Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SOME OBSERVATIONS about what we can do better.

Coming into the windward mark. You are not quite there and need and double tack to make it, but another starboard boat is just above you and on the lay line. Be conservative, take a deep duck to leeward and tack to clear the starboarders transom or gybe around to port tack and go behind him. You have the next two legs at least to catch him. Do the Alejandro thing or at least sail fast and wait for him (or her ) to make a mistake.

Another windward mark thing, it you are trading tacks with someone coming up to the mark, stay to the right of your competitor so on the last crossing you will have starboard and that should be worth at least one boat length.

On the run into the leeward mark, if the last wind shift was from the left (looking downwind) then after the rounding, tack onto starboard as soon as you are clear of down wind sailors coming into the mark. Yes, I know you will have right of way as the close hauled starboard tack boat, but collisions are very slow. If the last shift is from the right (looking downwind) then stay on port tack until things get sorted out.

Keep track of the upwind end of the starting line. If you get too far to the right (looking upwind) then it is hard to get back to the pin end if the wind shifts left. Use the three minutes– Time the line, get a range and check for the favored end. I think this is a repeat, but it seems we need it.

Then I promised about Sam’s Sunday capsize. It was in the fourth race at the gybe mark with the biggest blast of the day surrounding the mark and Marc Solal right in front of Sam. Marc gybed around the mark and Sam figured he had room to gybe and go above Marc. Sam was concentrating on getting turned enough to get above Marc and caught the sheet on the transom. Now the sail is trimmed in. Drop the sheet and it doesn’t go out. The boom end goes in the water. Sam is looking over the high side at the centerboard and still thinking he might come out of this. Then the sail is in the water, and now he climbs over to stands on the centerboard and we will be right back in the race, but when the boat comes up, he has tacked through the wind and the whole thing blows over on top of him. Now get around and pull on the centerboard climb in the boat– he is heading the wrong direction. Nice sixth place. Glad we didn’t have 20 boats or it would have been a 20. Thank goodness for the warm weather! Did anyone say boat handling was important or it needed practice?

If you can’t figure this stuff out, e-mail me the question, and maybe we can get some diagrams or something simple.

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