Monday, March 18, 2013
Due to some surgery 10 days ago I will be unable to sail for another 6 weeks - yikes, that sounds like a long time. It is frustrating to watch everyone rigging up and being relegated to the Committee Boat.
But, I have determined to look closely each week at some of the better sailors and try to identify at least 2 specific things they are doing that is paying off for them.
This week, instead of around the cans, we had a longer race around an island, the only mark.
The two things I noted that were done well were not great revelations, but solid confirmations of things to keep in mind.
First, local knowledge, especially involving tides, is so very important and can compensate for boat handling mistakes. One of our veteran sailors had a very bad start and was quite far behind at the beginning and for the first half of the race. As he rounded the island, he decided to go around an intermediary island on the different side from others. A smart move because it put him in the shallow water sooner to minimise the adverse tide and it also put him almost on a layline all the way home. A slightly longer distance, but it paid off well and he came in second in his class.
Second, one of our better Laser sailors in a Standard had been substantially behind a Laser with a Rooster 8.1 sail, but as they rounded the island, he started gaining rapidly and then rolled him. Looking more closely, I could see that it was simply a matter of keeping his boat flatter. The wind was relatively light - around 6 or 7 knots and the 8.1 sailor was not hiking much at all. His boat was almost flat, but not completely. The Standard sailor was really hiking and his boat was absolutely flat. What a difference it made - he just zoomed by and ended up finishing the race 2 full minutes ahead of the 8.1.