Brain Food by Dave Perry
Leading is stronger…Leading is harder! The best match racers try to lead a high percentage of the time. A winning mantra: “Light Air…Lead Back!”
Which problem would you prefer to solve: leading and being early, or pushing and being late? There is no solution for the latter. Here is a paper that discusses what to do when you are leading and are early.
Below is a video of a prestart between America’s Cup champion David Dellenbaugh (yellow) and World champion Taylor Canfield (blue). It begins with a classic Dial Up and then some circling, with Dellenbaugh initially leading back. He then lets Canfield take the lead at around 1:00 minute to start (3:00 on the counter). Canfield is early, so at around 3:35 on the counter he “Asks the Question” (luffs head to wind about 2/3rd of the way down the line), and lets Dellenbaugh choose which side of him he wants to start on. It turns into a classic Split Start with Dellenbaugh winning the right and Canfield winning the left.