If we are sailing downwind, our downwind angle to the wind and the degree change when we jibe from one jibe to another is much more affected by the wind speed than on upwind tack changes.
This is kind of a vector question. So, if we have 5kts of breeze and we are heading downwind, our jibes will take us through a direction change more than if we have a breeze of 20 knots. More wind speed means the further downwind we can point because the apparent wind moves forward. Less wind speed and we need to sail hotter angles.
Can we figure out these ideal numbers?
After our start, sailing upwind to our upwind mark, which is still at 360 degrees from our starting line, our starboard tack heading numbers read 325 on our first starboard tack.
On our second starboard tack, our heading reads 328, and on our third starboard tack our heading reads 340.*
As we round the upwind mark and start heading downwind, should we stay on a starboard jibe or jibe as soon as we can to a port jibe in order to head downwind on our shortest course to the downwind mark?
*Winds “clock” or “back”. When they “clock” they move forward around the dial 360 degree dial. When they “back” the move backwards. In this case, the Wind direction is “clocking”. In other words, the course is showing a “right shift”. This is a language. And we its listeners. Now draw it out and send your answer.