The little boat has been around for 35 years plus and there is a lot of information out about how to sail it.
So this BLOG is just some ideas to bounce off.
If you are just starting then go to PRIMARY ADVICE of Feb. 09. That is the best starting place.
There are a lot of books and DVDs to tell you how to do it.
Dick Tillman "The Complete Book of Laser Sailing" The first and revised and new sections added. The old bible
Glen Bourke "Championship Laser Sailing" How to, plus the story of his run to World Champion.
Ben Ainslie "The Laser Campaign Manual" includes a CD ROM. Great picture sequences.
Ben Tan "The Complete Introduction to Laser Racing" Not written by world champion but biggest and most complete with training and medical section. If you only have one book, get this one.
Tim Davidson "The Laser Book" Some of the best pictures.
Paul Goodison "RYA Laser Book" Great pictures and advice with some simple things glossed over.
"Laser Coach 2000 CD" Computer thing with around the course format.
Rick White "Red Hot Sailboat Racing DVD" Basic DVD The one to start with.
Steve Cockrell "Rooster Sailing Lasser Boat Whisperer" both "Up wind" and "Down wind" DVDs These are the MUST ones. Advanced sailing. Do a lot of the other stuff first so you don't get to scared with the high wind materal.
Michael Blackburn "Bass Strait Laser" Crossing Bass Strait is a long time on a broad reach. Amasing what he puts on and can still sail a Laser. Surfing and gybing sequences. Maybe share this one with friends but you can skip this one.
"Advanced Laser Boat Handling" DVD by the Laser Training Center in Cabarete. Instructional DVD pictures of professional type sailors demonstrating tacks, gybes, etc. If you really want to be good you should see this DVD.
"Sailfit Seminars" DVD Sailfit.com... 82 minutes from Kurt Taulbee's Seminars in Clearwater, Florida. He has given a 5 day seminar here in Eustis, Florida. and is well thought of. Tillerman attended at least one of his in Clearwater. A good look at seminar exercises and lots of stuff done the wrong way with Kurt's comments. The comments cover some new ground for us. You should see the no rudder exercise, if you have ever tried it and given up. How about pulling up the centerboard on the starting line, if you want to slide to lee a little.
"Daring Downwinds-- Clearwater Pass" DVD Sailfit.com Kurt Taulbee's video of the high winds and high waves as the tide rips out the pass, the high winds blow in and crazy radial sailors try to get back in. Some comments about how to handle it by Kurt, but more questions than answers. A little like the Bass Strait Crossing, but with a bunch of wipe outs.
At Lake Eustis Laser fleet you can borrow all these books and DVDs from Sam. In another fleet maybe just divide them up and get most to pass around. All the advice is not the same and you get a little different flavor from each.
Now if you do that -- you can skip all the stuff I put in the right hand side of this blog.
I am an old guy that has sailed Lasers for a few years, and do it locally, and encourage others to join us. We have a good little group going -- have some extra boats to loan and invite you to come and join us on Lake Eustis in central Florida.
Look for me at Lake Eustis Sailing Club and check the web site.
Check out these blogs
In our local fleet we had one of those days when the wind was up and down and we needed to shift gears a lot. In our discussions after racing, Tom McNally who was visiting and had dusted us off pretty well, said he had been adjusting his Cunningham a lot.
Thinking about that lead me to pull the Cunningham line out of the last two turns in the tackle. It still has plenty of power to set up hard, but less friction, so when I let it off it really goes loose. Nothing new. Good sailors have been suggesting that for some time. Yes, it really helps.
Tom was doing something else extra also that day, because now my Cunny works a lot better, but amnot dusting them off yet.
PS. Tom just called on the phone about another sailing problem and says he rigs his full for windy days and a turn out on light days. Something else you can change between races.
Steve Cockerell (the Boat Whisperer) going up wind. He called the last day of racing at the Masters a "walk in the Park".
John Bertrand struggled to stay in third for the regatta. Read John's blog "Bertrand Racing". Steve had been sailing close by this sight in England in winds in the 28 kt range. So do you suppose it is just what you are used to doing? Does practice pay off??
Notice he is sheeted out a foot and a half from the stern. I think that is a compass on the deck. He has his watch on this left hand. Maybe he uses that coming back down the line on port and has another watch on the mast to look at when he is on Starboard. Anybody know???
John Bertrand stands up to look around. Find the pressure. Plan the course. You can see things better standing. John is sailing in England on big water and has his compass handy. That takes a lot of experience to be able to sail the boat, keep track of the other players, and not be looking at the compass all the time.
There are two guys ahead of him today-- and I wonder if they are "compass guys"?
At the first day of the Master Worlds in England, Tillerman and a lot of his friends sailed the first race in the big wind and the big waves and then got the heck into shore.
No more “FUN” out in that stuff. More fun back on shore drinking Irish Coffee.
But our buddy Steve Cockerel of the “Boat Whisperer” was sailing in the stuff he loves. He had two bullets that day (sailing a Radial).
It takes practice to have fun, when the wind is really light and when it is really strong. The waves add more challenge. Comfort comes with more experience, a little at a time. If it is not fun– take a break.
(The drawing above is in honor of the England... Anyone know what it was going to be?)
The Last “Speed and Smarts” by Dave Dellenbaugh was on the “rule thumb” helps. He gave a list.
Rule of thumb is an old English expression perhaps to Judge Roger Thumb’s rules or the measurement of small distances with the last section of your thumb–about an inch. Now just the quick easy answer.
Most of the rules refer in some fashion to playing the shifts of wind direction. My most important one being “foot to the headers” which gets you some separation as well as on the best wind angle. The one I had not thought about before was “if you are going slow, change something.”
Actually David picks “sail the longest tack first” as the most useful and puts a new twist to it.
As you sail the longest tack and approach the the lay line, that tack gets shorter and the other longer. Now he applies that rule again, and sails the new longer tack. OK, that brings in the other rules of thumb, stay out of the corners and delay going to the lay line.
Tom Slingsby wins in England and tells us how to do it! The 22nd place in the Olympics in China gave him the instruction. You learn more from your bad races than you do from the ones you win. Now all you have to do is remember not to do all those dumb things....It probably could be a long list.
Two of our Laser sailors. The one on the right has had some success winning various sailboat races. He tells us, "half way down the the downwind leg you need to be thinking about heading not at the leeward mark, but to the left of it, to enter the zone on the left (inside)". Waves and "pressure" may lead you other places, but always think left.