I have been racing for about 10 years and in all those years we had one day with shifty winds. We did play the shifts better that day and were first to finish beating a J-105 with my old wood boat that was owed over a minute a mile. We get a persistent shift and you need to play that correctly but not the oscillating shifts we had that day. Typically you just tack and go to the finish line with no shifts to play. What I was talking about was the nice readouts in RaceQs that show you how steady of a track you are holding. It is a nice feature and like I said, the CEO of RaceQs said he can look at any given race and from that readout tell who won. I have not checked that out but he said my tracks looked good.what we, or at least i, expected to hear in response was that you were sailing a shorter distance because you were playing the shifts correctly. for boats that tack and gybe through approximately the same angles, that is the way to get big differences in the distance sailed.
i just have trouble imagining that your opponents are such bad sailors that they can't sail their boat in a straight line