Monday, March 29, 2010


We have had some sheets wear out at the ratchet block close hauled position-- that is about ten feet from the end.  Not much wear else other places.  End for end the sheet and wear the other end a little at both ends and it should double the life of the sheet.

I would guess it will take 2 to 4 years to wear one out depending on the block, how much wind you sail in, how long you sail and how strong you are.

Suggest end for end each Spring and maybe Anna will do it every regatta when she gets back to sailing Lasers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Light Air tips – some stolen from Tony Rey SW June 2008. Some of us read those old sailing magazines.

Sail to the pressure. Get some good polarized sun glasses that help you see the ripples on the water. Stand up now and then for a look around. Practice standing up and still sailing fast with control of the boat.

Be careful of the middle as the new wind may be coming in from the sides.,

Sail the long gybe first Tony says, but Lasers want to stay on starboard and work the long “ by the lee” or the long “broad reach”. Stay away from dead down wind. Do your transitions from by the lee to broad reach with plenty of heel to steer the boat. It is legal to steer by rolling even if it makes you go faster.

When in doubt, heat it up by sailing higher on the runs.

Smooth turns. Use less rudder.

Going down wind sit forward with lots of heel to windward to get the sail up. When very light get the boom forward of 90 degrees so that the heel and gravity holds the boom out.

Going upwind when it is really light, reduce wetted surface (you are not making waves any more)so get up on the centerboard with weight to lee so you get some heal. How far forward? The rules say you can’t sail from in front of the mast, so somebody was sailing from up there and making it work.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR VICTORIES. “Maxim Victories by Minimizing the Risks”– Morgan Reeser SW Jna2009

1. Shoot for top 1/3 at the top mark.

2. Pass more boats than pass you.

3. No DSQ, OCS, DNFs

4. Sail to the pressure (wind).

5. Long tack first from the middle of the course.

6. Headed or lifted.

7. Best side?

8. Where is the fleet?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010



 A) I understand that Tillerman is figuring to be the first Laser to sail around the world. He will do it singlehanded. First find one of those old zippy luff things with the halyard so he can lower the sail and leave the mast up. Then fit that sail with grommets so when it is down it can be rigged over the boom as a tent. He sails at night so he can dodge the merchant vessels. He tents during the day with a radar reflector hoisted on his halyard. He hopes the merchant vessels can see and miss him during the day.

Storage of food and water may be a trouble, but he is planning a 6 months trial of drinking a small about of sea water every day and gradually cutting back on the food and fresh water, but not the sea water. Then after the 6 months his body had adapted to only sea water. Problem solved.. When the wind is blowing the wrong way he will ride to his sea anchor.

A stupid idea..

B) Let us try to sail around the world at the equator. What is all that “sail around Antarctica” and call it a race around the world. If you are sailing around the world, do it around the world, not just a continent. A stupid idea.

C) Sail around the world, non-stop–the longest. Yes, the winner is the one that stays out the longest. Anyone can hurry back home before the ship sinks or the sharks eat him.

That’s a better idea?

D) Maybe a match race to see how slow you can sail around the world. We can have it covered on TV and award prize money.

E) Wait another year or two till most of the ice melts and then sail “around the world “ at the North Pole in about 5 minutes. How about those things for dumb ideas?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Another response to Tillerman blog. This may stay in the Blog because it is a little more like real Laser sailing. Tillerman is telling us blow by blow and tack and puff and luff around the course in his frostbite races. He hates that big pile up of port and starboard tackers at the windward mark..

Ho, tillerman, that is the whole thing about sailing if you can nail the start and get a clear lane, sail fast, then you can tack on the shifts and cross’em and stay ahead. Ride the lift into the mark and leave everyone behind.

If you get caught in the middle of the fleet you will all be trying to round the mark together with everyone else.. If you hang onto the port lay line because you are riding a lift, fine come in of port and find the hole behind a starboard tacker. If you go to the starboard lay line early then you have to ride whatever the last windshift is coming in. The fellow that rode the lift to the port tack lay line may just come in and tack under you. Often who ever gets the last shift is on top. It is a gamble, like pulling cards in a poker game. In the middle of the fleet, remember, it is going to be a gamble to the mark. If you are last– no problem, port or starboard take your choice. Just like the fellow that is clear ahead.

Even the good guys sometimes muff the start, can’t find a lane and get caught going for the lucky card of the last wind shift at the windward mark.

Control the boat, practice the starts, the tacks, the gybes, but don’t get mad at the middle of the fleet thing. Those other guys are there with you. Smile and look of room to get around.

It takes practice to get better. Sail just the races, if that is all you have time for. Log your good and your bad and review before the next race. Hire a coach. Attend a clinic. Build your strength. Build your endurance. Have a good time. You are in good company. It is thin at the top. It is just a game –not life.