[PW] nautical expression for gaining an advantage

WOODRUFF, KEVIN kwoodruff3540 at bryan.edu
Wed Feb 14 08:21:37 PST 2018


 The concept of weather gage is still useful in modern yacht racing,
although it is hardly ever referred to by that name. The sails of a boat
disrupt the wind to leeward - this disruption is often called "dirt" or "
dirty air". An overtaking boat ona downwind course can position itself to
focus its dirty air on the boat ahead of it. Conversely a boat on an upwind
course may find itself trapped in the dirty air of a boat immediately to
windward. However right-of-way rules, whichgive priority to the leeward boat
, can make it advantageous to be the boat without the weather gage
especially justbefore the start or when the boat to leeward can point higher
 into the wind.

On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 11:10 AM, Ellen Krupar <kellen at vt.edu> wrote:

> Petter,
>
> I am not a sailor but read many an Alexander Kent novel.  One expression
> that I remember is "holding the weather gage".  It indicates an
> advantageous position in naval engagements due to skill in using the wind
> or initial placement of the ships.
>
> Another thing I remember is that if a ship could approach astern of another
> vessel, they might be able to utilize "raking fire", where they would be
> able to fire a broadside through the stern of the opposing ship and the
> other ship could not retaliate due to the lack of guns on the stern.
>
> One phrase that might be a bit obscure is "trimming the mainsail" or
> "trimming the sails", which has the connotation of making the best of what
> wind you have by adjusting your methods, hopefully to better advantage than
> your opponent.
>
> Unfortunately, my reading has been more in the naval engagement side,
> rather than the racing side.
>
> Ellen
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:53 AM, Petter Naess <petter at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I'm looking urgently for a nautical expression that could mean "get a
> head
> > start on" "get a leg up on" or some other expression that conveys
> obtaining
> > an advantage over a competitor or opponent. I need this within the next
> 12
> > hours or so, and have consulted several lists of nautical expressions,
> but
> > nothing so far...any sailors out there who might have a suggestion?
> Thanks!
> >
> > --
> > Petter Næss
> > Kviståsveien 50
> > 3405 Lier
> > Norway
> > _______________________________________________
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> > list at project-wombat.org
> > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
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>



-- 
*Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S. *
Special Collections and Special Projects Librarian/Instructor in Christian
Studies
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Box 7793
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