I see what you are saying. It does seem like there is more skill involved in getting boardspeed on a kiteboard as compared to a typical dinghy, so if you are really good at riding fast and don't know anything about tactics you could still do pretty well?
not against good riders.
I think getting the board speed is the basics...and the good riders have that dialed in like you would not believe it..super fun to measure yourself against. That said, you lose them out of sight pretty fast
I think that results show that tactics is most important though. It seems like top level sailors become fast kite racers pretty quickly.
yup..if you know the spots and how the wind works you can get a significant advantage. If the course is set up as a diamond along the shore, a slight shift in wind direction can have you go almost straight up to the upwind mark. If you do this at start and you can avoid the main group (depending on which tack you are) you can achieve something. I am guessing the really good riders have this pretty dialed in.
The start is super important and you'd see a lot of negotiation for space..super fun when the start goes and 50 kites all go into overdrive...it nuts and super fun at the same time.
One large portion of sailing tactics that is missing in kiting (I think) is covering downwind. In sailing, overtaking boats on the downwind leg is done by blocking the wind from getting to the boat in front of you. I don't think you can do this with the kite (much) because the kites are always moving. Or am I wrong about this and you can take someone's wind on a kite?
Well I don't think the wind blocking can be done as effectively since we can more the sail, but there are certain tactics that can be used while passing marks. If you are behind passing a mark can change the yield rules (I can't remember the terminology for this)...assuming the guys you are racing care about that
either way I have not competed at a high level but good racers have participated in the races and it is really good fun.
Dave you should come over here and we can set up a little local / casual race. We do it every 2 to 4 months....and then we drink beer, BBQ and share some laughs. No good racers on those races tho...