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
Malcolm Gladwell in this book explores the lives of people like Mozart , the Beatles, Bill Gates, and other really successful people to find that before success, they had put in at least 10,000 hours of practice (or trial) before they got really good at what they were doing.
10,000 hours is what? It is an 8 hour day, 5 days a week for almost 5 years with no time off for Christmas or sickness.
Now that is his 10,000 hour rule. That is the minimum that great performance needs.
This note stolen from Sailing World (November- December 2010) Steve Hunt “Open Your Bag of Tricks”. He notes 10 tricks and I just stopped with number one. “Sail the boat at the optimum angle of heel”.
I love this picture of Steve Cockerel sailing in wind and waves. He is almost flat. Flat is fastest, but with waves and spray, a little heel encourages the foredeck spray to roll off and not all come into the cockpit. He is rocking back and heading up to go over the next wave. Most importantly with the supervang, he is sheeted out a foot or so past the transom, to keep sailing fast and hold the angle of heel. Don’t let the gusts increase your heel. Sheet out and if you are supervanged the mast doesn’t straighten when you sheet out. Now you are going faster. If you heel, you will be doing more leeway, slower and rudder dragging more, as you try to keep going straight.
In less waves try to keep the boat flatter. You might even be able to sail with windward heel which makes the a asymmetrical hull work to weather. When the wind is very light, then weight forward and big time leeward heel to reduce wetted surface. (When you are going slow and not making any waves, then wetted surface is holding you back.) Going down wind, it is max windward heel to get the sail up into more wind and the center over the boat so you don’t need much rudder.
If planing, move way to the back to get the bow up and boat flat. You will be more stable planing on the flatter surfaces at the stern.
So the optimum heel changes around the course, but if you think more about that and get it screwed into your bottom automatic brain, you will have more time to look around and see what is happening on the course. Now you are sailing faster and keeping your “head out of the boat” and into the rest of the race.
Remember sailing fast makes your tactics look great.
In the September 2010 “Sailing World” Dick Rose gave a “Competitors Bill of Rights” that he extracted from the sailing rules. Three pages with 10 major parts and 17 extra notes about your possible dealings and appeals to the Protest Committee.
My take, after reading most of it — forget it... If you are not a professional, you came to have fun sailing. With our current sailing rules — particularly 14, 15, 16 and 17—you always have a 50% chance of losing. Maybe yell at the other boat and forget it. This is just a game! Not life and death.
Most of us don’t make a living at it. Most of us are not at the World Championship or at the Olympics with a shot at the top. If you are one of those folks going for the big stakes stuff with dreams of glory and the big prize, then maybe you need to cut out those pages and glue them to the back of you appeals book to carry along with your two rule books. (Yes, two rule books so that when one rule refers to another by number, you can read the second and third rule with losing your pace in the first rule book. It helps.)
Yes, and maybe you may need to protest someone that keeps doing stupid things. Maybe you just need a rules session in your fleet or club.
At one time, with different rules, we learned the rules in the protest meetings. Now we hardy have protest hearing for the above reasons.
I think that grown ups just act like they know what they are doing. Could CATS do better?
I am not sure about saving sailing, but we can do a lot to advance it.
Teach adults to sail.
Teach youth to sail.
Teach the rules.
Teach and promote racing–that is where you learn to sail better or well.
Can we teach sailing without “certified instructors”?
Encourage crewed boats. Crews often move into boat owners.
Have a crew series–when the crew skippers and skipper crews– how about a big prize.
Lasers sail double. Lets get three on the Laser.
Contest– how many can you get on a Laser before it capsizes?
Open house at the “Yacht Club”. Offer food. Offer sailboat rides.
National “Bring Your Neighbor Sailing Day”.
Build your fleet programs–but don’t forget people move from fleet to fleet. The more the merrier. We need all the fleets to grow.
Fleet loaner boats.
Used boats for sale.
Fun sailing in the evening or other times other than racing.
Full moon sailing.
Sail canoes, catamarans, sail boards. Sail the cruisers. Charter in Carribean or Mediterranean.
Be active in the Community so people know you are there.
Community Sailing programs.
When money is short.....
Co or multiple owners.
Community sailing program
Build your own boat or better yet, get a group.
Cape Cod Frosty
Or one of Phil Bolger’s designs.