Dirty-winding is an amazing technique and one you will often see people employing on the PWA race scene. You will regularly see two people so engrossed in a battle of dirty wind that someone far behind will just go flying past them because they are just sailing full speed in clean air. If you are good at this technique, you could probably even hold off Antoine, as long as you are really on your game, since it is completely impossible to sail full speed when in someone’s dirty wind.
The trick to overtaking from this position is to sail upwind further and further to draw the person in front of you onto a tight reach. Then you dart off downwind and try to get into clean air on the other side of the triangle. If that doesn’t work, once you have made the dart downwind and drawn your opponent into the battle, you slam your weight on your back foot and push back upwind, trying to catch them out again. A lot of times, if you are radical and unexpected enough with your movements, you can put the other sailor off and make them lose control when trying to change direction, giving you that split-second advantage to get your nose in front and then start giving them dirty air!
Windsurfing is so much fun because everybody goes at a relatively similar speed. You will certainly have someone at your beach that is about the same speed as you, so everybody can have a go at playing with these techniques. It’s amazing how much a bit of competition can brighten up an otherwise dull day of sailing and it’s amazing how much you can learn from trying to get one up on your sailing buddies!
Through pushing yourself to learn new techniques you learn a lot about what you can and can’t do on a windsurfer… and that can only make you a better sailor.
Find a racing buddy and get out there pushing each other! You will be surprised how learning new skills can breathe new life into your windsurfing!