What is the "Defining Moment" in a yacht race?
Everything you do before this moment is preparation for it. Everything after it is in response to it. Understanding the importance of it gives meaning and direction to what you should be doing on the water. I've told you before about leverage, about the advantage of being on the correct tack, and about leading into the shift. The first shift after the start is the "defining moment" because it has all these. And it is the first shift.
Why should you look at the weather map?
Why should you be on the water early?
Why should you check out the lake geography?
Why should you check out the starting line bias?
Why must you have a great start?
All so you can lead into the first shift.
Hit the first shift first and everyone else is playing catch up. As you will be if its not you.
OK you missed it. Now what?
Get on the correct tack.
Get in the power.
Try to leverage for the next shift.
Hope the leader makes a mistake.