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
Doc Haagen Dozs made comment on the previous blog -- and I haven't been able to add a comment for two days.. (MY BLOG REJECTS ME.) I hope that problem self corrects. When I go on other blogs my comments stick, but not on my own...
Say, do you like that picture above. I may give you a long story about that some time..
But Doc says he trims sail by the lee when it is windy on the Wylie cat 30. My comment is "Wow! I would be afraid to be sailing that close to accidental gybe on a big boat with the wind up. Maybe if the crew and helm are all experienced and ready to get the heads down just in case."
I would be glad to hear more about sailing the Wyliecat.
After the races last weekend, David and Sam were talking about what things our fleet should do better and one of them is the downwind by-the-lee sail trim. Several have been letting the sail way forward and that really works to let you go way left on starboard tack, to keep the sail out and steady when the wind is light and you are adding the weight of the boon to keep the sail out. The down side is that if you don’t continue hard left by-the-lee air flow across the sail will be stalled out and sail lose power. You would like the air to be flowing fast from the leach to the luff and to maximize that: 1) Have a little twist in the sail so the top of the sail will resist a gybe when leading edge (now the leach) is almost back winded. 2) Trim in the sail till you get a little flutter in the bottom of the leach. Then ease the sail out just a little. This is just like the flutter in the luff when going up wind. 3) You need to keep the sail adjusted to wind direction changes or steering changes. If the wind is very light you may need to sit way forward and hold the boom out with your hand if the wind and heading require it. 4) Yes, when the wind is light you need to keep the boat rolled hard away from the sail so the sail is up high where the wind is stronger, etc.
I love this picture. It has nothing to do with "Wally", but she is really having fun.
I have been thumbing through Bill Gladstone’s North U Tactics book again, and thought I ought to take another crack at translating the “Wally” section to Laser sailing. I don’t have a polar diagram for a Laser and don’t think we should add the speedo, wind velocity and other stuff needed to exactly do this stuff, but we generally understand that as we pinch upwind we go slower and nearer the windward mark and that as we bear off more (bow down) we sail faster but further away from the weather mark. The quickest way to get to the weather mark is a course in between and particularly sailing fast to the next header.
“Wally” was a program from the America Cup Campaign in Australia when they varied the target boat speed to the average wind direction and gained VMG (velocity made good) to the next mark when the wind changed.
Up wind if you get a lift, “Wally” says to bare off a little more and sail faster. You will increase your separation from your competitors so when the header comes you increase your lead.
Up wind if you get a header you should tack, but if you are pinned or have other reason to stay on the headed tack, then sail higher and slower to reduce your separation from others that stay on this tack.
Downwind if you get a header (the wind moves more toward you bow) Wally says not to bear off as far as the wind changes, but stay a little high and sailing faster so when the shift comes that is a lift (moving back behind you) you can gybe or go to by-the-lee or a reach depending on how long you think the shift will last, what the waves are doing and all that other stuff.
Downwind if you get a lift, it is time to gybe or go by-the-lee, but if you don’t want to, then sail lower and slower to close the separation from others that don’t change. You will gain more VMG if you gybe or go by-the-lee.
Sounds confusing? Well, everything is not easy..
R. W.Rawles commented that when rolling the Laser well over to weather to be careful not to look back.
Actually you will be half way turned and you need to look back to see the wind streakes coming down from windward (you wnat to get in them) and to check on the boats behind that might be trying to take you wind or establishing an overlap to leeward (toward the sail) and the the right of way.
At least once a year or right now, reverse your sheet. The sheet wears at the aft boom blocks and at the ratchet block. If you reverse it occasionally you get twice the life of the line before it unravels and really messes up your day.