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
This should be Lasers Stretch and have Fun.. Look at that smile..
Thank you, John Payne at JOHNPAYNEPHOTO.COM
I have finally found a topic to use with this picture.
If you have more flexibility, you will be able to move about in the boat better.
In Ben Tan’s “Complete Book of Laser Racing”, Michael Blackburn has a chapter on “ Sailing Fitness” with a section of Stretching. Basically he recommends “Static stretch” for sailors. That is a stretch of a muscle gently for at least 30 seconds. He recommends a stretch after a little warm up and then again after a work out and a third time in the evening.
Stretch should be gentle and depend on the time spent with a mild stretch and the repetition to produce more flexibility. You will be tempted to push hard and get it all done at once. That will only lead to sore muscles and delay of the whole process.
I pick out these stretches for you.
1. Hip bent with back straight . This pulls the “hamstring” or the muscle behind the thigh.
2. Then with the back bent, do the same. Now you are reaching for the toes and beyond.
This works the hamstrings and the back flexor.
3. Calf stretch. Pull the toes up with the leg straight.
4. If you don’t have two Lasers in the water like in the above picture, then the push up position on the floor and lower your body with your arms straight. This stretches the abdominals and hip flexors.
5. Elbow up with hand behind the head and reach down your back.
6. Hand behind your back low and reach up toward the
other hand in 5.
Then a few that I add because I have trouble turning and looking behind.
7. Right and left body rotation
8. Right and left neck or head rotation.
Get Michael’s book and read more or go “on line” for a thousand stretches.
Good bye Jack. You tried to get all of us to be strong and active.
A little bit ago, when we had some big wind and big waves, one of our Laser sailors turned over and had a little trouble getting back up. Then he just sailed home again. When I talked to him afterwards, he said he just knew that if he flipped again he would be on the verge of being too tired so he sailed back to the club. I think that was smart. Know yourself. Add the skills slowly if you need to. But you need to be strong to sail competitively.
On the same note, a few years ago I visited with a Laser sailor who had been an accountant, but for family reasons had taken over a lawn care business. Now he was outdoors working with his body and muscles every day and felt that his Laser sailing had greatly improved.
From the 1900 Olympic games, this is the "Lark" an entry in the 0 to 1/2 ton class. I guess they didn't have any Lasers then.
Before we got to far away from the Buddy Melges advice, I want to record part of an interview with Robert Scheidt from the April 2007 Sailing World. Dave Reed asks "In the boat park before a day of racing you're said to be very intense and focused, mainly keeping to yourself."
"I'm a quiet guy and don't like to talk to much before the race. I try to concentrate on the day. I try to keep my routine before the race: washing the boat, checking the gear and going to the course early to check the conditions. After each race I relax, have a quick discussion with my coach, and not think too much about the race. I try to not bring bad feelings in to the next race or the next day and deal with each race at a time. If I win the race, OK, but focus on the next race. If I do badly, I try to forget it."
I come across a Laser sailor occasionally coiling up his sheet like the one above. That means that he has put a half turn into each loop as he added it to the coil. No big deal for a ten foot length, but any
thing over 20 feet it means a lot of twists-- that means kinks--- and now the sheet won't
run through all the blocks.
So if you just reach out for each loop with your hand open, and add it to the coil with out a twist, you should have one figure eight coiled on top of the next one.
Now there are no twists that you have put in and the sheet should run fine.
This is the last of my notes from rereading Buddy Melges' "Sailing Smart".
1. Start near the favored end or in the middle. Simple, but not so easy. It means that you have to keep checking the wind direction and guessing where the other folks are starting. Buddy doesn't shoot for the boat end or the pin end. Just near it.
2. Room to leeward at 10 to 20 seconds to go. If you don't have Buddy's experience you may need to be practicing stopping the boat, holding position, turning cross wind and then back up to close hauled and stopped.
3. Hang close to the line in light wind.
4. Don't barge.
Now you can go out and do the Melges start. Don't forget the bow even and then sail faster. Have Fun..
This is an Etchells start in Miami from our favorite Photographer. I think that the right end of the line was favored from the look of the angle of boats crossing the line down close to us, but I imagine that the boats are tacking in less than 90 degrees, so it may be more even. And there is a crowd at the other end.
We are still checking out Buddy Melges' "Sailing Smart" so we are going over more that you know all about... Spend some time checking out the line as soon as the RC or PRO sets it up.
1. Time the line. That will help you know how to set up for the start and also help you get a feel for how fast you are traveling and how long it takes you to get from A to B. Do it several times because the time will change with wind strength.
2. Check for the up wind end. Go head to wind and see which end of the line you bow points toward. Check it with your compass. Check the flags on the committee boat. Check the angle you cross the line when you are closehualed.
3. Get on the line and pick out a range. A spot on shore that lines up with the pin end. Maybe a spot on shore that lines up with the committee boat end (the flag they sight the line from). No shore in sight, then use your compass to get a bearing. Maybe pick out a range from two boat lengths behind the committee boat. Then when you are on the range, you will be one boat length behind the line when you sail up to the middle of the line. Try that for a midline start.
4. Check the pin for current. If you are sailing in tidal stuff, I hope you have the tide tables down and some local knowledge and your local time watch on.
5.Check right and left laylines to the starting line. Keeping checking wind heading right up to the start.
6. You want to know what to do next.. Keep tuned in. That will come up next..
Lasers get out and sail early. Maybe half hour before the scheduled race start. Yes, you have heard this before but we are reviewing the advice of Buddy Melges via his book "Sailing Smart".
He wants you to get out 30 minutes before the start of the race.
1. Warm up with some tacks and gybes.
2. Get you sail set up for up wind and down.
3. Check for current at the marks.
4. Check the right and left sides of the course for the best winds. Do this with another boat, if you can arrange it. One sail the left side of the course and the other the right.
5. Don't forget to stand up to look for the pressure. The good sun glasses helps you to see it.
6. Keep track of the starting time and be sure to be back at the committee boat before the start.
7. Yes, I know a lot of good sailors that just arrive before the race and can still win.... but not sailing against Buddy and the better sailors.
8. You think this is too early, but if it is an important event at a new place the good guys arrive a week or so before to get some local knowledge and familiar with the conditions.
Thanks again to John Payne Photo.com for the great pictures from Orange Bowl Regatta.
Now we are back to advice from Buddy Melges and "Sailing Smart"... "My basic racing rule now is that I will never steer myself into a situation that I will know will create a discussion after the race... Any jam up can easily effect my race results no matter who is right."