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 is a redo of a 2010 entry, but worth reading again.
have some other parts of the blog that comment on sailing in waves,
but a recent “Speed and Smarts” is about playing the waves, so
let me review what I know about Lasers in the waves.
go upwind in the smaller waves and downwind in the bigger waves, if
you have a difference on the two sides of the course without a great
deal of pressure difference.
there is current, then the above is reversed. When the current in
with the wind, then the waves will be less with more current and
bigger where the current is weaker. Current against the wind then
makes the waves bigger, so in either case go upwind in the bigger
waves and look the smaller ones going down wind. If you are sailing
in tidal waters, it helps to know when the tide will change.
upwind with the Laser, when the waves are less than 18 inches, you
just need to power through them. Bare off a little to be sure you
are moving well. Don’t pinch. Tack in a flat spot.
between 18 inches and 2 feet you have to begin to think about the old
up the “up side and down the down side.” That gets you through
the wave faster and gives you a little push going down the down side.
When you do this you pump the tiller down (to leeward) to get the
bow up and rock you weight back to help lift the bow. Then on the
top of the wave, pull the tiller toward you and rock your weight
forward to help get the bow down. These moves can be quite vigorous
when the waves are steep and short . Robert Scheidt, recent great
Laser sailor moved to Stars, could be picked out of a fleet by his
divides the waves up into 1) Normal wind for waves. 2) More wind
than waves. 3) Less wind than waves. 2) happens when the wind is
increasing and it gives you more power to trim tighter and sail
higher. In 3), you power up and bear off. Don’t pinch. In any
of the cases you need to be sure you are moving through the waves and
not being stopped. You need to manage them better than you
competitors. If not, see if you can tell what they are doing.
and stay in clear air, tack in the flat spots, or just before the
wave so that the waves pushes you bow around, instead of stopping
you. Be careful with close maneuvering as everyone has less control.
need a clear air lane more with waves.
all waves are the same, so you have to keep watching ahead. Some
waves can just rise up ahead of you as forces below the surface join.
Some will need powering through and some worked up and down. If you
are going to stick your bow into one, then let the boat heel and dump
as much of the water as you can, so that you don’t get all the
water in the cockpit.
you sail on a small lake and don’t have bigger waves, then you may
want to take some long visits to places that have them. It takes
practice working alone and then sailing beside someone so you can
make some judgment about your technique. Every day will have a
little different set of waves, so get out to the race course early
and get the rhythm down before the races start.
says that usually the waves are the same on both tacks, but
experience is that they are almost always lopsided with one tack more
square into the wind and one more at an angle. Either the waves are
changing as they move along the bottom or the wind shifts and the
waves have not yet. If you are going square into the wave, bear off
more and take it a little on diagonal. The changing angle to the
waves will also help you pick up the wind shifts, as the waves will
take a long time to change angles.
waves should be worked the same. Power through the smaller, up and
down the bigger and take them at an angle if coming on square.
Now this is the old man himself sailing with his winter life jacket (an old Musto they don't make anymore). Note that the hat is held on with strong cord seen just in front of his left ear and secured with a slider just under his chin and the rest of the cord forming a wide "C" hanging down from his chin. With this arrangement and the cord tight the hat doesn't blow off or fall off if brushed by the boom. I can swim under the boat in a San Francisco roll and come up with my glasses and hat still on.
I don't see this kind of thing on pictures of the really good guys, but have some friends that are seen going back to pick up their hat during a race.