The slingshot is a taking the speedsailing world by storm, whilst some die hard speed sailors may steer clear of this technique many, many more are using it to add more than a couple of knots to their top speeds.

Jim Crossley joins Boards to guide you through this speed increasing move...

Much of the talk in speedsailing is about equipment and the way you handle it. While this is important, probably the best way to increase your speed is to understand the 'slingshot'.

By getting this technique mastered you will add knots to your speed; you can worry about the fractions of knots from the other things later.

Although here I'm demonstrating in near perfect speed conditions, it works just the same on your local lake or harbour. The angles and the timing of a speed run can make all the difference with the modern format of the 10 second average.

Speedsailing is no longer all about the 100 kg hulk holding down a 6.0m sail in 45knots!

Full speed!

So what is the slingshot and how does it work?

It's all about acceleration and apparent wind....

Click through the 6 points on how to slingshot below:

Wind!

Acceleration

Your 10 seconds start now!

Efficiency

The gust!

It's over

[splitpost intro="true" order="true"]

[part title="Wind!"]

Wind!

The first thing you are going to need is some wind, so it's worth having a look for clouds or a gust coming through before setting off.

Check the wind

[part title="Acceleration"]

Acceleration

This is the most important part!

Start off sailing accross the wind to build up speed. The loading on the rig can be huge, but it's important to pin down every last bit of power and drive against the fin.

Slowly bear away, as you build speed your apparent speed increases - keep the rig powered as you go broader; if you bear off too quickly the power will die.

Jim Crossley slingshot

[part title="Your 10 seconds start now!"]

Your 10 seconds start now!

If you're not somewhere near top speed now, it won't happen!

Full speed!

[part title="Efficiency"]

Efficiency

You are now sailing very broad off the wind. Efficiency is now the name of the game while those 10 seconds tick by. Use your textbook stance and check the trim, all the time looking and feeling for a gust to get another burst of acceleration.

Jim Crossley slingshot

[part title="The gust!"]

The gust!

When a gust hits you will instinctively want to bear off some more...just hold course and try to hit the centre of the gust, otherwise the wind angle will send you off too broad and into the chop...OK, now go!

Jim Crossley slingshot

[part title="It's over"]

It's over

When you hit the chop try to keep it going for as long as you can but it's pretty much over. Now all you have to do is stop without losing control!

Jim Crossley slingshot

Check out more about Jim on his website here.