind, and competition. Sometimes the fastest way to windward is to tack back and forth. Other times, it's two long treks separated by a single tack.

Calypso 4.4
    Writers, like sailors, are often called upon to make decisions similar to those encountered in sailing. What's the best path to the next mark? What is the preferred tack? And most importantly, how to cover the immediate threat. Tacking, is about making decisions, and at times, the realization you have to go in the unfavorable direction, to come back on the preferred path.

    As an author, protecting your unpublished work prior to getting to the printing press, may require a different tack.

    Head to wind, loosening the sheets, pointing the boat through the eye of the wind and letting the sails fill on the "other side". Tacking.