Thursday, August 23, 2012
During the Eid holiday about 10 of us got together informally for some practice on 2 afternoons. We had a great time and learned a lot. Our Kiwi sailor - a talented young Laser sailor - teamed up with our Danish sailor - an ex-officer of the Danish Royal Yacht Club - to set up a small course for us and then followed us in the RIB giving advice and hints. They even followed it up with a written debrief the next day. And all that just because they are great guys and want to help.
Needless to say, we have a lot of room to improve. Let's start with the starts - as our Kiwi noted in the debrief "Overall I would have to say good and bad." At our skill level, we do not easily stay stationary just behind the line for a minute as he urged us to do, especially with a current flowing. At the first race we all tried it, without too many collisions, but unfortunately after that we too easily resorted to old ways of timing a run away from the line and back, which may be okay for a few boats but is utterly worthless in a larger fleet.
He tried to be positive when he noted that "a number of you were over the line in several of the races, which for training purposes is a positive. It means you are pushing the boat and yourself and need to perhaps work on time on distance." Very kind.
Since the course was intentionally very short, we all tended to stay relatively close together and mark roundings were “interesting”. We had several tangles as port tackers arrived at the windward mark, tacking just in front of starboard tackers, completely oblivious to Rule 18.3.
We had a gate for the leeward mark and on one of the runs our petite Radial sailor apparently thought it was an obstacle and insisted on pushing several boats outside the gate until several of us explained to her at high volume that she needed to go between the buoys.
At any rate, 2 lovely afternoons with a fun group and 2 guys who embody the spirit of what makes an all-volunteer sailing club a great place to be.
(The title of the blog is what Muslims say to greet each other during Eid and means Blessed Eid.)