Friday, June 28, 2013


This is a redo of the March 24, 2008 light wind.  Sailing is a little harder at the high wind side and the low wind side.  You need to work on both. So let us review the light air end.

There is some list monkey business that the blog guys put in.  Try to ignore it because I can't figure out how to edit it out.

 Get some good polarized sunglasses that help you see the ripples on the water.  
Stand up now and look around.  You can see the ripples better from standing.  Practice standing up and still sailing the boat fast and in good control.

Be careful in the middle of the course as the wind may be coming in from the sides.

Going upwind when it is really light reduce wetted surface (you are not making waves anymore) so move up on the centerboard or just behind the mast and heel the boat to leeward.  How far forward?  The rules day you can’t sail from in front of the mast, so someone was making it work from there.  You need to keep the boat moving, so maybe a little vang to keep the boom 10 or 12 inches from block to block and let the boom out past the transom and bear off to close reach and see if you can’t keep the boat moving.

Going downwind sail the hot angles by the lee or broad reach, not straight down wind.  Do your transitions from with plenty of heel to help you steer.  It may speed you up, but you  do it to steer.

On the run, when in doubt, heat it up by sailing higher.

Smooth turns.  Use less rudder.

Going downwind sit forward with lots of heel to windward to get the sail up higher where there is more wind...  If there is not enough wind to hold the sail out maybe you can sit further forward and hold the boom out.   When it is that light you can push the boom out past 90 degrees so when you heel gravity will hold it out.

So now when they say there is not enough wind to sail, go out and see if YOU can.

Monday, June 24, 2013


This is old stuff but it keeps coming up.  As you are going into the leeward mark, if you have a boat to the left of you with some overlap try to carry them to the left so when you make a sharp right turn to enter the three boat circle (45 feet -  pace that off on shore so you can see what it looks like)  you can call "No Overlap".  Of course if they are on starboard, you will only be able to take what they give you.

If you get caught on the out side do something to slow down so you can follow them around.  Not to close, maybe three or four feet.   You are overtaking boat and as they slow in the turn you have to keep clear.  If they mess up the turn you can sail over them or at least you can tack when you are ready.  To slow down, sharp turns work  best.  If you get caught on the outside of the turn you will have bad air and not able to tack.

Now if you have a long weather leg, sail the course.  If it is a short beat to finish, then quick decide if you can beat the guy ahead and split with him or do you need to stay ahead of someone behind, then cover them..

Every race we learn something new or old.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


This is not the one boat race, but a great gal sailing a 4.7 rig at the Lake Eustis Sailing Club in Florida.
The local MC scow group tried to have a Wednesday evening race here at LESC, but only two boats came and they had no race.  If they only had one boat come they should have had a race and then passed the word. 
The folks that didn't come would then know they should have made it.  With no race, those folks would say "I did the right thing.  Stayed home."  
They had two boats.  Wow, a match race that they missed.
I have done the one boat race a number of times, but not recently.   Our Laser fleet at LESC is in its sixth year and the past winter season (September to May) we had 29 sailors and the year before we had 21 sailors.   This past year we had 163 races.  Fewest boats was four and most 14.  Of the 29 sailors this past year 16 were adults, 13 youth, and 6 women. We are still stuggling to get more out.  We haven't had a one boat race yet, but we will if we have to.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


A friend told me today that he had been writing down the good and bad things he did during our races.
I looked through my primary advice to pick out the most important--- I can't decide.  There are so many things about sailing a Laser that you need to know. 
So this is what my friend had for Sunday.  1) Get the vang off before the windward mark. He didn't and got in trouble.  To turn down wind when the wind is up you need to ease the sheet and heel the boat to weather to help the turn,  If you have much vang on this old man tries to get it off before I get to the mark.  You are sailing fast and want to have it off before you reached the mark.
2) Enter the leeward mark wide so you can pass by the leeward mark close enough to touch it and be close hauled. He picked up a boat there because he had been practicing the leeward mark rounding.
So help yourself, there is a lot to learn AND TO PRACTICE.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Get started again.

This is a picture of the old fellow coming off a plane when he was sitting way back in the boat to get the bow up and mostly planing on the flatter aft section of the hull.  I have moved up a little, but need to get further forward. Old guys move slower.  I should have had more vang on to get  more out of the sail.  That's a problem when people are taking your picture. You see all that dumb stuff.

We had a Sunfish show up at our club and I got Will White's "The Sunfish Book" out to check some of the measurements and then stopped in on the chapter that was an interview with my son David who told him "I am always working the sheet a little bit.  When I slow down I ease it out a little.  Then I trim in and sail a little higher or a little faster.  In general I don't think  pointing pays.  You have to be aware of the boat speed you are losing.  Some guys sail higher and if the wind doesn't shift, when you tack you will come back together.  If you sail into a header you will be ahead when you tack.   If you get lifted then you you where going the wrong way.  Try to foot to the headers."

David has won a lot of races, so it is worth thinking about.

Foot to the headers is all old stuff, but I need to think more about keeping the speed up.  Need to do that in practice so it is automatic during the races.