Top tactics

We take a look at the latest RYA publication by leading coach and sailor Mark Rushall
The RYA have been expanding their range of books over the last couple of years, specifically introducing a range of guidance and technique manuals written by top sailors and coaches. Last year we took a look at Crewing to Win written by British Olympic 470 crew, Joe Glanfield. Recently we have been reading the latest addition to their series: Tactics by Mark Rushall. Rushall is a familiar name in the sailing world, particularly to those on the small boat scene, where he has enjoyed national and international success in a range of different classes, including Fireflys, Larks, Laser 5000s and Fireballs. He has also been seen in a number of keelboat classes later on in his career including winning the 1720 European Championship and competing with top teams in the Commodores' Cup. Since 2002 Rushall has branched out on his own, offering coaching while continuing his own sailing, marine consultancy and journalism. In 2006 he was awarded the Squad Coach of the Year after coaching the GBR Paralympic Sonar Team to two successive World titles. Written in part under the pseudonym of imaginary coach, Ryan Wiggleback, Tactics combines a large number of sailing situations in addition to anecdotes, all of which combine to create an interesting and extremely detailed tactics handbook for the racing sailor. Covering almost every conceivable tactical situation and running to 175 pages, the book is a real tour de force by Rushall, one feels it might be the culmination of a life’s work, yet comprises one of the easiest to read tactical situation books we have come across. The book is simply split into three basic sections, with each section being subdivided into smaller more specific areas. Part one is entitled ‘Setting the scene’ and comprises three sections covering why strategy is important, strategic tools and how to