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
Wayfarer dinghy is popular in England, Canada, Michigan, and a fleet at Lake Eustis Sailing Club in Eustis, Florida and also popular as a beach cruisning dinghy.
This group has a song!
The only racing class that I know that has their own song.
"Wayfarer, wayfarer, finest dinghy ever seen. Wayfarer, weather fair. really makes me feel so keen.
Do wake up from your lazy sleep
Sail your Wayfarer out on the deep. Wayfarer, wayfarer, finest dinghy ever seen."
Verses repated in Danish, Dutch, and French/
If you come to Eustis, I can find someone to sing it for you.
I don't think the Lasers should be out done by this little grouip of boats.
SONG WRITERS GET BUSY --- We have 200,000 boats somewhere!
To increase your comfort with the boat, play with it. Turn it over. Sit on the high side. Swim around it. Walk around the mast. Sail backwards. Sail double or more. Check out the crazy stuff on YouTube.
BUT be careful. Don't overstep your ability or do it where you can't rescue yourself.
This is not about Laser sailing, but I have sailed a Laser
in these waters.The rowing in the rain
part is about a few years ago, when I was working as an MD at the Key West VA
Clinic.They had recently moved into
part of the Old Key West Navy Hospital in Key West and I lived on Stock Island
next to the water.The hospital was on
the other side of Cow Key Channel about a ½ mile away.
For a week I rowed over in my 16 foot St. Lawrence
Skiff.–(Thanks to the model boat folks
for the picture of their model that is very similar to my boat.)I would row into a little harbor and tie up
to the dock at the enlisted men's barracks and walk a ¼ of a block to our
offices.I did that for a week just to
be able to say I was the only doctor in the USA that rowed to work.The Navy MDsand the VA were just getting used to working in the same area, so after
a week I drove my car over so my use of the little harbor would not become an
One morning about 7:30 as I was rowing away from home and
going west. I am looking east at some big black clouds coming from the east.(Wind is KW mostly from the east—some Bermuda
high thing.) OK, it is only about a half mile to row.Go a little faster.Now I am in Cow Key Channel and almost to the
little harbor and the rain drops start to fall.In the Keys the little thunder storms just
rain hard for a few minutes and then move on-- and I am right by the bridge
that goes from Stock Island over to Key West.Row under the bridge.Now it is
raining pretty hard, but not on me. I am
under the bridge… only one problem, the tide is coming in and I have to keep rowing
to stay under the bridge.
OK, move over to the edge of the channel where the current
is less.Yes, but now I look over to the
shore about 10 feet away --- 7 or 8 homeless folks sleeping under the bridge on
the 15 feet of dry land under the bridge.They are all asleep.Some with
the little pile of the only possessions they have in the world.
I meet these folks around town often.Most have mental or just drug problems.No problem, but you don’t want to have long
conversations because it can get pretty weird.I hope they keep sleeping.
So I keep rowing and they keep sleeping.How long is all this going to go on?
It is still raining pretty hard and I notice the eddy behind
one of the support posts and row into the eddy.Now the eddy is holding me against the current and I just need to steer
enough to stay in the eddy.
My friends on shore begin to stir and the time is almost 8
AM.Time for me to show up for
work.So I row out into the rain which
is now letting up.Into the harbor and
tie up to the dock and over to the Clinic – only a little damp.
So rowing in the rain can be an extra adventure.I recommend it.Take something to bail with.Forget the umbrella unless have a passenger
or want to use it as a sail.No, I
changed my mind—take the umbrella.Maybe
an anchor for under the bridge?Nice to
have lunch along just in case.
Maybe you had a good adventure rowing in the rain.
Sam had a good day on Saturday and here is a little WOW
(Words of Wisdom) on that day that he won two of the three races. I still have the "rowing in the rain" story coming up, but this is already put together. Really nothing new-- but what happened.
WOW…We had some big
right shifts and you had to be sure you were taking that long task first
(starboard) and working to the right carefully.Delay going to the lay line for the windward mark.You can approach it, but tack before you get
Sail fast – that is “bow down” with windward and leeward
telltales flowing, boat flat or windward heel.Sail trimmed into 6 to 8 inches between the boom blocks and if you are
sitting out to hold the boat down, then two block.Check what the boats near you are doing and
how they are moving.If you have a boat
to leeward you can see easily, work on sailing faster than they are.If you can see shore in front of them, then
try and be “making trees”...seeing for
shore in front of them as you move faster.Or just to increase you angle to them … bow down a little more … a
little different trim.Work at going
fast – that make your tactics smarter. If you get in a really light wind spot, heel
to leeward and weight forward.Get the
roll tacks working.It takes the curse
out of tacking to much with the short wind shifts.Try to link the areas of dark water together.If the roll tacks are a problem and you don’t
live close for sailing practice, then get some practice in before, after the
races or after lunch.
The fun is not necessarily winning, but sailing better.