Sailing upwind against the current


first and foremost, velocity made good is the resultant vector of all forces acting on a boat as it travels around the course calculated to determine the time of arrival at a certain point, in this case, the windward mark. the point of what i was saying was not to say yes or no to pinching for the supposed "lee-bow" effect. the point i was trying to make was that at certain points over a race course there will be "faster" locations where there is opportunity to create more VMG than others due to the vagaries of wind and tide. No area of navigable water the size of a reasonable race course which i have sailed upon is completely uniform in wind and tide throughout its entire length and breadth. The goal is to spend as much time at higher VMG as possible, which is not always the same as going as fast as possible through the water. At some point you will encounter a situation where you can sail in adverse tide with more wind or less adverse tide and less wind, at which point everyone must choose their own poison, and find their own way around the course. In races where current is a factor, this is often a reason for a large split in the fleet.

in your 3 points about apparent wind you have #1 and #2 reversed. being pushed from leeward to windward will increase your apparent wind speed.

It is snowing outside, so as much as i love pining away for sailing, I think i'll go night skiing instead.

You are right, I did reverse 1 and 2. Sorry, I tried to make things simpler and now I have just confused things more. Thanks for pointing that out.
Of course, current is never the same over the whole course, but then again: one should not approach this in terms of vmg, but in terms of current.