Now that we have more people sailing regularly, it is more crowded at the weather mark . Remember now the "zone" has gotten to 3 boat lengths. When you come into the zone inside the 3 boat lengths on port tack and try to squeeze in by tacking onto starboard below or in front of a starboard tacker, if they have to go high or low to miss you it is your fault– the 720 thing. If you need the rights of the starboard tack boat, then tack to starboard outside the three boat length circle. If you have a good lead or you are way behind, then it doesn’t make any difference where you make you tack. Rule 18.3
If you tack inside the zone, then make sure you have enough room to get around ahead of the starboard group or go behind them and go far enough so you can get around the mark in a little bad air or a bad wind shift.
A note about waves (from the wind–not motorboats), while I am at it. The waves always go slower than some sort of average wind speed. When the wind increases it tends to make them faster and bigger but limited by the water depth, fetch (how far the wave has been running) and their own wave making rules –something like speed=1.34x square root of the wave length.
Soooo, when the wind drops a little, the waves will be catching up and going past the boats going down wind. Try to get on one and surf it.
When the wind picks up, you will be sailing faster and maybe catching up with the waves. Now you want to go around the big ones and go through or between the little waves.
Now actually you will be looking for the low spots both ways. To get surfing try to dive into the biggest hole you can find in front. When you take off, try to turn and run down the side of the wave as far as you can.
If you are catching up to the waves then you want to be looking for the little ones to go through and around the big guys.
Now do "transitions" to go with and around waves. Whoever has my DVD of the Athens Olympic races (it never came back to the LESC library) can watch Robert Scheidt win the Gold medal doing transitions around the waves. He turns about every 4 or 5 boat lengths.. Stay on starboard if you can. When by the lee, roll the boat to the left to turn right and trim the sail to broad reach when you flatten out. Pick a spot in a wave and then roll the boat to the right to turn left and ease the sheet to by the lee. Don’t stop at dead down wind–slow and unstable when the wind is up.
It takes a lot of practice. You get to roll the laser to help steering and if you don’t keep pumping it is OK. So Jon and Luke, don’t get bored going down wind. Practice the transitions
AND don’t forget going into a death roll. Then turn the rudder toward (tiller away from) the boom (rudder in the water straightens the boat) and jump to the boom side to get flat again. You rescued yourself from turning over– not you fault you got a bust of speed.. Ask Ben to show you how.
How do I know all this stuff?
Some recent posts on my new blog
2 months ago